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  • Writer's pictureRachel Gillibrand

Choosing your hypnotherapist, what to look for and keeping safe

Once you start looking you will find that there are as many styles of therapists as there are therapists out there, each of us is different with different life experiences and different approaches to our work. I have written this blog to help you navigate your way to the right therapist for you.

There are different types of hypnotherapy. Solution focused hypnotherapists work in a very specific way. We use a combination of methods each of our sessions, depending on why you are coming to see us we may use techniques based in neurolinguistics programming, cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing and of course the use of trance. Key to our work is helping the client develop a good understanding of why they feel the way they do and pointing them in the direction of working out what they can do about it.

The first place to look is the hypnotherapy directory, they only list hypnotherapists who have provided proof of a relevant qualification and insurance cover, or proof of membership with an industry professional body. You can use the search facility to look for a therapist near you.

You will also want to check that your therapist is listed with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. The CNHC is a UK-based voluntary regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners that was set up in 2008 with government funding and support. The CNHC quality mark is a guarantee that registrants meet national standards of practice in their work. Guidance produced by the NHS suggests checking your therapist is listed on this register should you want to try hypnotherapy.

The register for solution focused hypnotherapists is hosted by the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, the AfSFH. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) is a model of excellence that uses interventions that are effective. It will use the very best procedures that science and research prescribe. In reality though its core philosophy is very much based on the work of Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and the basic tenets of SFBT.

Once you have found a registered hypnotherapist you’ll notice a number of acronyms listed next to their name. These letters refer to the qualifications the therapist has completed. The qualifications a hypnotherapist has are important in gauging their skills. Here is a list of acronyms you might find:

HPD. The Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma awarded by the National Council for Hypnotherapy is considered a high standard qualification.

DSFH. When you are looking for a solution focused hypnotherapist, you will want to see evidence of their Diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and their registration with the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

Many hypnotherapists are also trained psychologists so other acronyms you may find include:

HCPC. The Health and Care Professions Council regulate health and care professionals in the UK. This means that this person is genuine and meets national standards. Each of the professions that the HCPC regulates has one or more 'protected titles'. Only those on the Register can legally use one of these titles.

C.Psychol. All Chartered Psychologists have completed British Psychological Society-recognised education and training of at least six years' duration and have demonstrated knowledge, skills and autonomous practice to professional doctorate standard.

Once you have checked the background of your hypnotherapist you may find that you have two or perhaps three people that you want to contact.

At this point you now need to decide which is best for you. According to research1, the most important factor in the effectiveness of your treatment actually relates to what is known as the therapeutic relationship or alliance. This is not so much a question of ‘can we be friends? do we get on?’ but ‘is this someone I can work with to solve my problems?’.

Remember, all good therapists will meet with you for an initial consultation either for free or for a very low fee and this is the opportunity for both of you to decide if you’re going to work well together.

All that remains now is your journey to well-being.

Horvath, A. O., Del Re, A. C., Flückiger, C., & Symonds, D. (2011). Alliance in individual psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 48(1), 9.

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