10 Questions to Ask When Searching for a Top Notch Hypnotherapist

Have you wondered if hypnosis, a.k.a. hypnotherapy might be right for you?

Have you read books, taken workshops, had psychic readings, counseling, psychotherapy, taken prescriptions and OTC drugs etc. and still struggle? You might have emotional blocks preventing you from moving into your happiness and desires. These blocks include, but are not limited to, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD, Bipolar, phobias, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), addiction–food, substances, etc.

Working With a Hypnosis Practitioner Is a Common and Empowering Choice to Create Changes.

Millions of peoples’ lives have been improved using this effective tool of the mind. Whether it’s someone you personally know or celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, sports players, Olympic contenders, and the list goes on, hypnosis sessions are an empowering, healing, and transformational  process.

Achieving a trance state is a natural ability of the mind, and a hypnosis practitioner is a person who has learned the skills to direct you into a trance state necessary to complete your goals and guide you through a healing process to affect positive changes.
Still, not all hypnosis practitioners are created equal. A hypnotic trance state is completely safe when practiced and performed by a Certified and experienced professional.

As you know finding the best practitioner is critical. The answers to the following questions will determine the level of expertise and if she/he is the best practitioner for your needs.

When you ask these questions, you will be insuring the success of your sessions, and you will experience the positive changes you desire.

1.) Is the Hypnosis Professional trained for a minimum of 100 initial educational hours and certified?

A well-trained and experienced hypnosis practitioner will be Certified by one of the three prominent certifying organizations, The National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH), The National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists (NBCCH), and The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). An active member in-good-standing will provide you with a copy of her/his up-to-date annual certificate if you desire and it will be displayed prominently in his/her office.

For the best results, accept no substitutes.

Many hypnosis practitioners get their initial training (some as few as 12 hours) and stop learning. Highly regarded hypnosis practitioners obtain 100 initial hours of training and attend national conventions to obtain specialty certificates of completion on a regular basis to guarantee you the most effective, modern process. Evidence of continuing education is significant.

2.) What Experience Do you Have Working With ___Issue? 

Ask for details about their experiences resolving the issue you are struggling with. Ask for success stories, and ask for failures too. Find out why the treatment didn’t work for some people could give you a clue about whether or not the practitioner is qualified to work with your particular issue or need.

Highly skilled practitioners take a thorough history regarding childhood, education, significant relationships, career/work. Last, but not least, she/he allows you to interject what you believe is important to achieve your goal(s).

3.)  What is Your Process?

Ask the therapist to describe exactly what a session is like, and how exactly she/he will address your needs.  Many therapists will ask follow up questions to this question such as asking you what your specific goals are.  If the therapist doesn’t ask any follow up questions after you ask this question that is a red flag that the therapist might not be experienced enough to treat your issue(s).

A leading question such as this one gives you the chance to judge how well the practitioner will take the reins and direct the progress of your work. If the therapist seems flustered or doesn’t know how to respond to the question it’s safe to assume that if your process doesn’t go along the same lines as one-size-fits all modality, she/he might not know what to do. You deserve a practitioner, who will design a process specific and unique to your needs.

A challenging question like this one is a great way to throw a curved ball to see how she/he handles the unexpected. As you know when you’re working on any mental/emotional issue at any point a curved ball could come up, so you need to know if the practitioner is capable of smoothly dealing with the unexpected.

4.) Does the hypnosis practitioner perform individual sessions face-to-face, via webcam or phone?

The experienced hypnosis practitioner knows that the most effective method is a one-on-one session versus a group session of dozens or hundreds. It’s true, some people have temporary success with a recorded or group session, but the success rate is short-lived. However, individual face-to-face, webcam or phone sessions are exponentially more effective when the process is custom-designed to your needs.

Be cautious of the practitioner who invites you to their office and only has you listen to a CD with headphones. Why bother when you could have done that at home?

5.) How many sessions are required? 

Don’t be suspicious if the practitioner tells you that you might only need one session, because it’s quite possible that hypnosis will create the desired result for mild issues or addictions in one session.  But, if the practitioner states it will definitely only take one session that is a red flag.  No practitioner can definitely say for sure how many sessions you will need without an in depth discussion about your history and what you desire to achieve.  An experienced practitioner will  be able to give you an estimate of how many sessions it will take, but be wary of any practitioner, who tells you exact number of sessions. No matter, the issue you are unique and your process to resolve an issue is unique. One-size doesn’t fit all.

It’s important to understand that the number of sessions needed is an estimate, so avoid being locked into an exact number of sessions when you think about budgeting or payments.  There is no way to know for sure when the hypnosis will begin to work or when your issue(s) will be resolved. A lot of factors, such as how receptive you are to the hypnosis process, will impact the number of sessions needed to see the results that you desire.

6.) What is the Practitioners Success Rate?

Keep in mind that no practitioner has 100% success rate. But you are entitled to ask overall how many people she/he either resolved their issue or taught them how to manage effectively. For example Fibromyalgia, Lupus pain or other chronic pain might have an unexpected flare up during a stressful experience. Then, the person has one of two options, using the skills to work through it on their own, or calling for a quick tuneup.  After all, what you are ultimately after are results so what are his/her typical results?

You can ask for referrals. Some practitioners have a list of people who have agreed to allow their as a reference, but if the therapist that you’re talking to doesn’t have such a list it doesn’t mean that he/she has no satisfied clients.  Client confidentiality is very important, especially for people with trauma based issues.

Practitioners often have written testimonials on their website. Ask him/her if testimonials are available.

7.) Does the practitioner offer a Free Confidential Consultation?

The choice to work with a hypnosis practitioner needs to be made with confidence; for that reason, highly effective hypnosis practitioners offer a Free 15 or 20-Minute Free Confidential Phone or webcam Consultation.

During the consultation, she/he will ask about your goals and give you a brief overview of a custom-designed process for your success. You will learn about hypnosis and become comfortable with the hypnosis process. She/he will answer any questions you may have.

8.) Does the practitioner teach strategies, such as Self-hypnosis to manage flare-ups, Communication skills, Assertiveness to manage life?

This is a very important question to ask if you are interested to improve you life on a deep level. Because the practitioner has his/her own unique treatment method based on his/her education and experience if you want to use self-hypnosis in conjunction with your healing process it will be more effective if you use the hypnosis style and tools in order to hypnotize yourself as well as learning effective life skills.

The goal of healing vis-a-vis hypnosis is to create an empowered healthy person. If the therapist seems more focused on how long he or she can keep you in treatment instead of creating empowerment and healthy functioning you need to know what your desires are and if she/he is willing and/or capable of assisting you to achieve it.  As you know there are some unscrupulous hypnosis practitioner as all other professionals, who are in it more for the money than their for the person’s success.  In the procession, it is called churn and burn. You don’t want to let anyone take advantage of your desire to become healthy.

9.)  Does the Practitioner assign Homework?

Homework might be readings about the particular issue you seek to resolve, or it could consist of self-hypnosis sessions that will help you relax and reinforce the new patterns that are presented in the treatment sessions, or it could consist of other activities designed to make the process more effective, more quickly.

If the practitioner tells you that he/she assigns homework and describes the type of activities that fits the person needs that tells you that the practitioner has your priorities in mind. By giving homework that fits your needs is preparing you to take over your healing process. Using self-hypnosis and other exercises are something that you can do on your own in the future after you have stopped formal sessions to make sure that you stay on track and to make sure that you avoid dragging the original issue back into your life.

Not all practitioners believe in assigning homework and a practitioner that doesn’t isn’t necessarily ineffective, but if it comes down to picking a practitioner who gives homework and one who doesn’t you will be time and money ahead if you pick the one who assigns homework specifically for your needs. Assigning homework is a strong indication she/he will work along with as a partner from the start to make you independent and not dependent on a long-term therapy process.

10.) If you find her/his profile is deficient in any of these areas, it is a red flag she/he is poorly trained, and there may be cause for concern.

The answers to these questions will help you select a highly trained practitioner. You will be more relaxed knowing you are obtaining the services of a well-educated and experienced professional.

What’s the next step? Use highly specific keywords to do an Internet search. Certified Hypnotherapist and the issue you wish to resolve. Such as: Depression, Certified Hypnotherapist.

About Dr. Dorothy:

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D., Metaphysician, Hypnosis Practitioner is an internationally recognized authority on bridging Science, Spirit and Human Potential with 30+ years experience as a transformation facilitator, speaker, and educator in natural health and wellness; personal/ professional development. Dr. Dorothy is a designated referral source for Dr. Brian Weiss M.D., author of several books, including, “Many Lives Many Masters, “Only Love Is Real.”