The relationship between a client and a hypnotherapist needs to be one of deep trust.

I hear stories every day of hypnotherapists abusing their powers, causing more problems than they fix and leaving people traumatised and deeply suspicious of hypnotherapy. There is a lot of concern nationally about unqualified and unregistered people who are out there practising hypnotherapy.

Standards of hypnotherapy are being raised all the time by qualifying bodies such as the National Hypnotherapy Society and the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council, who scrutinise the qualifications of their registered therapists.

The dodgy practitioner stories are a good reminder of making sure you choose a legitimate, qualified therapist. Here are my tips on how to do that:

1. Is the price right?

Bargain basement hypnosis is a very false economy. If the therapist is offering huge discounts on their fees, alarm bells should start ringing. A therapist who is discounting heavily is using a numbers game to earn their living.

That means they are working very, very hard. To stay on form, a good therapist needs to be well paced and properly rested. If your therapist is frantically busy, stay away.

2. Are they in it for the long haul?

Good hypnotherapy requires a good trusting relationship between client and therapist. If you’re approaching hypnosis for help with a deep-rooted issue that goes way back into your past, a gentle, long-term approach may be required.

Alternatively, a good therapist may feel you only need a couple of sessions. It takes a skilled, ethical therapist to know how long the treatment should go on for – and it varies for everyone.

However, if this doesn’t fit into a special deal or a fixed package your therapist is trying to sell, you may end up being left high and dry.

3. Read the writing on the wall

Check out your prospective therapists’ credentials. A qualified hypnotherapist will be happy to share their certificates with you – ideally they’ll be displayed on the wall of their treatment room.

At the very least, they must have a diploma in clinical hypnotherapy. They should also be recognised by the National Hypnotherapy Society or the National Hypnotherapists register.

Finally, a good hypnotherapist is one who can show they are engaging in continued professional development – keeping up to date with regular training courses and refreshers.

If your hypnotherapist has been practising for decades without refreshing their skills, or if they claim they’re doing hypnotherapy but their idea of delivering a treatment is playing a tape to you in the session, walk away.

If you need any more advice on this, feel free to drop me a line or add your comment below.