How to Choose the Right Therapist

7 Common Mistakes When Selecting and Working With a Hypnotherapist and How to Avoid Them


1. Not checking qualifications and membership of a nationally recognised regulatory body

We tend to assume all people with a professional sounding title have had the same level of training and therefore will be capable of working with our issue. When it comes to hypnotherapy (and most forms of therapy for that matter), not all training is equal, therefore, not all hypnotherapists will be able to offer you the right level of skills to help you. Unfortunately, some people are great at marketing and web design, we get attracted by the confident way they present themselves online and think we have found the right therapist for us, I mean, they sound like they know what they are doing, and there is a great case study that is exactly the problem I am experiencing, so they must be good, right? Not necessarily, as with all things, buyer beware!

How to avoid this problem:
When you are looking for a hypnotherapist to work with you can make sure they have the relevant training by checking the letters after their name PLUS their membership of a nationally recognised governing body. It is not mandatory to belong to a governing body for hypnotherapy, however, anyone who really cares about the welfare of their clients will voluntarily registered. The therapists on this site are all registered with one or both of the following:

We work to a strict code of conduct and if you are not happy with anything we do you have a route to take action. We always provide you with a client contract which sets out how to complain if you don’t feel we are doing our job properly.


2. Searching online and picking the first person that comes up close to their home address.

Searching locally and only looking at the top result could bring up someone who is great at marketing or paying for ads to raise them up the page rankings, but who might not be the best person for the issue you need help with.

How to avoid this problem:
Again, do your research, check the person you want to work with has experience of working with your issue, the best way to do this is to check their website, then follow it up with a telephone call, this way you can talk about your issue and the therapist can talk about their experience of working with the issue. If you feel uncertain during the call tell them you are shopping around, and have a few others to talk to. A good hypnotherapist will encourage you to do this and to make sure you pick the right person for you and your issue.


3. Not asking searching questions relevant to your issue.

As much as I like to work with people I do not think it is helpful to receive a one-line email ‘can I book an appointment please?’ I think you need to be well informed about whether I am the right person for you, before you invest your time and money in coming to see me.

How to avoid this problem:
Prepare an email or make a note of questions to ask and then call the person you may want to work with. Ensure the questions are relevant to your issue, the hypnotherapists’ experience of working with that issue, how the sessions are structured, where the sessions are held and cost. I think you should call or email a few hypnotherapists, so that you can work out if this is the right person for you. A lot of the work we do relies of the client and hypnotherapist having a good rapport, so make sure that is there before meeting up.


4. Only telling part of the story and not the full history

When I meet a new client I spend the first session asking a lot of questions about the issue, what triggers the problem, what the person has tried in the past and what worked and what was less successful. It doesn’t help the hypnotherapist to do their job if you don’t tell them everything. I am not here to judge, I am here to help and I can do that best when I know your story well.

How to avoid this problem:
Let’s say you haven’t told me something about your coping mechanism because you feel ashamed. I honestly don’t mind what you tell me you do, lots of coping mechanisms are a form of self-harm (drinking, smoking, binge-purge, cutting etc.) They all have a positive intention – to help you to feel better, so why would I judge you for trying to help yourself? Please, trust the person you choose to work with is not going to judge you and let them know everything that is relevant as early as possible. It helps us to help you.


5. Coming for help because someone else wants you to change

Remember we are here to help you, and can only help you as long as you want to help yourself. If you really don’t want to change nothing we do is going to make that happen.

How to avoid this problem:
If you really don’t want to change and someone else wants you to change, have a conversation with them about why they think you should change and why you think you are OK as you are! It may be that they want you to stop smoking, my experience of this is that you will give up for a short period of time, then, when you have spent the money you would have spent on smoking on therapy and everything becomes equal again, you will take up smoking and say “see, I always told you I was a smoker!” If, on the other hand you really want to stop smoking, this can be an excellent way of doing it.


6. Expecting change to just happen without any effort on your part

I can’t change for you, but I can help to guide you towards the change you want to create in your life. I have had people express displeasure at this, there is an expectation that hypnotherapy is something ‘done to you,’ it’s not. It’s a form of therapy where your intention and motivation to change are combined with our skills and resources to help you to create the change you want as quickly as possible.

How to avoid this problem:
Approach our work together as an active participant, and more quickly than you might expect possible you will find yourself responding differently to life. Part of your active participation may be in doing ‘homework’ like listening to the hypnotic recordings created for you.


7. Giving up when the going gets tough

Sometimes life gets a little harder before it gets better. Sometimes clients report waking up on the day of a session feeling unwell, it can be a sign that you are recognizing the work we are doing is having an effect and that you are unconsciously starting to feel a little tense at the possibility of the changes ahead.

How to avoid this problem:
Stick with it, the work we are doing will bring about the changes you want to see in your life, and if this is the last time you ever have to feel like this you can be sure it will be worth it. So no matter what your fears and doubts, discuss them with your hypnotherapist and they will carefully guide you through the changes you want to make, at a pace that works for you. The bravest people I have ever worked with are the ones who come to a session saying “I don’t know why but I woke with a feeling of dread today, and I am feeling a bit unwell, but I really wanted to deal with this so I am here.” I will always ask your permission to work on the things I plan to approach, so come along confident in the knowledge that we are working together, to bring about the changes you want to experience.

If you are looking for a hypnotherapist you have come to the right place, you have four of us to choose from at Hypnosis Cambridge, we have all qualified through the Quest Institute Cognitive Hypnotherapy, we are all registered with at least one governing body, we all commit to continuous professional development and have a professional supervisor we can turn to for support. We all use outcome measures to gauge how you are progressing, we all work with you to identify the problems and agree a solution. We all work at your pace, we are all happy to chat for 30 minutes on the phone, free of charge to help you identify if we are the right person for you.

We all want you to find the right hypnotherapist for your issue, so email one of us today using our contact form, ask to arrange a telephone call to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to help you decide if we are the right therapist for you, if we know we aren’t we will tell you and point you in the right direction.


written by Jacqui Kemp.

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