How to Choose a Good Practitioner
It’s important to know what you’re looking for when choosing a hypnotist. Hypnosis is a largely unregulated field, which has its benefits and drawbacks. Regulation can create excessive paperwork and expense for the practitioner, placing barriers of entry into this field of work, raising costs and involving governmental overseers. However, lack of regulation means “buyer beware.” It’s in your best interest to become an educated consumer.
Becoming an educated consumer takes time but leads to a better result. It’s empowering to know what you want and to find it yourself. Here are some guidelines to consider when looking for a qualified hypnotist. Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose which points are most important for the kind of work you want to do.
Requirements to practice hypnosis vary a lot depending on where you live. Hypnosis is regulated at the state level, with many states not regulating at all. This means that someone could simply read a book on hypnosis or watch a video and call themselves a hypnotist.
At the very minimum, a practitioner should have at least 100 hours of training. 300 hours or more is ideal. The classroom hours need to include practice sessions for students to apply the skills learned. Questions and feedback after practicing offer an invaluable opportunity for hypnotists-in-training to develop their technique. It’s shocking, but there are hypnosis training programs that are taught by lecture only. Students are given certificates without ever having demonstrated their competence.
Hypnosis is a broad field. There are schools that only teach people how to use their voice to induce or deepen a trance state, how to test for depth of hypnosis and how to read or create a script. Anyone can play with their voice and read a script. A good hypnotist knows how to create a safe space for the client to open up, how to listen, and how to gently guide the client while allowing them to discover their own insights.
APPROACH - LANGUAGE, FRAMEWORK OF EMPOWERMENT
The best hypnotists know that their job isn’t to fix clients, but to guide them to their own inner resources. Beware of the practitioner with a “god complex,” who thinks that you will get better because of his special talents or wisdom. He, or rather his ego, wants to take all the credit for your growth or healing. If you put yourself in his hands thinking, “He knows what he’s doing. He will fix me,” you may feel better when you leave his office. But you will be starting over each time you hit a roadblock in your life, because you don’t believe in yourself. You gave your power over to someone else to fix you and now you're dependent on him.
Just because someone is a hypnotist, it doesn’t mean that he is self-aware. Some people want to help others but don’t recognize that they need to help themselves first. Many of these people have good intentions, but their lack of self-awareness leads to disastrous results.
Unconsciously, this practitioner uses the client’s session to get his own needs met. His ego wants to feel the power of being an authority. Or his inner child wants to be loved and needed. Or maybe his shadow self gets triggered by something the client says. Without self-awareness, a practitioner cannot maintain the neutrality and clarity necessary to help the client.
When you first talk to a practitioner, listen not only to the things he says but also to how he says it. Feel for his sincerity. Is he trying to help you or sell to you? One of the greatest skills a hypnotist can develop is being fully present with his client. A lot of healing comes from simply holding a loving and accepting space for the client to open up and share.
The truth is that no hypnotist can ever guarantee what you’ll experience in your session. That’s because it’s not just up to him, it’s also up to you. A hypnotist who guarantees a specific result in an exact number of sessions isn’t honoring the fact that you are an individual. That being said, most hypnotists can tell you something like “Most people can expect X result in X number of sessions.” Or, “Around 80% of my clients experience X result in the first session."
Vibe is a personal thing. It’s hard to describe how to determine if the practitioner has the right vibe for you. Sometimes a person doesn’t say or do anything wrong, but you simply feel a sense of misalignment with them.
Other times it has to do with communication styles. The practitioner may seem distracted or in a rush. He may interrupt you or you may get a sense that he’s not really listening to you or understanding what you want. These are major warning signs.
A person can be a wonderful hypnotist but not the best fit for you. Trust your gut feeling, ask questions about training and approach, and you will find the best practitioner for you.