Questions To Ask Your Hypnotherapist

Ten Questions to Ask a Hypnotherapist

Questions to ask your hypnotherapist will help you find the right hypnotherapist to work with for your specific ailment. Even if you have been recommended a hypnotherapist by a friend it may not be the right one for you. Get referrals if you can, but ultimately you will need to make an appointment to sit down with that person and talk to them before you know if this is the therapist you want to work with. The chances are you will know little about hypnotherapy and hypnosis so find someone you feel comfortable with. A qualified hypnotherapist will be happy to sit down and answer your questions and tell you what to expect in the session. Some therapists do have a free initial consultation, some charge but you should always book an appointment time so that you will be sure to have the full attention of the hypnotherapist.


The appointment doesn’t need to be a long one, but it should be long enough for you to get a feel for that person’s personality, ability and for you to ask all the questions that you need to ask. Make sure that you take a pad and a pen, and this list of questions. These questions to ask a hypnotherapist will help you find a hypnotherapist that is qualified and is the best fit for your personality and your particular medical needs.



1. How Long Have You Been Practicing?


Experience doesn’t always equal wisdom, but if you’re seeking treatment for a serious condition it pays to choose a hypnotherapist that has a lot of both. While someone that has just qualified might do a great job if you are trying to quit smoking or lose weight it would be wise to use a therapist that is more experienced if you are trying to change your subconscious programming to heal a childhood trauma or you want to use hypnosis to help manage the pain of cancer or lower your blood pressure.

Most medical experts that support using hypnosis treatments as a therapeutic tool say that if you want to get treatment for anything other than relaxation, minor stress relief, or help with minor addictions you should look for a hypnotherapist that has at least three years of experience. The more experience that a hypnotherapist has the higher his or her fee will be.


2. Where Did you Study/ Get Certified and How Many CEUs Do You Complete Each Year?


Not every hypnotherapist has a medical degree or a psychology degree from a four year university course. Some just have certifications in performing hypnosis and in counseling, while others will have graduate level educations in psychotherapy or related fields.  You need to decide for yourself what level of education you want your hypnotherapist to have and to research where they trained, keep in mind that you will pay for education just like you would pay for experience.  Also remember that some hypnotherapists that have a background in psychotherapy or counseling will be better able to help you with series issues, like eating disorders. In some cases it is worth travelling to use a hypnotherapist that specialises in a particular treatment. 


If you are working with a hypnotherapist who only has a certification and doesn’t have a college degree in a related field ask them how much training they had to go through in order to get certified and where the training was held.  A hypnotherapist should complete at least some of their training in person and in a clinical or campus setting. Take a note of where they trained and Google it when you get home. Some training centres will give certification after just a weekend course, some may be online while others may take 3 years or more. 


CEUs, or Continuing Education units, are another important part of a hypnotherapist’s training. Like any other medical or specialty field a hypnotherapist should be attending Continuing Education classes every year in order to stay current on new practices within the hypnotherapy field, new updates and developments and new techniques. 



3. What Experience Do you Have Working With _________ Issues?


Finding a hypnotherapist with a lot of general experience isn’t going to be enough to give you the best possible treatment. You need to find a hypnotherapist that has a lot of experience working with your particular issue or the medical condition that you have.  Ask the hypnotherapist in detail about their experiences treating whatever condition it is that you’re seeking treatment for. Ask for success stories, and ask for failures too if there are any. Finding out why the treatment didn’t work on some patients could give you a clue about whether or not the therapist it qualified to work on patients with your particular condition or that have your particular need.


Sometimes it’s not easy to talk about the issues that you’re having, especially if they are related to a childhood trauma and especially to a stranger. But whatever you tell the hypnotherapist is confidential and will help both you and the hypnotherapist decide if he or she is the right person to treat you.  You don’t have to go into great detail about your problem or your issues, just tell them enough to get the point across and to find out what experience they have working with people who have those issues.



4. What is Your Process?


The therapist will probably be expecting to answer questions about his or her education and experience but may not be expecting this one.  Ask the therapist to describe exactly what a session is like, and how exactly he or she can address your needs.  Many therapists will ask follow up questions to this question such as asking you what your specific goals for treatment 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 problem.


A leading question such as this one gives you the chance to judge how well your therapist will take the reins and direct the progress of your treatment. If the therapist seems flustered or doesn’t know how to respond to the question it’s a safe bet to assume that if your therapy doesn’t go along the same lines as patients they have treated in the past the therapist might not really know what to do.


A challenging question like this one is a great way to throw a curve ball at the therapist and see how he or she handles the unexpected. Because as you know when you’re being treated for any condition that has a psychological component at any point a curve ball could come up, so you should know if your therapist is capable of smoothly dealing with the unexpected.


5. How Many Sessions Will I Need?


Don’t be suspicious if the therapist tells you that you might only need one session, because it’s quite possible that hypnosis can cure some mild conditions or addictions in one session.  But, if the therapist says that it definitely only will take one session that should be a red flag for you.  No therapist can say for sure how many sessions you will need without first having an in depth discussion with you about what you to achieve and diagnosing the extent of the problem.  A good therapist should be able to give you an estimate of how many sessions it will take in order for you to see some results or to be cured but be wary of any therapist that tells you he or she can cure you in exactly ___ number of sessions.


It’s important that you understand that the amount of sessions needed is just an estimate, so don’t plan on being cured in that exact amount sessions when you’re trying to think about budgeting or payments.  There is no way to know for sure when the hypnosis will begin to work or when your condition will go away. A lot of factors, such as how receptive you are to the hypnosis process, will impact the number of sessions needed to see the kind of results that you’re looking for.



  6. How Much Will It Cost?


Know what you are getting into cost-wise, but don’t make the mistake of using cost as the deciding factor when it comes to your treatment.  Often it is the case that you get what you pay for, it’s worth paying more to get hypnotherapy from an experienced, educated therapist.  Hypnosis is practically fool proof, but you don’t want to part of the small percentage of people that end up worse off after hypnosis treatment. Don’t freak out if the therapist quotes you a price that seems out of range for you, write down the rates and take some time later on to think about how fair that rate is. 


If you are not sure that you could pay the rate that was quotes ask the therapist if he or she accept insurance, or what type of payment plans are offered. Some therapists have in house staff that are trained to deal with the financial aspects of the treatment and can help you find financing or creative way to pay for the treatment if you decide that you really want to get treatment from that therapist.


When you’re thinking about the cost consider also that while the cost might seem high if the therapist is very experienced and educated it might take fewer sessions to see results.  So you might be better off having a few sessions with a therapist that charges £90.00  than you would be having double then number of sessions with a therapist that charges £70.00 a session.  The actual cost of the sessions will vary based on where you are located, how many hypnotherapists there are in the area and how high the demand for hypnotherapy is.


If the therapist quotes you a price that seems too low that can be another red flag that indicates a lack of experience in hypnosis and a lack of experience in the industry.  The therapist should know what the going rate is for hypnotherapy services in the area. If his or her rates are drastically below the average price that other providers charge it could mean that the therapist is not confident in his or her abilities, is just starting out, or isn’t aware of what the standard rate for hypnosis treatment is where you live.  As a general rule it’s a good idea to drop from consideration any estimates that are excessively high or excessively low when you’re considering which hypnotherapist to choose.



7. Do You Teach Self-hypnosis?


This is a very important question to ask if you have any interest in using self-hypnosis either to treat yourself at home between sessions or to use on yourself on an ongoing basis once you feel that you no longer need guided sessions with a hypnotherapist.  Because your therapist will his or her own unique treatment method based on his or her own education and experience if you’re going to use self-hypnosis in conjunction with that therapist’s treatment it will be much more effective if you use that therapist’s hypnosis style and tools in order to hypnotize yourself.  If your therapist doesn’t teach his or her own style of meditation to patients it’s worth asking if they can recommend a style that is similar to his or her style that you can learn on your own. 


Self-hypnosis is a very important part of hypnosis treatment for some conditions.  If the therapist that you’re interviewing doesn’t seem willing to have you learn any self-hypnosis at all that should be a red flag.  If the therapist wants to keep his or her methods private and not share them even with you then their treatment methods might be ineffective, or they might be unorthodox, or they might even be trying to scam patients into paying for treatment that is very complicated when in practice the therapy is quite simple and easily done by the patient.


The goal of hypnotherapy should always be for you to be a functioning, healthy person. If the therapist seems more focused on how long he or she can keep you in treatment instead of on making you healthy and ready to go face the world on your own terms that therapist is probably more concerned with getting your money than helping you.  It doesn’t happen often, but there are some unscrupulous hypnotherapists out there and you don’t want to let one take advantage of your desire to get healthy.



8. What Products Do You Sell?


The therapist that you should choose should be willing to help you learn some self-hypnosis techniques in order to make it easier for you to treat yourself between sessions and manage your condition later on but you don’t want to choose a hypnotherapist that sells a lot of products of their own because that person might be just trying to make a buck and might not be all that interested in helping patients. If the hypnotherapist seems more interested in making a name for him or herself than in helping you get better cross that therapist off your list of possible therapists.


But don’t mistake a therapist that sells some products for a therapist just trying to get ahead.  Some therapists do sell DVDs or CDs or books that document their therapy methods and provide guided hypnosis.  Sometimes these products can be extremely useful for self-hypnosis and because they are done by the same person that is giving you hypnotherapy you can learn a style of self-hypnosis that complements the therapy you are getting in your regular therapy sessions. 


Just selling some products doesn’t automatically mean that the therapist is not legitimate.  Use your own judgment when it comes to deciphering the therapist’s motives.  A therapist that sells a few homemade DVDs or CDs is probably very patient focused but a therapist that has a lot of flashy products or is constantly trying to sell you more products probably is more concerned with his or her own career than with trying to help you get over your problem or treat your condition.



9. What is Your Success Rate?


Keep in mind that no therapist is going to have a 100% success rate, and don’t expect them to.  But you are entitled to ask overall how many patients that the therapist treats who are either cured or learn how to manage their condition in the case of Fibromyalgia pain or other chronic pain.  After all, what you are ultimately after is results so the therapist should have no trouble discussing with you what the result of their therapy usually is.


You can ask for referrals but some therapists will not feel comfortable giving out the names or information of previous patients.  Some therapists will have a list of people who have agreed to let the therapist use them as references but if the therapist that you’re talking to doesn’t have such a list it doesn’t mean that he or she has no satisfied patients.  Patient confidentiality is very important in hypnotherapy, especially for patients dealing with psychological conditions, and former patients might not want their names or other information revealed.


If you can’t get any references or any definitive information about the therapist’s success rate you can always look online at a medical or consumer review site and see if that particular therapist has been reviewed. You can also check with the Institute of Clinical Hypnosis to see if any complaints have been filed against that therapist.



10. Do You Ask Clients to Do Homework?


The last question that you ask a potential hypnotherapist is whether or not he or she asks patients to do homework. Homework could consist of readings about the particular condition that the therapist is working with you to solve, or it could consist of self-hypnosis sessions that will help you relax and reinforce the new patterns that the therapist is creating in the treatment sessions, or it could consist of other activities designed to make the treatment more effective, more quickly.


In this case you want the therapist to assign homework. If the therapist tells you that he or she always assigns homework to patients and describes the type of activities that the patient is expected to do that should tell you that the therapist has the right priorities in mind. By giving homework the therapist is preparing you to take over as your own hypnotherapist.  Using self-hypnosis and other exercises is something that you can do on your own in the future after you have stopped formal treatment to make sure that you don’t fall back into unhealthy patterns and to make sure that your original condition doesn’t return.


Not all therapists believe in assigning homework and a therapist that doesn’t shouldn’t necessarily be left out of the running but if it comes down to picking a therapist that gives homework and one that doesn’t you should always pick the one that does because the therapist is going to work hard from the start to make you independent and not dependent on treatment.