Before you put your trust in a hypnotherapist you need to be confident that the person you’ve chosen is appropriately trained and qualified. So how do you check a hypnotherapist’s qualifications?
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it may appear. In common with the majority of alternative and complementary therapies, there is no official regulation of hypnotherapy. Legally, anyone can set themselves up as a hypnotherapist. All they need to do is take a short online course or read a book. They could even just copy their own experience of therapy.
But that doesn’t mean you have to trust entirely to luck. There is no official register of hypnotherapists, but there are a several voluntary registers. You can read about them here. The membership criteria for these varies, but they all have the general aim of improving training and professional practice among hypnotherapists. They lay down standards for initial training, continuous professional development and supervision. All their members are required to abide by these standards.
I am a member of the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR) and am in the process of becoming registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). This is a voluntary body set up by the government to ensure standards among complementary health practitioners. I believe this offers potential clients the reassurance they need.
However, I know some excellent therapists who are not registered with any external body. This does not mean that they are not qualified. The important thing when considering using an unregistered therapist is to look at their qualifications and the training body that issued them. Initial practitioner training in hypnotherapy should always involve a high level of face to face tuition. Qualified hypnotherapists can then learn specialised techniques and approaches by distance learning if necessary. This is particularly easy now that the internet allows students to interact with their tutors and each other. I studied at Motivation Training in the Scottish Highlands but there are many other excellent training providers and you can easily check your potential therapist’s provider online.