Text Box: How Do I Choose A Good and Safe Hypnotherapist?

Text Box: Warning!  Did you know that hypnotherapy in the UK is NOT government or NHS regulated? For your own safety and peace of mind, DON’T choose a Hypnotherapy Specialist until you have read the following!
I thought it was now regulated by the CNHC?

Sadly this has only served to confuse the issue even more, see our separate page on the role of the CNHC in hypnotherapy by clicking here.

How do I know that the hypnotherapist is any good? 

At our practices we are seeing an increase in patients who have had treatment from another hypnotherapist and have been extremely disappointed.  
More worryingly are the ones that have had a bad experience and then walk away from hypnotherapy not knowing that they may well have been able to achieve their goals with a competent professional hypnotherapist.
The best way to choose a hypnotherapist is by word of mouth from a previous patient whom you trust. Secondly a referral from a GP or medical consultant is also very good.
If those aren’t options, then the following points may be of interest to you in choosing Text Box: NHS Registered - What does this mean?

If the hypnotherapist claims to be NHS registered, approved, recommended or anything similar - BEWARE! There are a number of therapists misleadingly claiming this. As far as I am aware there is no such thing as an NHS registered hypnotherapist. It is against Advertising Standard Association (ASA) advertising regulations. If they claim this, ask in what way they are registered. They may have an NHS Independent Provider Code (I have one). However, this is simply a ‘cross charging code’ to allow payments to be made from the NHS. Anyone can apply for one of these (contract cleaners for example).

They may claim to be NHS registered when in fact they are simply listed in the NHS Directory of Complementary and Alternative Practitioners. It is good to be in the directory as it does indicate a minimum level of training.

However, legally they should say they are registered or listed in the directory, NOT that they are NHS registered. 

If they are trying to con you by making out that they are something that they are not when trying to get your business, why should they be any different when treating your issues. Do they want to help you or are they just after your money?!

(It should be noted that I use the phrase NHS contracted in my advertising. This is because I am contracted to the NHS. I have a contract of employment with the NHS as I consult regularly at a major hospital where I am the resident Clinical and Medical Hypnotherapy Specialist.)

Training and Techniques

Check that the hypnotherapist has actually been trained. Due to the unregulated nature of the industry many therapists have had little (sometimes days) or even NO training. Some have trained themselves from books or DVD’s. Find out how much training they have had, who they trained with, how big the classes were (some can be as large as 800 people! And still only a week in length!).

Find out about the different types of hypnotherapy techniques used. Are they a jack of all trades? EFT, Reiki, massage, aromatherapy etc or are they a specialist hypnotherapist?
Text Box: Full or Part Time? How experienced are they?

How experienced are they? Have they been in practice for a number of years treating many patients successfully, or do they see it as a part time ‘money maker’, which they have just started? Beware of sweeping statements such as “twenty years experience in x,y and hypnotherapy”. This could still mean ten years each of x and y and two weeks of hypnotherapy.

Are they full time practitioners? (Would you go and see your GP or dentist if they practiced ‘on the side’ for a bit of extra money?). I Am aware of people such as bus and taxi drivers, party planners and marketing men, all practicing hypnotherapy in their spare time. Quite often the ones offering evening and weekend sessions have to because they have a full time job! If they can only see you on certain days and times find out why? Are they at other clinics? (And can that be verified? Or are they at another job?) 

If a therapist practices from home, why not ‘Google’ the address and phone number. You may be surprised to see what other ‘businesses’ they are also involved in. You may find they ‘double’ as party planners, masseurs, taxi drivers and all sorts of other ‘psychological’ related careers!

Beware of certain hype and try to find out the facts. I am aware of fairly inexperienced practitioners claiming that they have ‘pioneered’ or invented new techniques, whereas they have simply copied some one else’s idea and ‘rebadged’ them, even to the extent of then offering expensive training in the techniques they claim to have invented. I’ve recently noticed an expensive set of training courses being offered where even the ‘course director’ appears to only have a few months of hypnotherapy experience!

Other Qualifications and Life Experiences
Practitioners are increasingly quoting unrelated qualifications or life experiences as potentially making them better therapists. I believe that an MBA means you have a good level of business knowledge as a degree in economics indicates that you have a grasp of economics. I wouldn’t agree that either would make you a better clinical hypnotherapist. However I see logical reasons that would indicate that psychological or counselling qualifications could be beneficial. 

As with life experiences, working in a high pressured industry would give you an understanding of what it is like to be in a high pressured industry but wouldn’t necessarily make you any better at dealing with it. I see practitioners claiming ‘people’ skills due to them flitting from job to job in areas such as shop worker and car salesman, I would suggest that these are more sales orientated than people orientated. In fact flitting from job to job could also indicate that they are either not very good at a multitude of them or perhaps they do not have the drive and commitment to stick with any one thing, so why should hypnotherapy be any different for them.

Home or Clinic? Single or multi location practitioners?
Many practitioners operate at least partially from home and this can be good if they have a professional area set aside for this purpose in a safe and friendly environment, rather than simply utilising a corner of the ‘living room’ when no one else is in.

Some people might feel vulnerable or anxious about meeting a therapist at a private home, so a good therapist will normally offer the option of consultations in a private clinic or even in hospital. This can be very reassuring knowing that there are other people in close proximity such as reception staff or nurses. A practitioner based at a multi disciplinary clinic can also refer the patient easily for other types of treatment with known trusted colleagues if they feel that an alternative treatment regime may be in the best interest of the patient.

Practitioners who practice at a number of locations normally do so due to reputation and demand. It is also reassuring to know that a practitioner who practices at a number of locations is busy and experienced and most likely will be a full time professional practitioner rather than one of the part time, home based ‘hobby’ therapists.

Accreditations and Insurance
Are they members of any well established, well reputed self governing bodies? For example the GHR, BSCH, NCH etc. Beware some governing bodies are just marketing covers. Some don’t even exist. I know of at least one ‘training organisation’ who provides a ‘free’ CD containing ‘print your own’ diplomas, certificates and governing body registrations. The BBC uncovered some rather dubious practices with a number of governing bodies recently who allowed the reporters pet cat to be registered as a qualified hypnotherapist. To read the story click here.

Do they hold professional liability insurance? I personally wouldn’t trust anyone in any field who didn’t have this.

CRB Checks
How about CRB checking? (Criminal Records Bureau). It may be important to you to ensure that the therapist doesn’t have a criminal record, particularly if attending a session at a private house, or the patient is a child or vulnerable adult. It will come as no surprise to know that any therapist used by Release Hypnotherapy has been CRB checked.

Beware of testimonials (other than word of mouth from trustworthy sources). These are too easy to fake (although this is illegal). I do not release testimonials anyway due to patient confidentiality.

Charges and Rates
Rates: If they charge more are they better? Not necessarily. In my experience therapists that charge low rates are usually newly qualified and desperate to gain business and experience, or are not that good and therefore also desperate, or are therapists that operate part-time just for a bit of extra money.

In these difficult economic times there are also the ’desperate’ therapists, the ones who perhaps aren’t as good as they think they are, so they are not getting many ’word of mouth’ patients due to their reputation so have to resort to a price war to try and attract business. I notice one recently charging very low rates and claiming that they never advertises although they appear to be spending a fortune on Google ad words campaigns, probably out of desperation for business.

Some therapists charge low rates but then insist that you take many more session than would otherwise be necessary. 

However, beware of some of the expensive ones also. I know of a couple of very poorly trained, part time  practitioners who charge very high rates because they perceive that it gives them ‘professional creditability’. (It also fits in with their part time status of not needing many patients to make money).

Like any other industry it is generally a case of ‘getting what you pay for’. Good, highly qualified, professional, full time therapists generally charge a fair rate commensurate with their qualifications, experience and professional standing.

Free Sessions
What about ‘free introductory sessions’? This is a matter of opinion and choice. Some therapists, (particularly the marketing men) like to get you through the door and ‘do a sales job’. Other therapists feel it can be useful in building a rapport with a potential patient. Others still, think that it attracts too many ‘time wasters’. 

I personally do not offer this option as I feel a full session is really required to fully understand and appreciate the effectiveness of the treatment and the approach. Although, of course, I’m always happy to have an in depth discussion and answer all questions over the phone.

What about guarantees? Surely this is a good thing? 
Sadly not, in my opinion. Hypnotherapy is a form of self help psychology therefore, it would be ethically wrong to guarantee success, however certain it is likely to be. 

It is however normal to offer a form of guarantee (such as a free backup session) with treatments such as quit smoking as this is a relatively straightforward treatment and sometimes a little extra help is required. 

Beware of therapists who offer a guarantee in the form of ‘free’ sessions if the treatment doesn’t work. If it hasn’t started to work after the maximum amount of sessions advised (which is often too many sessions anyway, in my opinion), is it really likely to suddenly change during additional free sessions? Sadly this is just another form of marketing, persuading someone that they are getting a guarantee or something for nothing.

Money Back Guarantees
I have noticed the odd therapist offering this recently. Is this due to confidence, (or arrogance)? Or is it in desperation for business? I know of no doctor, dentist, psychologist, counsellor or surgeon who offer a money back guarantee. I leave this approach to Marks and Spencer’s and the ‘dodgy get rich quick schemes salesman frequently encountered on the internet.
And Finally....
Talk to the therapist, you have to feel comfortable with them and be happy and confident that they can help you achieve your goals. Generally you may well have a ‘gut’ feeling that the therapist is right for you. Perhaps just book one session to see if you feel that the therapist is the right one for you. If there are any doubts, find someone else.

Why not follow this link to our home page to find out more about how we can help you achieve your goals.
Text Box: A free pdf version of this document is available to download from Greatvine by Clicking Here. 

You can download a copy of the document discretely from the above link to peruse at your leisure. We don’t ask you to email us in a lame attempt to obtain your contact details to bombard you with sales literature. 

We also actively encourage other hypnotherapists to download and study this document. We believe passionately in hypnotherapy as a valid psychological treatment intervention and want the best possible experience for members of the public whoever they see, wherever they see them. We would like every therapist to be as qualified and professional as we believe they should be.
Text Box: Beware also that many organisations (for example, The United Fellowship of Hypnotherapists and the ICBCH) advocate home study from books and CDs. No practical work or demonstrations, you even get to sit the exam at home, in your own time, without examiners present. I’ve seen practitioners claiming they’ve carried out hundreds of hours of study. But it’s usually done online this way, How good is that?! 

Surely any good practitioner should have been taught in a classroom environment (over a decent time period) undergone rigorous practical training and sat exams in exam conditions (not at home). 
Check that the training is at a professional level and validated by a creditable organisation (a UK university for example).

Do they hold Diplomas in ‘everything’? These could be awarded for as little as one day of training each! Or even printed from a CD purchased off of the internet!
Text Box:


Text Box: Release Hypnotherapy®

Surrey Hampshire (Hants) London (Harley Street) Berkshire.
01252 687260


The Only NHS Contracted, University Qualified, Full Time, Clinical & Medical Hypnotherapy
 Specialists in the Area!    
Text Box: Consultations available at:-

Heath Lane
Upper Hale

10 Harley Street

The Richmond GP Surgery
Richmond Close
GU52 7US

The Fountain Centre
St Lukes Cancer Centre
Royal Surrey County Hospital
Egerton Road

The Odiham Clinic
2 High Street
RG29 1LG

Home or business consultations possible by appointment.

We are happy to give talks and presentations to interested groups and organisations.
Text Box: Who do we see and which areas do we cover?

We are able to help patients worldwide in improving their lives with general and personalised self help products.

We also arrange personal consultations with patients who travel to us from all over the UK, Europe and the Middle East (such is our reputation) and these include household names, top international sports people, world names in industry, doctors and nurses, forces personnel, business men and women, housewives, teachers, students and public sector employees. In fact we help people from just about every walk of life. Most of these come to us from personal recommendations from colleagues or friends that have visited us before or from GP’s or other health care professionals.

However, it is fair to say that the majority of our patients are from the following areas:-

Aldershot Alton Ascot Bagshot Basingstoke Berkshire Bordon Bracknell Camberley Crowthorne Chobham Cobham Egham Fareham Farnham Farnborough Fleet Frimley Godalming Guildford Hampshire Hartley Wintney Hook, London (Harley Street) Odiham Petersfield  Reading Staines Surrey West Sussex Weybridge Whitehill Woking Wokingham Surrey, Hants, Berkshire, West Sussex, Central and Greater London.



Text Box: Release Hypnotherapy is a Registered Trademark - All contents of this website copyright 2012 Garry Coles / Release Hypnotherapy
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