Choosing a Hypnotherapist
What should I look for when choosing a practitioner?
Around one in five people in the UK have used some form of complementary therapy or treatment. All the evidence shows a massive rise in public interest in, and use of, alternative treatments.
However, there has previously been no one central source of information for a member of the public to check if the complementary healthcare practitioner that they are thinking of using meets professional standards of safety and competence. The Government set up the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council to regulate the different therapies and Hypnotherapy is covered by bodies such as the NCH.
This means that a certain set level of training, understanding and competance has to be met - i.e. HPD - which is an NVQ level IV. Someone who has trained as a stage hypnotist for example at this moment in time can practise without perhaps the training or understanding of how the brain works or the psychology of certain problems.
Make sure the hypnotherapist is a member of a recognised association - the CNHC has a directory of all properly qualified Hypnotherapists. If the person isn't on that register then I would ask them why not. Choosing someone who is a member of one of the main associations means that the hypnotherapist will have up to date insurance, they have an ethical code.
Then you've got to decide if the person is right for you - Many women for example feel better seeing a woman therapist. There is cost and experience too - but how many sessions some problems take is completely down to the individual, but then you have to ask yourself how much does this problem impact on my life and at what cost?
A good therapist will be able to track using outcome rating forms how you're doing each session. this helps guide the therapy for the next session and is vital feedback.
Sometimes the environment may dictate where you want to see a therapist - are they willing to come to you if you're elderly, disabled or cannot leave the house because of the problem? Or does the clinic have good parking facilities?
Also you have to consider - do you have the time? - it's OK to decide I've got to do something about it, and part of the problem maybe that you're far too stressed, which is the crux of the problem but you can't find the time to do anything about it?
Finally, if you're the sort of person who goes to the doctors, where they prescribe you pills and you don't take them, you have to ask the question what am I prepared to do to get better? If you refuse or make excuses as to why you don't do something, then no one is going to be able to help you.
So the steps in looking for a therapist are:
- Have they trained at a reputable school?
- Are they a member of a regulatory body?
- Have they got insurance?
- Do they practice from a clinic or home?
- Do you have the time, money and motivation to tackle the problem?
Glossary of terms - What the letters after the name mean
AfSFH - association for Solution focused hypnotherapy
BA - Bachelor of the Arts - a standard Arts degree from a British University
BIH is a member of the British Institute of Hypnotherapy
BSc - Bachelor of Science - a standard Science degree
CAH is a member of the Corporation of Advanced Hypnotherapy
CBT - cognitive behavioural therapy - It is a way of talking about: · How you think about yourself, the world and other people · How what you do affects your thoughts and feelings. CBT can help you to change how you think ("Cognitive") and what you do ("Behaviour)". These changes can help you to feel better. Unlike some of the other talking treatments, it focuses on the "here and now" problems and difficulties. Instead of focussing on the causes of your distress or symptoms in the past, it looks for ways to improve your state of mind now.
CNHC - The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council is the UK regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners. Its key function is to enhance public protection by setting standards for registration with CNHC. The CNHC ‘quality mark' is being recognised as the hallmark of quality for the sector.
EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques is a form of alternative psychotherapy that purports to manipulate the body's energy field by tapping on acupuncture points while a specific traumatic memory is focused on, in order to alleviate a psychological problem. EFT has been labeled a pseudoscience - A 2007 article in the Guardian suggested that the act of tapping parts of the body in a complicated sequence acts as a distraction, and therefore can appear to alleviate the root distress.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It uses eye movement to reprocess unwanted reactions to past events or thoughts. The theory is that the eye movements allow people to access traumatic memories and then form new assocations with them, learning new ways of dealing with them or being able to relate to them in a different way.
GHR General Hypnotherapists Register.
HA is a member of the Hypnotherapy Association
- AHA associate member
- LHA licentiate member
- MHA full member
HPD Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma. HPD gets Open University Approved Credit rating. The Open University has considered the Education and Training Programme from the National Council for Hypnotherapy and assigned Open University Credits for Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD)as follows : 45 points at Undergraduate Level 1 (FHEQ Level 4/SCQF Level 7) This provides an endorsement of the quality, amount and level of the learning within the framework for Higher education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) and credits for the course. Students receive their award from the NCH, and in addition can download a certificate confirming the credit award from the OU website at: www.open.ac.uk/credit-rating.
HS - Hypnotherapy Society
LAPHP is a member of the (APHP) Association for Professional Hypnosis & Psychotherapy
MA - Master of Arts - Advanced education after BA
MBAThH is a member of the (BAThH) British Association of Therapeutical Hypnotherapists
MNCH is a member of the National Council for hypnotherapy
- Lic is licentiate
- Reg is registered full time member
MSc - Master of Science - Advanced University education after BSc
NACHP is a member of the National Association of Counsellors, Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists.
NCFE is an awarding body which complies with the criteria of the recognition process of the regulatory authorities including the Department of education. HPD is designated as having the NQF equivalence of level IV. http://www.ncfe.org.uk/
NRAH is a member of The British National Register of Advanced Hypnotherapists
NCP - The National Council of Psychotherapists
PLR - Past Life Regression - a belief that regressing back to a previous lifetime will uncover the reason behind a trauma. The small amount of research done into past life has revealed that hypnosis does not tap into past lives and the scenes that unfold are probably the subconscious having a way of expressing itself, in the same way daydreaming does. The way memory works in the brain has been found to be unreliable - false memories can be easily created by association with other events, watching films or TV even and they can be re-remembered as real life events. A number of high profile child abuse cases in the 1990's highlighted the unreliability memory recall through hypnosis can be and it is not counted as evidence in court as a result.
SFBT - solutions focused brief therapy Developed in the USA as a means to reduce the time a person spends in therapy. Traditional psychoanalysis could see a psychiatrist for years, SFBT was developed to cut the amount of time down to months and to be helpful to groups such as families as well as individuals. It looks at individuals resources and helps them to find ways to overcome problems and focus on the future.
UKCHO - The UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations was founded in 1998 in order to provide a non political arena to discuss and implement changes to the profession of hypnotherapy.