When it comes to finding a good hypnotherapist, it’s much the same as anything else. You need to use the resources at your disposal and apply a certain amount of common sense along the way. As a professional, there’s no greater compliment than a referral. If someone recommends me to another potential client, it’s because they’ve had a good, positive experience in working with me and their therapy has been successful. That’s indicative that I’m doing something right. From the potential client’s perspective, it’s immediately comforting to be referred to someone. It’s like some of the research has already been done for them. But even with a good referral, there are other considerations, and anyone seeking to connect with a hypnotherapist should take appropriate measures in assuring they are working with the right hypnotist. Sourcing them out shouldn’t be very complicated. You’ll likely be able to compile a starting list from browsing the internet. I would then encourage clients to get informed, and compare services. For instance, you might find several hypnotherapy clinics in your area, and not be able to identify any differences at first glance. You should investigate their inner workings just a bit. It’s okay to telephone them and ask questions, just conduct a little fact-finding mission. Consider things like whether the hypnotist is a full-time professional or whether they are just sort of moonlighting at this activity. Do they have an office or are they working from their living room? What about the services they offer. Is he/she making unrealistic promises? Are their rates suspiciously lower than average? Check out credentials and qualifications. Are they a member of professional association, a reputable one? These are a few examples of the sorts of things you can investigate, but a lot of times, your judgment will come straight from your gut feeling. If you can visit and possibly meet a therapist in person first, you may find that all the other variables are irrelevant because you felt you had an instant connection with that person, and you would be very comfortable working with them. If you do get a chance to meet a hypnotherapist before you decide to work with him or her, you can investigate their approach, and see if you are comfortable in how they plan and execute their work. Personally, I have no set pattern of conduct in place. Sure there are general procedures which help me get the therapy started on track, but after the initial orientation, I like to think that I’m flexible and adaptable enough to customize my therapy for the specific unique needs of each of my clients. Initially, I like to spend time chatting with a new client so that I can identify their cause of concern, or what it is they want to achieve. Then I investigate their willingness or inclination to work together as a team. I also like to get their impression of hypnosis before we start, so that I know what I’m working with in terms of myths or beliefs, etc. It’s important to go into this with realistic expectations so I need to get some indication of what the person has in their head in terms of expectations. After that initial process, it’s more about the specifics of that client. We can start to explore the problem. This process is really about having the client take a look deep inside himself. It’s important at this stage that I am extremely flexible, because I don’t want to lead the client in any way. It’s their own personal journey, I am just a facilitator. What people usually expect when they first come into it, is a brief chat of a few minutes, then a typical session including an induction, deepener, suggestion, and then bring them back. They will typically expect a few minutes of chatting afterwards. That’s normal and it’s very common practice for most professional hypnotherapists. There’s nothing set in stone in terms of approach or technique. There really isn’t a set prescription for a specific problem. Even if I have two clients with the same problem, I wouldn’t apply some sort of generic therapy. I would treat each case as an individual case, because it is. What works for one client might not at all work for the other, so it’s imperative to be open and flexible and adaptable. Interpretation skills are extremely useful and important here as well. I want to be able to make a determination based on what I interpret from what the client has told me. I want to hear what they’re telling me and also read what they aren’t saying. I need to determine the best course of action for that client based on what I believe, and what I determine from them. The best quality in a good hypnotherapist is likely his or her ability to be flexible and apply a treatment that is as unique as the client in from of him.