Vancouver Hypnotherapy Choosing a Good Hypnotherapist

How Do I Choose a Good Hypnotherapist?


First decide what you really want. Some hypnotherapists practice metaphysical hypnotherapy. Others practice what is now known as Technical Hypnotherapy. We practice Technical Hypnotherapy to the highest clinical standards.

Check their website out. If it is oversimplified and lacks depth, then the chances are they are working from home and may not be able to provide the professionalism you require. You don't need to be smelling the lingering odour of last night's dinner as they talk to you about weight issues, or the emotional use of food.


Some interesting points to help you consider if they are a bonafide practitioner offering a service of value are below:


  1. Does the therapist tell you anything about themselves. In most websites the therapist includes an 'About' section. If the only information is where they trained, then they are not giving you much to go on. Why is that?
  2. You are likely going to share a good deal of your own information with a therapist, if they are short on detail about their background, then immediately there is imbalance. Their history and biography should be extensive. If it is not, then they likely have no history, and nothing to offer you.
  3. Are you the client or are they? If their history details their long journey through their own suffering and hardship and how they overcame depression, they should be paying you.
  4. Keep in mind that IMDHA exams have value, however in my years of practice I have never heard of an individual who actually failed an IMDHA exam. I realize I have IMDHA qualifications, however these are something of a prerequisite when one goes into the field. Of themselves they have limited value. A therapist should be very much more than simply someone who sat the exam. Likewise, membership of the NGH is not very indicative of anything. Strictly speaking anyone with an interest in hypnosis can gain membership. I have not enrolled my Daschund in the NGH but one day I may try, just to see if he is accepted.


Then think about how you will relate to the therapist.

• Do you prefer talking to a man or a woman?

• Is this a problem you have difficulty discussing with someone younger than yourself?


Is the company able to offer you a choice of therapists if you would like to work with someone other than the principal individual? If this is for your child, do they have a younger therapist that the child can relate to? You may also want to see if they are able to provide video security coverage of a session with a minor. This is a saved video record that is never opened unless a legal issue arises (Vancouver Hypnotherapy provides this facility with minors).


These are all questions you might want to think about before choosing a hypnotherapist. There are some extremely good hypnotherapists in BC, and several good training establishments. In the end it comes down to rapport. A great therapist for one individual may be a lousy one for another.


If you are unable to locate a hypnotherapist that suits you, and if we are unable to assist, please don't hesitate to ask us to recommend someone. We may well know a hypnotherapist that will work well for you.


The article that follows is available at no charge for use in any publication - however please let me know you are using it and please credit me with it.


Many thanks,

Rob Hadley MH. CHt.




“How can I find a good hypnotherapist?”


First you need to understand what hypnotherapy is.


At Vancouver Hypnotherapy we practice a form of Technical Hypnotherapy. In this form of hypnotherapy there is no place for metaphysical hypnotherapy (or crystal balls, or angel cards). It focuses purely on addictions, anxiety related issues (such as eating disorders) and depression.


Hypnotherapy is the process of identifying a problem, addiction or issue, and then using hypnosis as a means of finding solutions to it. There are several techniques for doing this. The most effective techniques have results that become evident very swiftly. It is quite normal for a small number of sessions to solve a problem that would otherwise take years or decades to resolve.


One striking example of this is stuttering. If the cause can be found, and the correct therapy applied, it is not uncommon for stuttering to quite simply cease. Other therapies may take many months to show improvement.

Another good example is found in addictions. When someone enters a hypnotherapists office a smoker, and leaves a non smoker, a damaging habit has been broken. This happens all the time.


There are many troubling afflictions hypnotherapy can help. These span depression, self confidence issues, pain management, erectile dysfunction – the list is quite literally endless. Behaviors and addictions are another area hypnotherapy is proven effective.


The key thing to keep in mind is that good hypnotherapy produces lasting results quickly.


“How do I know if my hypnotherapist is competent?”


A hypnotherapist should make you feel comfortable, and safe. Your relationship with your hypnotherapist should be one which you enjoy. The therapy should be at times relaxing, sometimes exciting. There may be times when therapy can be troubling – but nonetheless the issues have to be resolved. Throughout, you should feel in control of the situation. The rapport you build up with your therapist will dictate how effective the therapy will be.


You may find that when in trance you remember everything – this is quite normal. At times you may remember nothing at all. What you will experience is a general slowing down of your mind and body, to a state where your subconscious is able to take on board direct suggestions. These suggestions remain with you long after the end of the session – sometimes for a lifetime.


Because your memory is extremely accurate in hypnosis, your hypnotherapist may use regression in your therapy. This is the mark of solid hypnotherapy. Surprisingly a relatively small number (about 10%) of therapists use hypnotic regression. Training in regression is time consuming and complicated, however it is one of the cornerstones of effective hypnotherapy. Coastal Academy in White Rock and some other training centers provide training in regression. When looking for a hypnotherapist you should ask if your therapist uses regression techniques. If they do not, they likely will not be able to locate the source of issues. In this case they will be working using just positive reinforcement techniques, which may have a band aid effect, but will not provide lasting help.


Unless the situation is extremely complex (a cocaine addiction for example) you should expect to solve simple issues in one or two visits, and more complex ones in five or six. If you are told to expect ten or more sessions, you should be very wary. The exception to this is cocaine addiction. Because of the nature of the addiction, it’s quite possible a client may see their hypnotherapist a dozen times to overcome the effects of cravings, reduce frequency of use, and eventually eradicate usage entirely.


Most clinical hypnotherapists receive extensive training. This goes far beyond the ability to hypnotize.

You should not expect a Woody Allen type scenario – 25 years in therapy and beginning to show signs of improvement.


“What is supposed to happen in hypnotherapy?”


Specifically, you are put through a series of exercises that relax you and allow communication with your subconscious. This communication allows the identification of issues and the modification of basic values around those issues.


Trance is achieved quite easily in most cases. It is not a mystical experience, it’s really very normal. Light trance may not be particularly noticeable to the client – however the therapist will see evidence of trance in the form of slight flushing, a redness in the eyes, eyelid flutter, slight easing of breathing and a few other signs. At this point the client is effectively suggestible and can be worked with. You will likely remember everything said and experienced in trance. From time to time a client moves very deeply into hypnosis and is unable to remember the content of the therapy, or part of it – however their subsequent response to the therapy is evidence of its efficacy.


“Can a hypnotherapist be incompetent without me realizing it?”




Poorly executed therapies have little effect. Some work for a brief time, but have no lasting benefit. A client may feel the process has worked and experience relief for a time – only to find that the issues return later. In this case, not all the triggering events around the issue have been worked on. Just like most things, a skilled craftsman is needed to do the job well. This really comes down to training and experience.

There are some brief two or three day hypnosis courses available. This is a very basic introduction to the concepts of hypnosis and has little to do with the distinctly different practice of clinical hypnotherapy. At Vancouver Hypnotherapy we not only offer hypnotherapy, we also train therapists. We train them in an advanced form of hypnotherapy, called Technical Hypnotherapy. In this form of hypnotherapy there is no place for metaphysics. It addresses addiction, anxiety related issues and depression.


“Is a hypnotherapist the best therapist?”


Psychotherapy is the diagnosis and conversational therapy of mental illness. Talk therapy, play therapy, cognitive behavior therapy are all forms of psychotherapy. Clients generally expect results after 15 or 20 sessions and in many cases an ongoing situation, sometimes extending over many months, results. Hypnotherapy is not only more flexible, it deals with issues very swiftly. Two to three sessions may achieve the same or more effective results. However, the benefits of a regular support process with psychotherapy can provide a safety net in their own right in some cases.


Keep in mind the obvious. If you are looking for psychotherapy or EMDR go to a psychotherapist or EMDR practitioner. They may be very good - but they are categorically not hypnotists. They may have learned briefly something about it, but that really doesn't make them a hypnotist. A butcher knows how to cut meat; it doesn't make him a surgeon. EMDR is merely a very light form of hypnosis.


Remember, a competent hypnotherapist may work with up to five clients every day. They will know substantially more about hypnosis than a psychotherapist who hypnotises one person a month.


Is a hypnotherapist the best therapist? Realistically, the answer is probably ‘not necessarily’. It’s really all down to the way the therapists uses the skills and techniques they have. If you have a good rapport with your psychotherapist, you should maintain that structure in your life. If, on the other hand, you find a good technical hypnotherapist – you may sort your issues out much more quickly than you had come to expect.


Rob Hadley MH. CHt.


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