On the BBC recently was a programme called Inside Out which put hypnotherapy and hypnosis under the spotlight and the reporter showed how he could obtain qualifications for his cat. The question was raised “How do you know if you are seeing someone who knows what they are doing?”, and I’ll cover that in a minute. The reporter showed how he obtained membership for his cat to the BBNLP which is an organisation for NLP’ers, not hypnotherapists, so I can’t see the logic or relevance in that.
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Another piece of very, very sloppy journalism was when the segment quoted Anton Mesmer founding hypnosis 160 years ago. Mr Mesmer was dead 160 years ago. They should have referred to James Braid, not Franz Mesmer.
Some hypnotherapy qualifications are very easy to obtain, there are “on-line” diplomas, postal diplomas and some NLP training uses 2 days, 2 days!, of hypnosis training then the NLP’ers go off in to the world passing themselves off as hypnotherapists!
The programme then brought on a “hypnosis expert” with a “University Masters in Hypnosis”. The expert was a dentist. With great respect to Cath Potter, and I applaud her work using hypnosis with dental patients, if someone had a nail-biting habit or had been physically/emotionally/sexually abused or wanted to stop smoking, drinking alcohol or overcome a drug habit or just wanted to lose weight would they call a dentist first? Bizarre.
Use your search engine and find the elusive “University Masters in Hypnosis” referred to in the programme. My full training with the Institute of Clinical Hypnosis at King’s College in London covered around 30 days of attendance, case studies, loads of practise, a multiple choice paper, a practical exam and a 3 hour written exam. I qualified with a “first”, over 90%, something that I am very proud of but the best teacher of all is experience and I have individual client hours running in to the thousands which have given me that experience. My training at the ICH covered more hours than the “University Masters in Hypnosis” referred to and I suggest that the BBC may have become a victim of the very point that they were trying to make.
So, how do you know if you are seeing someone that knows what they are doing?
1) Ask them if they were specifically trained in hypnotherapy and where they were trained.
2) Be wary of people with “too many tools”. I appreciate that many people may have been helped by some of the following that I am going to mention but I don’t use them. I don’t use Tarot Cards, dream catchers, EFT, crystal healing, NLP, aromatherapy, CBT, reiki, homeopathy, past life regressions, crystal balls, aromatherapy, acupuncture, TFT or massage. You wouldn’t ask an expert butcher to paint your front room or a skilled painter & decorator to fix your head gasket or a qualified motor mechanic to knock you up a string of finest pork sausages? If you want hypnotherapy see a hypnotherapist.
3) Ask this simple question. “Can I book a first appointment with you, tell you what it is about on the day, not now, and will you do some hypnotherapy work specifically related to my issues in that first session?” If the answer is yes then you are probably seeing someone with experience.
The state of hypnotherapy in the UK is very jumbled up at moment with self-proclaimed “national” organisations battling to control the regulation process, hypnotherapy schools letting their students quote bizarre rates to clients when their experience is minimal and is littered with “trained” hypnotherapists believing that all they have to do have someone look at a spot on the wall, tell them to relax their body, then read their client a script whilst charging silly money to do so. My kids would do that for you, and believe me they could, for pocket money.
Use your common sense, go with your gut instinct and if you believe & have faith in the hypnotherapist then go with it!
* If you’re quick you can catch the programme on the BBC iplayer.
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