In India, anybody can be a hypnotist even without certification. And that makes this profession potentially open to even fraudsters and conmen who are out to make the quick buck. So it is very important that you ‘research’ your therapist before you sign up for therapy.
Go through referrals: This is the best method of approach but not usually easy. Just ask among your friends and relatives if they know of any competent Hypnotherapist. If you are in luck, you may find a friend or colleague who has been to a therapist before and can give you reference. And if the friend’s opinion of a therapist is not so good, at least you will know who to avoid!
First, find out if the person is certified. Certified Hypnotherapists usually put up their certificates for display either in the reception room or the therapy room. Any certified Hypnotherapist will print that fact in his business card and other advertising material. So there is a key difference between a Hypnotherapist whose card shows ‘Clinical Hypnotherapist’ and another who prints it as ‘Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist’. Also do a background check on the Association or the Institution that has issued the certificates.
Check for Doctorate: It is illegal for any person to use the prefix ‘Dr.’ before his name unless he has been awarded the Doctorate by a recognised government board. In case of Hypnotherapists, it is the Indian Board of Alternative Medicine that recognises and certifies Clinical Hypnotherapists.
Question the Therapist: Thoroughly question the therapist about hypnosis, your particular issue, his experience in dealing with similar issues, and any other queries you may have. Find out how much the therapist really knows about your particular issue.
Lookout for Marketing Techniques: Any therapist tries to incorporate certain marketing techniques in his first consultation but a well-meaning hypnotherapist knows where to draw the line. A good therapist is more interested in your issue than your wallet. Also good hypnotherapists do not simply guarantee you the cure without informing you of the need for your commitment in the therapy – especially in emotional issues. Any therapist will promise success in simple issues like performance improvement, memory development, etc. Another marketing technique is trying to convince that he the only competent therapist in the market. Do NOT fall for that. He is simply trying to increase the client’s dependency on the therapist.
Don’t fall for Fancy Titles: There are many unrecognized titles that many hypnotists and certifying institutions give their courses. Except for the title of ‘Master Hypnotist’, none of the other titles are recognized and they mean nothing. The title ‘Master Hypnotist’ is given to a person who has learned to hypnotize and give suggestions to clients during hypnosis. A ‘Master Hypnotist’ may be a good hypnotist but not necessarily a hypnotherapist i.e., a he may know how to hypnotize a client but he may not know how to conduct therapy for his client’s during hypnosis. So don’t let fancy titles awe you!
Watch for Myth-makers: Unfortunately, there are some practitioners out there in the market who are a disgrace to the profession of healing. They set themselves up as ‘Gods’ of healing and try to portray healing as something only a privileged few can perform. They create more myths and misconceptions about Hypnosis and other forms of healing. Avoid these people at all costs. Also avoid people who put forward the myths about hypnotism as true (read the section on Myths about Hypnotism). They are frauds who are trying to make you permanently dependent on them and also prevent you from seeking other therapists.
Look for Trust: Hypnotherapy deals with beliefs and mind power. If there is no rapport or trust between the therapist and you, don’t go to him even if he is extremely popular and well recommended. If you do not trust the therapist enough, all the good work done simply goes down the drain. So be true to your instincts and look around for other therapists until you find the one who suits your preferences.