When to See a Professional Hypnotist Tips

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Are all hypnotherapists psychologists?

Other Hypnotherapists

There are hypnotists and hypnotherapists in private practice who are not psychologists or medical doctors. They offer services to deal with the kinds of problems we discuss here for self-hypnosis as well as some that we might refer to psychologists.

Some psychologists don't like these hypnotherapists much. They feel they don't have the proper training to solve these problems or to handle someone who might freak out during the session. I have not heard of anyone freaking out, but people may get emotional during hypnotherapy.

The hypnotherapists often think the psychologists just do hypnosis as a sideline and don't do it as well as someone whose entire practice is hypnotherapy.

Some of these non-medical hypnotherapists are pretty good. Some are very good with smoking cessastion, for instance, and you might want to try seeing one, though you should try do-it-yourself first.

Although there is no licensing requirement for hypnotherapists, there are schools, professional organizations, and certifications. Where did he get his training and how long did he study? Check out the school. Is it hands-on or correspondence? How long has the individual or his company been in practice? How long have they been in your city? Can you call some of their customers to see how they liked the treatment? How long will it take to solve your problem? It shouldn't be a matter of years. Can you have a few sessions and then continue on your own with self-hypnosis? If not, why not? Be satisfied with the answers and have confidence in the practitioner before you give them your money.

I don't want to be too harsh. Some of these practitioners are very good and will really help you. Maybe you should ask the same questions of the psychologist.

Beware of someone with a PhD in hypnotherapy. These often require a few months and some money. In other words, you buy the degree. People with conventional PhDs get very annoyed with this.

Do hypnotists have group sessions?

Group Sessions

There are hypnotists who offer large group sessions, usually for smoking cessation or weight loss. You may want to try one of these if it's not too expensive. It will cost you much more to see a psychologist or have a one-to-one session with a hypnotherapist. Be skeptical about anybody who oversells. I would be skeptical of anybody who claims 100% success rate for anything, for instance. Still, you may be curious to see one of these people in action. After reading this book, you know enough about hypnosis that you can evaluate whether somebody who calls him or herself a hypnotist or hypnotherapist knows what they are doing.

If they guarantee satisfaction and you'e not satisfied, ask for your money back right away. If you get some good ideas for your own self-hypnosis, the workshop may be worthwhile for you, even if it doesn't live up to its advertising.

The word hypnotist implies just that someone can hypnotize other people, even just for fun. Hypnotherapist implies this is someone who can cure you of some condition or solve your problem. These labels don't really mean anything. Always check out credentials before going to a hypnotherapist, either in a group setting or privately. If you can't find a good one, you can always do it yourself.

If I'm feeling pain, should I try self-hypnosis before going to the doctor?

Medical Problems

Most of the things you will use self-hypnosis for are not strictly medical consdtions, though some may indirectly affect your health. Stress is the most notable of these.

For pain or other medical conditions, it is important that you see a medical professional who can give you an accurate diagnosis. For most acute conditions, medical intervention will be all you need. For some chronic conditions, you may choose to use self-hypnosis instead of drugs or other treatment, or if the drugs don't work for you.

For instance, arthritis causes chronic pain which is often treated with drugs. Pain relief is one of the major uses for hypnosis, going back many years. So someone with arthritis could use self-hypnosis, either with or without drugs, to relieve the pain. The important thing is to see the doctor first to get a diagnosis so you know the real cause of the pain and if it requires intervention other than hypnosis.

One of the very few dangers of self-hypnosis would be in self-diagnosing pain or other symptoms, and deciding to use self-hypnosis instead of medical care. This could result in not getting treatment for a treatable disease, and that could be dangerous.

So if you're feeling poorly, go to the doc. Get the physical therapy, take the antibiotics, or give up your appendix if necessary. But if they can't fix what's ailing you, talk to your doctor about you relieving some symptoms with self-hypnosis.

What credentials are required to be a hypnotist?


Self-hypnosis is a great technique that you will be able to use successfully for many purposes. Still, there are times when you should consult a professional.

The professionals involved, depending on the problem, would be a medical doctor, a psychologist, or a hypnotist or hypnotherapist who is neither a doctor nor a psychologist.

For some goals you also need to go to a teacher of some sort, such as a golf pro or guitar teacher if your goal has to do with sports or music. There are a number of specialists in sports hypnosis, and a few specializing in working with musicians. In most cases, for this sort of goal you should be seeing a teacher along with doing self-hypnosis or seeing a hypnosis specialist.

Let's skip over the teachers and look at hypnotists and hypnotherapists.

In most places, you can just call yourself a hypnotherapist. There are no qualifications or licensing required. So you really need to check on a person's qualifications.

We don't expect a doctor to be a hypnotist. That's not why we go to see him. We don't expect a dentist to be a hypnotist either, but she may be. Hypnotism has been successful in dentistry, but you would have to look for a dentist who uses it. A psychologist may be trained as a hypnotist. Some hypnotists who are not psychologists are well qualified and some aren't. We discuss that later in this section.

A stage hypnotist may be great at hypnotizing people, but that doesn't make her a good therapist. The same is true of your brother-in-law who's a hit at parties with his hypnotism routine.

Do some investigation before choosing a professional hypnotist.

Should I go to a psychologist or a hypnotist for psychological problems?

Psychological Problems

Sometimes you may have psychological problems that interfere with your life. If you like the hypnosis approach and philosophy, but can't get results that are as good as you want with self-hypnosis, or feel you need outside help with that problem, look for a psychologist who is also a hypnotist.

Ask the psychologist about his credentials and training as a hypnotist. A weekend course doesn't make someone a great hypnotist, just because they have a degree in psychology.

Certain psychological conditions require medical care. Psychoses needs to be controlled with medication and therapy. The rather common bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depression) requires medication and hypnosis is certainly not a substitute for medical treatment.

Depression is part of life. We are all depressed now and then. You can usually use self-hypnosis to cheer yourself up by concentrating on the positive aspects of your life or dealing with the cause of the depression. If depression drags on, if you don't know its cause, or if it keeps you from your ordinary activities, it's time to see a doctor. Serious depression can be treated with drugs and cognitive behavior therapy. Aerobic exercise also helps alleviate depression, so get out and walk if you're feeling down.

Self-hypnosis works well for breaking bad habits, getting over many phobias, and reducing stress and anxiety. You don't need to go into therapy for every little personality quirk. In fact, you might want to keep some of them.

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