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It is easy to find a Hypnotherapist in Sydney, but how do you find a really good one – someone who will make you feel understood and comfortable enough to get to the bottom of things and has the knowhow to help you make a real and genuinely lasting change. Here, I have written about some of the factors you should be consider…

1. Assess your knowledge of Hypnotherapy

How much do you actually know about Hypnotherapy?

Take a quiz to find out…

Welcome to your Hypnotherapy Knowledge Quiz

Is Hypnotherapy a fringe therapy or a mainstream therapy these days?
Can a Hypnotherapist control someone like a robot and make them do things they absolutely don't want to do?
When you are hypnotised, you are asleep.
You know you have been hypnotised, because you don't remember anything.
Hypnotherapy has dangerous side effects.
Hypnotherapy can fix all of your problems instantly!
Stage Hypnotists have a power over their audience.
Everyone can be Hypnotised.
Hypnotherapy can help you feel better and let go of unhelpful behaviours.

2. Scrutinise the qualifications of your prospective practitioner

If you are looking for the very best of Hypnotherapists, a good place to start would be the key associations. The two major Hypnotherapy associations for Sydney Hypnotherapists include the Australian Hypnotherapists Association and the Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists. I recommend both of these, not just because I belong to both and am a Clinical Supervisor for other Hypnotherapists for these associations, but because they are the largest accrediting associations with the highest professional standards. They both require a high level of training and education in HypnotherapyCounselling and Psychology, in order to be a Clinical Member and practice. In addition to verifying Assocation Membership, you should also check out the qualifications listed on their website, or ask them about their experience and training.

3. What personal qualities to look for in a Hypnotherapist

There is no right or wrong with what personal qualities you are drawn to and influence your choice of hypnotherapist. People have said to me that it was my voice on the phone, photo on my website, the sound of my name, recommendation from a medical practitioner, friend or colleague, the number of academic qualifications I have, the amount of experience I have, the location of my office, an area I specialise in, my understanding approach, my empathic manner, my gender, and so on. Many people base their decision on gut feeling.  This may give you some ideas to consider when thinking about the hypnotherapist you want to see.

4. Beware of Google reviews!

Have you noticed how few reviews people write of Hypnotherapists? When it comes to resolving something very personal and private, you probably won’t be inclined to tell the world about it. You won’t yell from the mountain top or write onto a public forum, “Jeremy Barbouttis helped my cocaine addiction, although I told my friends I was getting help with smoking”, or even more exposing, “Jeremy helped me with my patterns of relating to my partners because I was sick of having failed relationships”. The most unlikely, of course, might be, “Jeremy helped me sort out my porn induced erectile dysfunction. He’s amazing!”

I have posted a few emails people have sent me mostly about stop smoking experience, with their permisssion, as it is the least exposing. I get yearly phonecalls from past clients who ring to say, “Another year Jeremy. Thanks. You changed my life” That’s really touching and I love getting those emails and phonecalls. But, I don’t ever ask anyone to write their personal experience onto a Google review. That might mean I don’t rank as well on Google. However, the point is that you need to trust your therapist, and know they are ethical in their handling of your personal information and you. The problem with Google Reviews is they are neither private nor anonymous.

5. Experience is paramount

If you are getting help from a Hypnotherapist for something in particular, how much experience do they have in helping people with that actual problem is really important. No two people present in exactly the same way for anything, but it might be nice to know that your hypnotherapist has helped many people before you successfully for, ‘fear of flying‘, ‘an alcohol addiction‘, or ‘negative thinking and depression’, for example. You might like to ask them about their actually experience in assisting people people with the thing that concerns you.

5. Does psychotherapy help?

One of the confusions for people thinking about Hypnotherapy is that they may not realise that good hypnotherapy involves psychotherapy. To get to the bottom of what is causing your concern, or to make a significant behavoural change, a good hypnotherapist will utilise powerful techniques and interventions that ensure a genuine release or change has occurred. There are methods employed both in and out of hypnosis that can assist, and different people work differently while working towards that. A good Hypnotherapist will be able to identify the psychotherapeutic inteventions and paradigm they use. I am an Emotionally Focused Therapist, which involves very deep work. Such work is evidence-based, and highly effective. Many people have seen other counsellors and psychotherapists, but find the emotionally oriented approach a very effective alternative to the more traditional cognitive approaches.

7. How many sessions are offered and how long are they?

How many sessions it takes to resolve an issue completely is not possible for a therapist to say who has never met you. Even after meeting someone and assessing them, they still don’t really know how long it will take, because everyone is so different. Some Hypnotherapists do try to determine and enter into a contract with their client for a certain number of sessions. I would be careful of such proclamations, like, “You will be cured in 3 sessions.” It simply is not possible to know. They might offer a three or four session process, but what happens if you feel better in two, or you need six or eight? Everyone is so different.

I would suggest you go to your Hypnotherapist for one session only to see how you feel. If it feels right, and they offer you more sessions and think they can help you, then I would agree to three more only. If you feel better enough along the way, then that might be all you need. If you find it helpful, but need more after the initial four sessions, then you can make up your mind to continue then. Staging the process for yourself like that keeps you in control, but is also realistic.

Addictions are different. You need a quick result in most cases. Some people change gradually, but in my practice, just about everyone stops their addiction in the first session. They might, however, need support sessions afterwards. Clients with severe addictions might need several or ongoing support, and have some relapses before complete recovery is reached. If you have had a chronic or severe addiction to a serious drug, then you need to be sure your Hypnotherapist is able to continue seeing you and is able to offer you support beyond the two or four session process they provide. They also need to know what to do if you relapse along the way. It is best to ask them about their experience and if they help people with serious addiction problems beyond stop smoking, nail-biting and bad drinking habits.

I would avoid any therapist who claims that one session is enough. Even if it is going to be enough, you cannot claim that in advance, or at the end of the first session. After a week  of not smoking, though, when all seems wonderful and perfect, then that is a different story.

In all, I would suggest you initially consider a minimum of two sessions for addictions and just one session to see how the session feels with behavioural, emotional, anxiety and relationship concerns. However, be prepared for more sessions as required.

9. Availability

Finally, your Hypnotherapist needs to be available and you need to be able to access their services. While this is commonly understood, it is something that has to be worked out in advance. It might be easy to organise for one session, but would you be able to organise yourself for more than one session? I have people who travel hundreds or even thousands of kilometres to see me. That’s being organised!

Hopefully, by reading some of the material on my website, you will be able to make more informed decisions searching for a Hypnotherapist that is going to be right for you.

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