Choosing Your Hypnotherapist

Insights and Tips


Here are some insights and tips to support you when choosing the right hypnotherapist for you. Be sure to take into consideration not only the fees but client testimonials. Look at Yelp reviews, Video testimonials, etc. This will help you gauge whether your money will be well invested and help you develop faith and trust in the person you are about to hire. 

What should I look for when choosing a hypnotherapist?


Research Training Credentials:

Take time to be sure you choose a therapist or health care professional who is Certified by a credible hypnosis association to perform hypnosis. Some physicians have never been officially trained or certified in hypnosis and offer only simple mindfulness, visualizations and grounding practices. Of course, mindfulness and grounding are essential tools to increase your overall sense of well-being. But you deserve someone properly trained in various techniques and in effective ways to delve deeper and heal emotional wounds. You will be paying for this service and you want to know you are getting true, professional services.

Test your level of Trust and Rapport:

It is also essential to find a hypnotherapist with whom you feel a connection, a rapport that makes you feel safe and cared for. You will be closing your eyes and trusting this person to act on your behalf. It’s important you feel a high degree of trust for and comfort with this person.

Get Recommendations: It’s always best to get a recommendation from someone you know and trust. But if you don’t know anyone who has experienced hypnosis, ask the person you are considering for testimonials.

Don’t be afraid to ask important questions:

  • How/where were you trained in hypnosis? Did you go to a school of hypnosis? Or to an individual certified as a trainer to hold classes? (research the person or school for credibility)
  • Do you belong to a reputable umbrella organization? Membership in the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH) or other umbrella associations is your assurance that the hypnotist is held to certain ethical standards, continuing education requirements, etc. Being a member in good standing of such an organization is important. It gives you protection from a person who merely dabbles in hypnosis or whose qualifications may be suspect.
  • Are you licensed by the State or, if state licensing is not required, are you registered as a business in the city where you practice?  Many states, including California, do not require a license to practice because hypnosis is a successfully, self-regulating profession. But you should be aware if licensing is required and check that license. If a license is not required, the person you see should have an annually renewed business license in the town or city where they practice.
  • Do you have training in a field such as psychology, medicine, social work or dentistry? This may be relevant to specific needs you are trying to address.  Or it may not be relevant to your needs at all. But training in complimentary fields is always beneficial.  NOTE: Most competent, well-trained hypnotists are not doctors or social workers. It is not a prerequisite for excellent hypnosis services. Hypnosis is a separate modality of healing and effective.
  • If the practitioner has additional training, designations, or post graduate training: Where did you go to school, and where did you do your postgraduate training? Glean all the information you can. It may not be the basis on which you choose your hypnotherapist. But the conversation gives you an opportunity to get a good sense of the hypnotist’s level of confidence and capabilities. Are you feeling assured of this person’s expertise, experience and confidence? Notice any signs of a patronizing or arrogant attitude, a red flag not to be ignored.
  • How much training have you had in hypnotherapy and from what schools or certified trainers? What advanced training have you received?  Also, important, how much continuing education do you engage in each year?
  • What professional organizations do you belong to? A practitioner may belong to multiple hypnosis organizations; however, it is important to have membership and personal associations with at least one hypnosis organization. Memberships also include other civic and business organizations, which demonstrate a connection to community and access to other leaders.
  • Do you have a mentor?  An excellent question that few people even think to ask. Who does hypnosis for the hypnotist? Do they avail themselves of the same benefits which you are seeking? Do they have access to leaders in both business and hypnosis, which educate, stretch and challenge them? Who do they go to for advice and counseling? Everyone needs a mentor.
  • How long have you been in practice?  I would want someone who has been in practice for at least 2-3 years. And you do well to raise the bar even higher. It’s important to get someone with a body of practice and client experience. But weight the pros and cons. Some less experienced hypnotists are naturally and intuitively skilled from the beginning. They deserve a chance. If you choose someone who doesn’t meet your expectations, you have the right to walk away, but at least you have given them a chance.
  • What are your fees? How do you accept payments? Do you have discounted packages or payment plans?  Too many people go price shopping. Price is important but don’t let it restrict your opportunity for real change. Hypnotists raise their fees according to their advancement in training, certifications, client experience, and because their services are in higher demand. A higher price doesn’t reflect “an hourly rate” – it reflects your assurance of personal transition and a life-changing experience.  But, of course, some raise prices purely for financial gain.

Fees vary from region to region according to what’s feasible in the local economy. So I can’t advise you to what is acceptable in your geographical area. In San Francisco, a competent hypnotherapist may charge anywhere from $150 to $500 per session. So do your homework.

If you find someone charging $50 to $75, they are most likely just starting out. Don’t exclude them out-of-hand – a beginner might already be better than someone who’s been around a while and is incompetent. But be confident in who you choose. Even someone charging up to $100 may have very limited experience. And sometimes a lower rate reflects a lack of confidence in their own abilities. So be careful and do your research.

Can I use my insurance to cover your services? It is highly unlikely you will find a hypnotherapist who processes insurance claims. But you should find out if your own insurance company will cover hypnosis. If they do, ask what they require in a claim. Then, the hypnotist can provide an official invoice (on their letterhead) with the proper “V” code which insurance companies will recognize as for hypnosis services, rather than medical services. If you are not covered by insurance, you may be able to take advantage of tax free sessions by using a medical insurance card or flex spending account for health care services outside the scope of your insurance provider (e.g. eye glasses, chiropractors, acupuncture, hypnosis, etc.)


So, take into consideration not only the fees but client testimonials.
Look at Yelp reviews, YouTube testimonials, etc.
This will help you gauge whether your money would be well spent.

Develop faith, trust and rapport with the person you are about to hire. 

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