17/12/2013 05:59 GMT | Updated 15/02/2014 05:59 GMT

Shocking News About Clinical Hypnotherapy

Gone are the days when Hypnosis was related to getting subjects to run around clucking like a chicken and singing like Elvis. Indeed in 1955 Hypnotherapy was endorsed by the British Medical Association, and has over recent years become massively respected as a treatment to help clients to lose weight, overcome anxiety, stop smoking, and take their confidence through the roof. Even celebrities such as Nigella Lawson and Lily Allen turned to the Clinical Hypnotherapist to help them lose weight. But you may be mistaken to think you will always be in safe hands.

Unregulated and unsatisfactory


Hypnotherapy remains a profession that is highly unregulated with no mandatory qualification structure. Training ranges from a weekend course to a full qualification programme offered by the best training providers such as the London College of Clinical Hypnosis who now offer a Master's degree in Clinical Hypnosis.

Indeed having qualified myself over fourteen years ago, I believe if anything the quality of training has deteriorated beyond awful. I hear there are even providers offering unaccredited distance learning qualifications that include no field work whatsoever. It is a huge concern for a profession that works with people's minds, supposedly helping them to achieve their goals through mind reprogramming. It's a bit like allowing someone to learn to drive by distance learning.

And it doesn't stop there. I hear jaw dropping stories of obese clients visiting a hypnotherapist to inspire them to lose weight only to find the hypnotherapist themselves is hugely overweight and could equally benefit from the therapy. Surely this can be compared to a client desperate to stop smoking only to find the hypnotherapist is smoking in front of them. When I hear this I do wonder if the eagerness is more for the cheque, rather than helping the client change for the better.

Where to look for the best

Fortunately there are professional organisations such as the National Council for Hypnotherapy, and the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis that registers professional hypnotherapists based on their experience and qualifications.

In searching out a professional Clinical Hypnotherapist I recommend you follow my five point plan:

1. Check that the Hypnotherapist is registered with a professional body and has undergone a structured programme of training that has included practical experience using the tools of hypnosis.

2. Never go cheap as this can mean desperate. Fees range from £40 right up to £600 per session. My advice is to leave well alone those at the bottom end.

3. Make a telephone call and speak to the Hypnotherapist. Ask them to share with you their experience of dealing with clients with your presenting condition. If their experience is nil then walk away and find a practitioner who has. If they have a PA that is always a good sign as it means they are busy.

4. When you arrive at the Hypnotherapists consulting room check out that it feels professional. If it is messy and the Hypnotherapist is uninspiring and you feel that they are not for you then discuss your concerns. If you still feel uninspired then walk out.

5. Always check the Hypnotherapist has professional indemnity insurance.

There can be no doubt that Clinical Hypnotherapy is one of the fastest and safest treatments helping people who are desperate to overcome a debilitating condition. But you are well advised to tread carefully.