Looking for a Hypnotherapist in the UK?

In the UK, there is no statutory regulation of hypnotherapy. A framework of self-regulation exists but this doesn’t stop anyone without the necessary qualifications and expertise from setting up a hypnotherapy practice. If you are paying for a service, you should be confident that you are getting what you’ve paid for and that there are adequate protections in place to ensure that you are treated fairly.

So what can you do to make sure you choose a hypnotherapist that is right for you? Here are 5 basic things to consider when looking for a hypnotherapist.

Qualification – Is the therapist clear about the qualifications they hold. There are a number of routes to qualify as a Hypnotherapist in the UK. A benchmark qualification is the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD). This is a Level 4 qualification held by over 20% of UK practitioners and enables admittance to all UK professional bodies for hypnotherapy. The qualification meets the UK's National Occupational Standards for hypnotherapy practice. It meets the requirements for registration with The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council in the UK (CNHC), which is an accredited register by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. The HPD also meets the qualification requirements of UK insurers providing professional indemnity insurance to practitioners.

Professional Membership –A suitably qualified Hypnotherapist will be admitted to a professional body or an accredited register. Admittance to a professional body requires the therapist, amongst other things, to abide by a code of conduct, undertake on-going professional development, be adequately supervised where applicable and hold adequate professional indemnity insurance. Ask a therapist about their professional membership and verify their membership with the professional bodies.  The main UK professional bodies and registers for hypnotherapy include: -

Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (APHP)
British Association of Therapeutic Hypnotists & NLP Practitioners (BAThH)
British Institute of Hypnotherapy & NLP (BIH)
British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH)
Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)
General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR)
Hypnotherapy Association (HA)
The National Hypnotherapy Society (HS)
International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA)
National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)
National Register of Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists (NRHP)
Society of Stress Managers (SSM)
United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

Client Confidentiality and Data Protection – A professional Hypnotherapist is required to keep proper client records and ensure that your personal information is adequately protected and treated as confidential. To legally hold and process this information, a therapist practicing in the UK must be registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) under the Data Protection Act. Make sure that a therapist you are thinking of using is registered with the ICO. This can be checked online HERE.

Transparency of Fees – Look for transparency in fees. Does a therapist clearly disclose their fees? Do they give you an early indication of how many sessions you are likely to have? This shouldn’t be a secret negotiation. Ask a therapist for a schedule of their fees. A reputable practitioner should be able to provide clear information about their fees without delay.

Therapeutic Environment – It’s important that you feel comfortable during the therapeutic process. Ask the therapist about their consultation room and satisfy yourself that they are able to provide a private and comfortable environment that is conducive to advancing therapy.

There are other considerations when looking for a hypnotherapist but taking care of the basics will help you to make the most of therapy.