How to Choose a Qualified Hypnotherapist

Choosing Your Hypnotherapist

How to choose....
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As in most professions, not all practitioners are created equal. Be aware and be vigilant. Ask questions until you are satisfied that the therapist you choose is ABLE and WILLING to work with you to achieve YOUR goals. See a table of  sample questions to ask below.

  • Within reason, location of your hypnotherapist should not be a concern. If the best hypnotherapist for you is in the next town or city, you are worth it! Think of it as a vacation to Disneyland…because that’s what it will feel like when you’ve resolved your issues. Our Ottawa hypnotherapy clinic is our main office, but we travel to field offices in Belleville.
  • A Hypnotherapist must be a Master Hypnotist, but a Hypnotist is often not a Hypnotherapist! Beware of those hypnotists who masquerade as qualified Hypnotherapists! See Tip Sheet #1 & #2 & #4. (downloadable PDF)

Definition of CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPIST                         

by Dr. Fred H. Janke, 2010

(note: Dr. Janke has resigned from U of Alberta and is facing serious personal legal issues as of June 2018 that DO NOT involve his research or work as a medical doctor.  We believe his definition is still the best out there and the most helpful to the average person seeking reliable assistance.  False and exaggerated credentialing is a serious problem facing many professions, often fueled by unethical, greedy ‘professional’ associations, and we feel the public must be armed with as much perspective and information as possible.)

A clinical hypnotherapist is someone who has been trained in using the art of hypnosis together with therapeutic intervention to bring about improvement or healing in a variety clinical conditions and negative behaviours.  This is much more complex than simple deep relaxation and requires sophisticated training in a variety of therapeutic protocols.


A well trained hypnotherapist will be able to apply knowledge and training to establish and manage the subconscious root cause of negative behaviours such as fears, phobias, anxieties and addictions.  A well trained hypnotherapist will be trained to identify and contend with resistance to change.  The therapist will be equally able to intervene and benefit a patient in matters of acute and chronic pain as well as assisting in a variety of medical and surgical procedures, including maternity care and childbirth.


The hypnotherapist will be able to affect the over-all well being of a patient including interventions that improve post-operative wound healing and even be able to impact the healing and pain of complicated individuals such as burn patients.  A clinical hypnotherapist therefore needs to have training that is high-level and erudite.  The training should include the opportunity for an adequate amount of hands-on supervised experience and should be followed up with refined and mature mentorship.


Thus a clinical hypnotherapist, trained in clinical intervention, is very much more than a simple hypnotist.

Dr. Fred H Janke B.Sc, M.Sc, M.D., F.C.F.P., F.R.R.M.S  – former Associate Professor and Director Rural Programs Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta


  • Physicians, dentists and mental health practitioners at times use hypnosis in treating patients, however certified hypnotherapists have much more in-depth training in the areas of emotional/subconscious wellness.  See Tip Sheet #3 & #7. (downloadable PDF)
  • Hypnotherapists, as part of their training and ongoing education, avail themselves of the necessary health care information they require in order to do optimal work. Hypnotherapy works with the subconscious mind, not the physical body to achieve well being, therefore it is absolutely not necessary for a Hypnotherapist to be a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist or nurse practitioner in order to be a skillful and effective hypnotherapist, contrary to what some might suggest in their promotions. More at Tip Sheet #3 & #7. (downloadable PDF)
  • Unlike other therapies, with a few exceptions such as when working with IBS for example, there are usually fewer then 8 hypnotherapy sessions and often fewer then 5 and in fact sometimes one session is all that is required for fundamental improvements to happen.  Grace Hypnotherapy uses a 3-session approach that has proven very successful with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
  • WORD OF MOUTH is still your best bet! Try to talk with someone who has had hypnosis experience or who can vouch (on a professional level) for the hypnotherapist you are considering. Ask for professional references when possible, but keep in mind that there are privacy issues and few people want to discuss their private lives with strangers!
  • MYTH: the more a therapist charges, the better they are at their profession…not so! Your goal is to find the BEST hypnotherapist for you…therefore a clean, well-appointed, safe, secure, preferably sound-proofed and private office is just fine too. A huge fancy office, website and all the appointments of the rich and famous certainly is not an assurance of quality of service.
  • MYTH: the more ‘education’ and ‘degrees/diplomas’ a practitioner has the more competent they are. Again, absolutely not so. Too many diplomas, etc seen in many professions today are accessed from quite unsatisfactory sources. And some genuine degrees and titles are irrelevant to the practice of Hypnotherapy. Do your homework…you are worth it! See Tip Sheet #6 & #8. (downloadable PDF)
  • There should be nothing magical or secretive about hypnotherapy…while you may expect a layperson’s explanation of how the process works, beware the practitioner who makes the process sound complex and difficult to understand. Hypnotherapy is about client self-healing with the guidance of a hypnotherapist – not therapist healing the client. Therefore you need to be fully apprised, without expecting the entire course on Hypnotherapy, of what the process will be about for you.
  • Hypnotherapists should be open and trustworthy. They should be able to put you at ease on your terms. The hypnotherapist should be the sort of person with whom you would be comfortable sharing a confidence. You should find the hypnotherapist easy to talk to, even if you are a person of few words.
  • Look for someone who treats you as an individual, with warmth and respect. And certainly beware of the hypnotist with the miracle CDs or miracle quick-fix technique to cure all. See Tip Sheet # 5 (downloadable PDF)
  • While qualifications and experience are very important aspects, an equally crucial factor is the quality of the relationship you have with your hypnotherapist; the desired improvement is much more likely to take place if the therapeutic relationship is right. In order for hypnotherapy to work, you need an approachable hypnotherapist who will hear what you have to say, identify with your concerns, provide insights, tools and techniques to help you move forward, be absolutely frank and candid when providing feedback and keep you safe and secure. Beware those who will tell you what is ‘wrong with you’ and ‘how they will fix it’ even before they’ve undertaken the first session. (See Tip Sheet #8 downloadable PDF).
  • In today’s world of heavy toxins, complications of psychiatric treatments, genetically modified food organism (GMO) reactions, vaccine damage and fluoride toxicity, it is vitally important that you work with a clinical hypnotherapist who is well versed in all these areas and who is ready and willing to provide the resources you need to wean off and detoxify from psychiatric medications, to handle withdrawals from GMOs, and to get natural detoxifications from toxins and vaccines.  This is an inherent feature of Grace Hypnotherapy.

Sample Questions

First and foremost, did the hypnotherapist make you feel comfortable? Did you find it easy to talk to him/her? If not, it’s not going to work out and you should look elsewhere.
Did the hypnotherapist keep you involved in the process and decisions or did he/she dictate what they wanted. If the hypnotherapist is not involving you in decisions, how do you know that they are appropriate?
If the hypnotherapist responded to what you had to say, did it make sense? Or did they use confusing wording and terminology? Any explanations the hypnotherapist makes in response to significant things you have said should help you clarify your thoughts not baffle you.
Did the hypnotherapist understand where you were coming from? Did you feel any pressure to fit in with the hypnotherapist’s ideas of what was right for you? If the hypnotherapist resists your goals & ideas, or is stuck on his/her idea of what you should want out of life, you really need to look elsewhere!
Did the hypnotherapist talk over you, talk when you were trying to think, talk about themselves needlessly, or try to get you to agree with them. You are only going to be able to move forward if the focus is on you rather than on the hypnotherapist.

Unfortunately there is a wide array of professional organizations and associations out there, but the two most widely recognized have specified minimum qualifications, a code of conduct and a complaints procedure …. although this in of itself is definitely not an assurance of competency, most accredited hypnotherapists belong to one or both organizations.


The reason people fail instead of succeed is  because often they trade what they want most in life for what they want at the moment!  (you want good health, but right now you want that sugar-laden, chemical concoction you call a candy bar.)  

We are nothing without good health.

May you be blessed with finding the best hypnotherapist for you!

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