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What can a hypnotherapist help with?

A hypnotherapist can help you achieve a relaxed, focused state in which you can be highly responsive to constructive, transformative messages about dealing with challenges in your life from anxiety to smoking to sexual dysfunction to chronic pain. Through this technique, a therapist can help you recognize problematic thoughts, reject them, and adopt alternative responses to challenges that will leave you better equipped to make the changes you desire.

Who is a certified or qualified hypnotherapist?

Many therapists employ techniques of hypnotherapy as part of their practice. You can seek out a qualified hypnotherapist who is a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. Therapists in these organizations must have a doctorate-level degree in medicine, dentistry, or psychology, or a master’s degree in nursing, social work, psychology, or marital/family therapy plus a specific number of hours of approved training in hypnotherapy. Some accredited, doctoral-level practitioners of alternative health care, such as traditional Chinese practices, may also be approved for membership in these groups.

What conditions are best treated with hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy can be an effective technique for treating anxiety, phobias, stress, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual dysfunction, and undesirable behaviors like smoking. It can also be used to improve sleep or address relationship challenges, and to aid with pain management, digestive disorders, skin conditions, and the gastrointestinal side effects of pregnancy or chemotherapy. Surgical patients and burn victims have also been found to achieve reduced recovery time, anxiety, and pain with hypnotherapy.

How can I recognize a good hypnotherapist?

Successful therapy depends on a strong connection between the therapist and their patient. An effective hypnotherapist should be able to make you feel comfortable and calm, and guide you into a state of deep focus and concentration in which you can access the resources to change your behavior or ease your anxiety, stress, or pain. A good hypnotherapist will also help you learn to hypnotize yourself so that you can establish a stronger sense of control on your own in stressful or challenging moments.