Hypnotherapy and C.B.T. (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) can provide rapid and lasting results for a great many conditions and problems. However, it is often very confusing for anyone seeking a therapist to know who to approach and who is likely to offer you the best help for your particular issue.

A skilled therapist will be highly empathetic, and will begin by listening more than talking. He will be asking you questions which will help him to learn about your condition; whether it\'s weight loss or anxiety; help with smoking cessation or pain control; and then to find the best solution for you. Your therapist should be working hard to develop a trusting relationship with you, so that whatever comes up during the sessions can be understood and handled in a manner that keeps you feeling safe and secure. He will continually seek to explain all that he is doing so as to involve you fully in your own wellbeing.
It is unfortunately possible for anyone to simply buy a book, read it, and call themselves a therapist without actually ever having received formal training and without any recognised qualifications. At the very least, any Hypnotherapist that you see should belong to an accredited body (for example the National Council for Hypnotherapy or the General Hypnotherapy Register) which will prove that minimum training standards have been met. Then look a little further - have they had any original articles published? Have they undertaken regular further training - in Hypnotherapy as well as other related and relevant disciplines such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)? Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)? Or perhaps Stress Management?
You should be able to speak at length with your therapist to enable him to explain his approach to you and for you to feel satisfied that he is right for you. Ideally this should be face-to-face; (although for the sake of convenience this might also be carried out over the phone) and should be without any charge or obligation. Only when you are happy with everything you have learned should you then decide to go ahead. This might be at the same time as the initial consultation if this is practical for all concerned; otherwise you should feel free to decide at a later date without feeling pressured in any way to make a decision.
The very best training will take years to complete. A skilled and dedicated therapist will also undertake further training constantly throughout his career. He will regularly attend seminars and knowledge-exchange programmes with peer groups and other therapists from allied disciplines. Finally, it would also be a great advantage for him to be involved in the training of other therapists. This helps to gain a deeper and more meaningful understanding of all aspects of therapy in his field. All this will have to be privately funded. If your therapist meets all these standards, then he will undoubtedly be able to offer you effective and genuine help.
Certain professional bodies (like the National Council for Hypnotherapy) prohibit the use of client testimonials. This is for a number of very sound reasons. Firstly, there are issues of confidentiality. Not everyone that has sought the help of a therapist would wish this fact to be widely publicised. Secondly - and very obviously - how is anyone to know that any such testimonials are genuine? Why not ask the therapist where the bulk of his clients come from? If most of the therapist\'s clients tend to come from personal recommendation, or from referrals from Medical Professionals then this is a very good indication of his standing.
Your initial consultation will enable this very important question to be addressed. The information gleaned during this time will enable your therapist to give an opinion as to the length of therapy likely to be required. We are all different, and though we may often have similar issues, there should be no \'one-size-fits-all\' approach to therapy. It would be counter-productive for example to promise a result in three sessions and find that we actually need five; and conversely, should the therapist guess that five sessions might suffice, then find that the work has been completed satisfactorily within three what then? Might he be tempted to keep the client coming back regardless? My own view is to discuss this fully at each session with the client, and gauge between us exactly how we feel about the progress that is being made.
A professional and experienced Hypnotherapist is by definition, a specialist. The treatable conditions listed on my website like phobia and fear elimination; or self-esteem and confidence issues for example, may all have common root-causes. All are treatable through addressing the subconscious however, and by learning to change habits and behaviour.
So many of the conditions that I personally treat are stress and/or anxiety based. Very often by discovering and treating the underlying source of anxiety, the problem will be readily resolved. Though of course, as I mention elsewhere in this list, all clients are individuals with issues completely unique to themselves, and all therapy must be developed on a wholly individual basis.
It is now widely accepted by Doctors and Health Professionals in all areas of conventional medicine; that in the battle against depression and anxiety-based conditions, the ability to relax adequately and to manage stress is vital for recovery and on-going psychological well-being. Hypnotherapy is an extremely powerful method of promoting rapid and deep relaxation, which leads to the alleviation of stress overload. In my own sessions, I always teach my client the secrets of self-hypnosis, which will enable them to continue their recovery and strengthen their mental health for themselves - long after their sessions with me are over.
The short answer to this should always be no; but it is well worth understanding why this maybe in effect the wrong question to ask.
Guarantees belong in the realm of the High Street or the Car Showroom, not in the health-care profession. A therapist that fulfils all of the foregoing criteria will have only the best interests of his client to the fore. He will be doing all within his power and using all his knowledge and experience to try and provide a successful outcome. A vital and undeniable component of any recovery or change however, is the degree to which the client themselves will engage with the process, and that they undertake to practice the approaches that the therapist recommends. Therapy is not something that the therapist \'does to\' the client. A successful outcome relies as much on the involvement of the client as on the skill of the therapist, and a skilled therapist will seek to explain this at all stages; and to encourage the client to progress towards full health and wellness as quickly as possible.
Nafees Akram has been involved in research and study of Stop Smoking and also have great interest in Hypnotherapy herts

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