The major dilemma in deciding to pursue hypnotherapy is selecting a qualified Hypnotist.
You need to decide whether you want to work with a psychiatrist or other licensed mental health practitioner who includes hypnosis as a part of their practice, or if you want a hypnotist who uses hypnosis exclusively as a healing modality.
Psychiatrists and other licensed mental health practitioners at times use hypnosis in treating people; however certified hypnotists have more in-depth training. The psychiatrist or licensed mental health practitioner may have attended a weekend workshop and learned how to induce hypnosis but may have little or no experience in communicating with the mind in its subconscious mode.
The first question to ask anyone with whom you consider working is "Are you a certified hypnotist and by whom?" The National Guild of Hypnotherapists is the oldest and largest worldwide non-profit certifying organization cited by Congress in the Congressional Record of May 11th, 1993 as the foremost hypnosis organization in the country.
Although, one assumes all licensed professionals are highly qualified, that does not hold true with hypnosis, a licensed professional needs to be certified in hypnosis in addition to their license. Therefore, whomever you choose, be sure they are certified by a certifying institution or recognized organization and have had a minimum of 100 hours of training--not just a weekend seminar.
In addition, it is important to consider a Hypnotist, who is also a certified Regression practitioner. The reason it is important to choose a Hypnotist, who is also a certified Regression practitioner is because the root cause of your issue is more often than not rooted in your past experiences--therefore, regression to those experiences to heal the emotional issues is necessary. A certified Hypnotist has little or no training in regression work. Therefore, to have the most qualified Hypnotist make sure they are a certified Hypnotist and certified Regression practitioner.
The International Board for Regression Therapy (IBRT) Inc. as an independent examining and certifying board www.ibrt.org is the foremost regression certifying organization. Its mission is to set professional standards for practice, evaluate the preparation and qualifications of practitioners and the quality of training programs, and to issue certificates to those who pass the rigorous evaluation process. It is a not-for-profit corporation registered in New York State.
Another area to explore is how much experience the prospective therapist has had in your area of need. How long have they been in full-time practice? What are their specialties? Do they have experience in addressing the problem you want to address or in attaining the goal you want to achieve? How many clients have they treated? How many successfully?
Another question particularly helpful is "What is the law regarding the practice of hypnotherapy in your state?" In Illinois, it is PA473. The reason it is important that any prospective hypnotist know the law is because hypnotherapy must be practiced in strict conformity with it. Be suspicious of anyone who doesn't know the limits of their practice.
Finally, if you are satisfied with the responses to all other questions, ask yourself one final question. "Am I comfortable with this person?" Attempting to work with someone who maybe highly qualified but with whom you have no rapport or with someone you don't feel you can trust will only serve to interfere with your progress.