(Excerpt from Paul’s book: Healthy Hypnosis: Simple Truth and Practical Use)
In most states hypnosis is not a regulated profession which means that anyone could take a weekend seminar and call themselves a Hypnotist, so it is a good idea to go into the selection process with a game plan. The first step would be to find someone who is also a licensed healthcare provider such as a physician, registered nurse, psychologist, psychiatrist or a social worker. These individuals are educated and certified in their field and are more able and likely to offer professional quality care.
Although most doctors know very little about hypnosis you might ask your primary care physician for a referral. Another resource is holistic health centers, where there are usually several modalities of holistic practitioners under one roof. In such settings there is more likely to be a collective professional atmosphere.
There are several reputable organizations such as the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH.net) and the International Association of Councilors and Therapists (IACT.org). You can also do an Internet search of your area. From there you can research practitioner’s websites for office rates, qualifications and also get a feel for their level of professionalism.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to speak to the Hypnotist on your initial phone call you can gauge if they are generally interested in your concerns, how long they have been in business and what their qualifications are. You can also inquire if they are affiliated with any national organizations, if the session(s) will be specific to your needs, whether they teach self-hypnosis and if you will be receiving a recording of the session for home reinforcement. There are many in this field who do very little in terms of preparing you for long term success as they prefer to have you keep coming back for costly office visits. Also ask how many sessions are required and you should also ask for references. I have a long list of satisfied clients who make themselves available to offer references.
If you get all the right answers to these questions and you feel good about the person you are speaking with, the last thing is to make sure their rates are in line with the area they practice in. This varies greatly from one part of the country to the next. If you feel good about how they describe their services and they seem to respect you and your concerns don’t let a few dollars get in the way of a positive experience. The average cost per session in most metropolitan areas is about $125-$150.
Once you have chosen a hypnotist the last step is to evaluate their office. If they got passing grades so far the chances are pretty good that the office experience will pass as well. A hypnotist can practice in a professional building or out of a home office. You will know right away if it is clean and professional in appearance. The hypnotist should make you feel welcome and cared for. There should also be a comfortable place for you to relax during your session. If everything meets your approval relax and enjoy the experience.

 
Paul Gustafson, R.N., C.H. has been featured on WBZ radio, hosts TV show Healthy Hypnosis, is an Angie’s List ‘Super Service’ provider. Check out his in-office Gastric Band weight loss program. Also available as MP3 download.
Contact Paul for free consultation: 888-290-3972 or info@burlingtonhypnosis.com and visit Burlington Hypnosis.