While there are a wide variety of approaches and styles of hypnotism employed today—something that further confounds our ability to understand it objectively, or to study it scientifically—one thing that they tend to have in common is an emphasis on relaxation, focus, harnessing a desire to change within the individual, and building linguistic and visual relationships between emotions. As the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists explains: “Hypnosis is simply a state of relaxed focus. It is a natural state. In fact, each of us enters such a state—sometimes called a trance state—at least twice a day: once when we are falling asleep, and once when we are waking up.”
It might seem that way at some organizations, at least to the untrained eye. IBM has more than sixty certified coaches among its ranks. Scores of other major companies have made coaching a core part of executive development. The belief is that, under the right circumstances, one-on-one interaction with an objective third party can provide a focus that other forms of organizational support simply cannot.
Look for a hypnotherapist who is a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. To be a member of either of these organizations, a hypnotherapist 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. In some cases, accredited, doctoral-level practitioners of alternative health care, such traditional Chinese medicine, may also be approved for membership. Of course, in addition to looking at qualifications, you should also find a hypnotherapist with whom you feel confident and comfortable in a therapeutic relationship.