Something to Think About

Business people offer guarantees to attract customers and to increase their income. If your washer doesn’t work, they’ll repair or replace it. If your car falls apart, they put it back together for you or provide you something similar. They play the odds. In most cases all goes well and they don’t have to carry through with their end of the agreement. In some cases, when a customer does return seeking satisfaction the business is no longer there, has “changed” its policy, or lays out prerequisites that are impossible to meet.

Legitimate health care professionals do not offer guarantees. Surgeons cannot guarantee success. They will do the best job possible and hope for patient compliance, but the healing and recovery are up to you. Marriage counselors cannot guarantee they will save your marriage. He or she cannot. You are the only one who can do that… perhaps with help from others.

Think about it. If you want to use hypnosis to stop smoking, and you are given a guarantee that if “it doesn’t work” you can return for a free follow up session, from a psychological viewpoint you have been given permission to fail. You might think, “Oh well, if it doesn’t work I’ll just go back. Maybe next week. Till then I’ll just smoke some more.” This weakens your motivation to succeed. The “guarantee” is in the business person’s best interest, not yours; because (a) many people falling short of success won’t bother coming back, thinking, “If it didn’t work the first time why would it work a second time?” or, “It’s too much bother,” and (b) those who do decide to return may find that the business has gone out of business.
While we’ve been practicing professionally since 1992, with impeccable credentials and with community awards for excellence, we’ve seen many others in this field come and go. Why? Because there are no state regulations or oversight, meaning that hypnotherapists are not held to standards of practice. With no solid foundation in psychology (the science of human behavior), most people discover it is more difficult to achieve and maintain success than they were led to believe by the hypnosis “school” (actually a business) of their choice. With their sights set primarily on making money (and maybe helping some people in the process), they find that to most people their misplaced priorities are transparent.

To make sure that you are dealing with someone with a successful track record and a stable reputation in your community, do a little research — including checking on (a) the history of their business license, (b) the existence of liability insurance, and (c) the location of their business. Are they seeing people in their home (unsafe, and in some cases illegal)? If not, how long have they been in an office? Is clinical hypnosis something they do there full time, or do they share space with someone else, and pop in occasionally to do a session? Is hypnotherapy their only business, or one of many ways they generate income — which doesn’t make them a bad person, it simply makes them an entrepreneur, not a health care professional.

A big difference that raises a little cause for concern.

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