Your Hypnotherapist as a Partner in Your Medical & Mental Health Care

One of the most frequent inquiries I receive from potential clients is “Can you work on my _______?” (Fill in the blank with any pain issue, medical condition or a mental health diagnosis.)

My response is always, “Yes, I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist and I can work on ______ with a referral from your doctor or mental health professional.”

Sometimes, the response is met with relief and excitement. Other times, it’s met with confusion and more questions. I don’t mind spending the time to clarify. An informed and educated client is always a joy to work with and I celebrate those who take an active role in exploring a wide range of approaches to their wellness. We are fortunate to live in a state that recognizes Hypnotherapists as a valued partner in the wellness model and even sets forth guidelines via the Florida State Statutes to protect both client and practitioner in the process of receiving care and delivering service.

What falls into this category?  It’s really quite simple.  You require a referral if your issue has an official “label” and has been diagnosed by a medical doctor or mental health professional, or licensed practitioner of the healing arts; is something for which you are being treated with medication and / or therapy; and / or is in any way related to pain.  However, if you are having feelings, limiting beliefs, or challenging behavior that is disrupting every day life, we can move forward without a referral.  The table below, while not exhaustive, provides some examples:

Diagnosed Depression, Mood Disorders,        Suicidal or Homicidal Thoughts Sad feelings, grumpiness, irritation, feeling stuck,      conflicting feelings, relationship problems.
Diagnosed IBS, Anxiety, Diagnosed Phobias. Nervousness, fear of flying, trouble driving, fear of thunderstorms, avoidance of people, places and things.
Any kind of pain including pain resulting from injury or illness, migraines and even headaches. Stress and relaxation, self hypnosis.
Diagnosed Sleep Disorders, Sleep Apnea. Trouble sleeping at night, night eating, nightmares.
Diagnosed Obesity, Eating Disorders. Weight loss, wellness lifestyle, help with trigger foods,      staying on your prescribed healthy diet and exercise plan.
Breathing Disorders, COPD, Emphysema, Asthma. Cigarette smoking cessation,  Cigar Smoking Cessation,       Vaping Cessation, Chewing Tobacco Cessation.
Alzheimer’s, Dementia. Memory and recall.
Dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, Autism Test taking and study skills, focus and concentration.
* Generally, these issues do not require a referral, however they may when contraindicated based on the other presenting issues.  For example, weight loss would not require a referral, however weight loss for a cancer patient would require a referral because chemotherapy doses are calculated based off of body weight.    

Sound like something you would be interested in? Here are three simple things to keep in mind moving forward:

1. Hypnosis has been shown effective in the treatment of and resolution of symptoms of a wide variety of medical and mental health concerns. There are volumes of data to support this. Click on the following link to review the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis Bibliography (updated 2012). You may also check out the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complimentary and Integrated Health. The NCCIH is frequently updating their research publications as well as engaging in patient trials using hypnosis.

Still not finding what you are looking for? Reach out to your doctor for help finding this information, or simply Google “Clinical Hypnosis” and whatever condition you would like to query and present this data to your provider for discussion. Don’t stop after reading just one report.  Explore results from both government funded and privately funded research. The data is out there. You may also want to explore my page “About The Effectiveness of Hypnosis.”

2. If you currently have a medical or mental health diagnosis, and want to work with a Clinical Hypnotherapist, medical and mental health providers are happy to refer you to a “Qualified Person.” Simply open up the dialog with your practitioner, explain what’s going on for you, why you feel like you feel and make the ask. Your medical and mental health professional is your partner in your health care, and in most cases, will sincerely honor your desire to explore alternate treatments for you. Barring some extremely rare circumstances where hypnosis is contraindicated, it’s in your shared best interest to explore all of your options. Clinical Hypnotherapy can easily be a part of that discussion, especially when you enter into the discussion informed and prepared.

To help with this, I provide clients with the guidelines found at the following link. Click here to download Referral Guidelines Form. I am always happy to discuss the process and techniques with the referring practitioner and it is integral to my job to ensure coordination of care. Not sure if you have a diagnosis or think you may have simply self diagnosed? See your provider and get the referral anyway, just to be on the safe side. The visit could be just the thing that rules out a more serious condition.

3. Finding a “Qualified Person” means you have to do your homework. Not all Hypnotists and Hypnotherapists can (or should) be working on your diagnosed condition.  Whether you work with me, or someone else, look for someone who has a Clinical Hypnotherapist Certification or the letters CCHT or CHT after their name.  And make sure their training was received from a state licensed school.  (Currently, the only state licensed school is The Institute of Interpersonal Hypnotherapy in Tampa, Florida. You may also contact them to find a graduate in your area (if you are not close to me. ) These practitioners know and understand Florida Hypnosis Law and are trained to work with a specific scope of practice as well as protect your safety and best interests.

A good indication that you are NOT working with a “Qualified Person” is that they are performing hypnosis on your diagnosed condition or related symptoms, yet never asked you for a referral. An exception to this would be the licensed mental health professional or licensed medical doctor, or licensed practitioner of the healing arts who is also trained in clinical hypnosis. The state designates these individuals as “qualified” by virtue of their licensure. If you want to learn more about Florida Hypnosis Law, I invite you to explore the Florida State Statutes at this link.  

So, yes Virginia, I can work on your pain, IBS, depression, cancer, and anxiety. I can also help your kids’ with their Dyslexia, ADHD, phobias and panic. I can teach you and your family about the mind body connection and help you learn to engage the natural resources within your deep inner mind, to allow your body to get back to doing what it knows how to do. . . heal and thrive.

Want to explore this in more detail?  Call or click the link below to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Like this post?  Be sure to share it with friends and family or those who might benefit from Clinical Hypnotherapy.