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I don’t drive a car.

I learnt to drive about 8 years ago and passed my test the first time but have hardly driven since. I think this is partially due to the fact that I learnt late in life but also due to choosing, and sticking with, a driving instructor who was quite belligerent and unsupportive. In hindsight I should have left him for an instructor who made me feel more positive and encouraging as I now associate driving with stress and unpleasant learning memories.

When giving advice on how to select a hypnotherapist, many websites and organisations will often recommend that a client should be checking for a valid qualification, insurance and experience. Whilst I don’t deny the importance of these factors, I do think that rapport between therapist and client is also equally as important.

Rapport can be defined as a harmonious relationship in which participants feel understood and communicate well. If there is a lack of rapport between you the client and your therapist then both conscious and unconscious resistance is likely to develop which can at best slow the progress of therapy and at worst stop all progress towards your desired goals. This can lead both the therapist and client feeling as if they have failed. Some psychotherapy research has even proposed that common factors, such as a good therapeutic relationship, is more important to positive outcomes than the method of therapy being offered. (1)

I’ve been considering getting behind the wheel again at some point. This time I think I will find a supportive and encouraging instructor for some revision. In fact they are the only qualities I will look for. I think I will also do some self hypnosis to create a positive state of mind before and during driving. I say self hypnosis because I know I have quite good rapport with myself.

So if you are looking for a good hypnotherapist, I urge you to consider more than just the qualifications. Ask yourself – do you feel comfortable in their presence? Do they have the listening skills and communication style that suits you? If not, then don’t settle for a flawed relationship. Go elsewhere.

1. Imel,Z., & Wampold, B. (2008). The Importance of Treatment and the Science of Common Factors in Psychotherapy. Handbook of counseling Psychology, (4th ed.). (pp. 249-262): John Wiley & Sons Inc.

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