Six Times It’s Best to Say ‘No’ to a Hypnosis Client

Central to running a successful hypnosis business is finding and retaining clients. You are in this business to help others and can’t do that without people who want your assistance. On top of that, if your appointment book is empty, so is your wallet.

However, there may be instances when the health of your business, your ethics, or your peace of mind require that you decline to work with a client. Let’s look at six reasons you might turn down a hypnosis client.

1. Challenges not Suited for Hypnosis

As you learned about in your hypnosis training classes, hypnotism is a powerful tool with many applications. However, you may deal with clients who have unrealistic ideas about what hypnosis can do. That could be someone who wants you to hypnotize away a medical condition. You can chat with them to see if they are interested in symptom management or processing their grief or anxiety over a diagnosis. After explaining what challenges hypnosis can help them tackle, you may see them reframe their goals. But if they want you to cure, say,  their long standing kidney disease, politely declining is best.

Keep in mind that if a client comes to you with a medical diagnosis and you decide you can improve some aspect of their overall wellness, you should make sure that they are receiving proper medical care. You may be able to address a part of their well-being, but that’s no substitute for a medical doctor. For example, someone presenting with ringing in their ears can benefit significantly from hypnosis but also needs evaluation and treatment for any underlying medical issues. Ask them to 1) see a doctor and 2) return to you, ideally with a referral from the medical professional.

2. Unrealistic Expectations from Clients

Beware of clients who say something along the lines of, “So after a one-hour session, my lifelong stage fright will be completely gone, right?” If only it worked that way, but it doesn’t. Or you might have someone dealing with debilitating chronic pain. Instead of understanding that you can help them manage the pain in conjunction with other treatments, they may want all their discomfort erased.

Talking with potential clients and explaining what they can expect and the pace of progress they might see can help manage expectations. However, some people will cling to unrealistic goals or timelines. Consequently, they are bound to be disappointed and dissatisfied with your services. If you can’t move them away from those improbable expectations, don’t book a hypnosis session with them.

3. Your Own Uncertainty About Your Ability to Help

The newer you are to your hypnosis business, the more likely you will encounter this challenge. You may not feel you can help the person sitting across from you asking for assistance.

Clients will come to you with all sorts of challenges. Some issues will feel familiar or present an obvious approach. Others may be new and intimidating. When facing something you’ve never dealt with before, take your time. If it is during an in-person consultation, don’t hesitate to explain you need some time to research and would like to reschedule their appointment.

If you can’t reach a point where you feel confident in your ability to assist, be upfront about that. Most potential clients will respect your honesty and appreciate that you aren’t stringing them along.

If this situation arises more often than you’d like, consider an advanced hypnotherapy course to hone your skills further and offer additional insights and approaches for challenging client issues.

4. Resistance to Hypnotism

During your hypnosis career, you may come across people who aren’t thrilled to be talking to you. They may seek you out because their spouse insisted or a friend pressured them to try hypnosis to address their struggles. Sometimes, the person in the office or on the phone doesn’t want to be there. They may not even believe hypnosis is real or has any wellness applications.

That doesn’t always mean you should decline their business. Talking with them can reveal whether they have an open mind and are willing to commit to the process or they are just there so that Uncle Fred will stop bothering them about trying this hypnosis thing. If someone falls into the former category, you may be able to help. Don’t waste their time or yours if they are in the latter group. Explain that you don’t think they are a good candidate for your services and move on.

5. Failure to Progress.

Whether a client shows no improvement or their progress stalls, sometimes you have to admit that what you are doing isn’t helping.

You’ve tried all the tools in your hypnosis toolbelt. You’ve researched their challenges, consulted mentors, and done everything you can. Just as doctors sometimes can’t help a client, you won’t be able to get the desired results with every client. That’s not a personal failure. It’s just an unfortunate fact of the hypnosis business. You can’t help all the people all the time.

When relevant, refer them to a different hypnotherapist or another wellness practitioner, then part ways after wishing them the best.

6. Mistreatment

If a client makes suggestive comments, treats you disrespectfully, or is abusive, they don’t need to be your client anymore. Your physical, mental, and emotional well-being are more important than any client. Don’t hesitate to part ways.

While it can feel strange to turn down clients, remember that dissatisfied clients can damage your reputation and your business. Protect yourself from that by knowing when it is best to decline taking someone on as a new client or part ways with an existing one. Let your integrity and intuition help you recognize when to say ‘no’ to a hypnosis client.


Six Times It’s Best to Say ‘No’ to a Hypnosis Client


To run a successful hypnosis business, you need to attract and retain clients. As a hypnotherapist, you want to help people who are willing to accept your help. However, sometimes, you may need to refuse to work with a client for various reasons. Check out this infographic to learn about the six reasons why you might decline a hypnosis client.

6 Hypnosis Client Checklists Infographic

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