I had a completely painfree 18-20 hour labor in the hospital thanks to it (first baby).
The first few contractions (surges) hurt a lot because I was tensing up... it took me a few minutes to focus my mind on what I was supposed to do (go limp like a rag doll). As soon as I started doing that, I was fine. Seriously, it did not hurt again. I love
HypnoBirthing! I highly recommend it!
You can read about my experience in this thread:Tell Me More About HypnoBirthing
I took Marie Mongan's course with a real Hypnotherapist (not some RN or Doula with no hypnosis background who just took the course.) You can e-mail the website for a referral in your area. Then get referrals from that person.
When I talked to my HB practioner on the phone for the first time, my instincts were screaming at me that this was a "go"! i.e., that I found someone good and I should sign up for the class. I took the class one month before my due date and did great - you have to practice daily.
Anyway, another option is HypnoBabies.com
. They offer a self-study-at-home course that is WAAAAAAY MORE in depth (you'll get more scripts) than Marie Mongan's course. Ideally, you take a class with someone great. If no one great is near you, then sign up for HypnoBabies. Hypnobabies also has a yahoo discussion group for members (I think.)