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Hypnotherapists are practioners in hypnosis.

Training[edit | edit source]

Training requirements vary greatly worldwide with the key determining factor being whether the use of hypnotherapy is State-recognized in a given area. When it comes to becoming a hypnotherapist, training requirements and state registration requirements vary greatly around the world. Those interested in becoming a hypnotherapist should first research the laws in their state and then consider joining a professional organization that can guide them in proper training and offer a central code of ethics and disciplinary procedure that they can commit to. This provides assurance to clients and a good ethical framework for the therapist in question.

State-licensed hypnotherapy schools do exist in the U.S., and increase in number each year. Several accrediting professional bodies that require minimum standards in specialized hypnotherapy education to become certified as a hypnotherapist (C.Ht.) are also available to professional hypnotherapists and as a resource for individuals to find a qualified professional. The International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA), International Association of Counselors and Therapists (IACT), and the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH) are just a few.

The certified hypnotherapist that has gained certification as a C.Ht. through a professional organization such as IMDHA, IACT, or NGH has at the minimum level, training in basic and advanced hypnosis with a minimum of 120 hour specialized hypnosis instruction. Professional organizations usually have their own set of guidelines and code of ethics to abide by, and require a number of hours of professional development every year to ensure the highest quality in treatment ranging from 16-30 CEU's per year. Many hypnotherapists undertake this kind of professional development and training and will continue to do it until they stop practicing. Regardless of specialized training, a hypnotherapist does not diagnose or treat any individual without the proper credentials to do so, and many times will request referrals and records to be released from a client's physician for medical and/or certain psychiatric conditions.

The definition of Hypnotherapist was provided for the U.S. Department of Labor by Dr. John Kappas of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 1973. A Hypnotherapist practicing in accordance with the definition uses techniques taught by Dr. Kappas and the Hypnosis Motivation Institute located in Tarzana, California. The Hypnosis Motivation Institute is the first nationally accredited college of hypnotherapy with a rigorous cirriculum of 720 hours of training including clinical internship. The title of Clinical Hypnotherapist (C.Ht.) is earned upon completion of the program. Certification is available by the Hypnotherapists Union Local 472 to achieve the title of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist.

Hypnotherapy as a profession[edit | edit source]

As the use and public understanding of hypnotherapy increases, more and more people are becoming attracted to the profession. Three main categories of hypnotist can be considered:

  • Professional consultants of medical/psychological qualification who use hypnosis as a therapeutic approach, usually amongst other methods.
  • Professional hypnotherapists who specialise primarily in the use of hypnosis, if other techniques are used they are only to compliment the hypnotic approach.
  • Stage hypnotists who utilise hypnosis for the purpose of entertainment and may also offer limited therapuetic assistance, although not usually for more serious matters such as depression or chronic anxiety.

Having a career as a hypnotherapist can be lucrative however the extent of a hypnotherapist's fees are often due to the very high overheads in running a practice. Pricing can vary greatly and some of the key factors that drive up pricing are as follows:

  • Unlike other therapists who enroll clients into ongoing therapy that can last months or years, a hypnotherapist often only sees clients for few sessions. This means the cost of advertising and marketing is significantly higher as new clients are almost always needed. Word of mouth can take the place of expensive advertising when a hypnotherapist delivers consistent successful results to clients.
  • The health insurance companies of many countries still do not cover hypnosis under health-coverage, making the approach less-appealing for those of a lower-income and in turn reducing the potential client-base for a hypnotherapist. However, weight release and smoking cessation hypnosis can be written off as an IRS credit on your federal tax return, and some insurance companies will reimburse the individual for hypnotherapy if a properly coded receipt is given at the end of work together.
  • The profile of a hypnotherapist is often a key factor in pricing. Unlike other therapies, hypnotherapy can often have a celebrity-factor attached to it. People who recognise a well-known hypnotherapist with a well-known record in achieving success are likely to pay a lot more because of the trust they place in such individuals. This sector of hypnotherapy represents only a small number of hypnotherapists. Some would argue that this is unfair, others would make the point that it is no different to any other form of high-end consultancy and if people are willing to pay the premium for exclusivity then that is their right.

Being a hypnotherapist generally requires good business skills as most hypnotherapists are self-employed and are reliant on their own actions to generate new clients.

Licensing Boards[edit | edit source]

USA[edit | edit source]

  • International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association: Founded in 1986, a referral service of Certified Hypnotherapists dedicated to providing the community with excellently trained Certified Hypnotherapists. These Certified Hypnotherapists will work harmoniously with allied healthcare professionals to aid individuals in dealing with specific challenges and procedures.
  • International Association of Counselors and Therapists: Founded in 1990, IACT is a multidisciplined association, which specializes in holistic techniques. IACT's membership includes medical practitioners, psychologists, clinical social workers, stress consultants, NLP practitioners, clergy, licensed massage therapists, hypnotherapists, biofeedback specialists, nutritionists, educators, mental health therapists, substance abuse counselors and others in the helping, healing arts.
  • National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotheraphists: Organized in 1991, the NBCCH certifies mental health professionals in the field of hypnotheraphy and provides referral services for persons seeking hypnotherapy throughout U.S.A and western Europe.
  • American Council of Hypnotist Examiners: Organized in 1980, ACHE certifies examiners worldwide

These licensing boards are specifically for professionals in the medical and/or psychiatric field and generally do not encompass the certified hypnotherapist who explicitly specializes in hypnotherapy.

US Definition of Hypnotherapist[edit | edit source]

The U.S. (Department of Labor) Directory of Occupational Titles (D.O.T. 079.157.010) supplies the following definition:

"Hypnotherapist – Induces hypnotic state in client to increase motivation or alter behavior pattern through hypnosis. Consults with client to determine the nature of problem. Prepares client to enter hypnotic states by explaining how hypnosis works and what client will experience. Tests subject to determine degrees of physical and emotional suggestibility. Induces hypnotic state in client using individualized methods and techniques of hypnosis based on interpretation of test results and analysis of client's problem. May train client in self-hypnosis conditioning.

The Department of Health in the state of Washington regulates hypnotherapists.

United Kingdom[edit | edit source]

UK National Occupational Standards[edit | edit source]

In 2002 UK Department for Education and Skills developed The National Occupational Standards for hypnotherapy linked to National Vocational Qualification based on National Qualifications Framework under The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. And thus hypnotherapy was approved as a stand-alone therapy in UK. NCFE a national awarding body issues level four national vocational qualification diploma in hypnotherapy. (

UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations (UKCHO)[edit | edit source]

The REGULATION of the Hypnotherapy Profession in the UK is at present the main focus of UKCHO, a non-profit making umbrella body for hypnotherapy organisations, recognised as such by the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health which is the body tasked by the Government to oversee the regulation of the Complimentary and Alternative Medicines (CAM's) in the UK. Founded in 1998 to provide a non-political arena to discuss and implement changes to the profession of Hypnotherapy, UKCHO has grown to represent 28 of the UK's professional hypnotherapy organisations and has long developed standards of training for hypnotherapists, along with codes of conduct and practice that all UKCHO registered hypnotherapists are governed by. As a step towards the regulation of the hypnotherapy profession UKCHO's website now includes a National Public Register of Hypnotherapists[1] who have been registered by UKCHO's Member Organisations and are therefore subject to UKCHO's professional standards. Further steps to full regulation of the hypnotherapy profession will be taken in consultation with the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health.

Working Group for Hypnotherapy Regulation[edit | edit source]

Moves toward Voluntary Self Regulation in the UK hypnotherapy field have led to the formation of a unitary National Register[2] which is a one-stop resource for members of the public and the National Health Service. The Register currently holds approximately 4,100 entries and is known as the National Regulatory Register for Hypnotherapy. The Working Group for Hypnotherapy Regulation is formed of more than 20 professional organisations that have chosen to work together to progress Voluntary Self Regulation in hypnotherapy and to create agreed standards in all aspects of the profession.

In the US there are currently no recognized doctorates in hypnotherapy. State licensed schools offer credentialing after the basic educational standards and examinations have been successfully passed as a C.Ht. (Certified Hypnotherapist) or a C.M.Ht. (Certified Medical Hypnotherapist), depending on the school and it's approved curriculum. Instructor status is given through professional accrediting organizations based on completed training requirements and examination.

Indian Restriction[edit | edit source]

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, vide its letter no. R.14015/25/96-U&H(R) (Pt.) dated 25 November 2003, has very categorically stated that hypnotherapy is a recognized mode of therapy in India to be practiced by only appropriately trained personnel.

Maharaja Sayajirao University (M.S.University 4 star) at Vadodara is conducting one-year Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Applied Hypnosis (P.G.D.C.A.H.) from 2000.[3]

Clinical hypnosis is included in the syllabus of Master of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology), a pre-doctorate course conducted by The Rehabilitation Council of India which is followed by all universities in India.[4]

Hypnotherapy is the part of syllabus in M. Sc./ M.A. Psychology degree course,University of Rajastan, Jaipur[5]; Banaras Hindu University[6]; M. Sc. Yoga degree course of Bharathidassan University[7],B.A./B.Sc.Degree(Psychology), B.A. Journalism in Bangalore University[8][9][10]; and B. Sc. Nursing course syllabus of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik[11]

The code for commercial advertising on Doordarshan and All India Radio states that “No advertisement should contain any offer to diagnose or treat complaints or conditions by hypnosis"

See also[edit | edit source]

References & Bibliography[edit | edit source]

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