“I want to train to become a hypnotherapist but there is SO much to choose from… How do I know what qualification to go for? Hypnotherapy Certificate? Hypnotherapy Diploma? Clinical hypnotherapy training? Help!”
Let’s start off with a little information about “labels”.
So… A “hypnotist” uses hypnotism to create hypnosis.
A “hypnotherapist” uses psychotherapy techniques AND hypnosis, which can significantly enhance the effectiveness of the therapy.
“Clinical hypnotherapists” are pretty much just regularly trained hypnotherapists who use hypnotherapy for clinical purposes (in the treatment of medical conditions such as pain… skin complaints… depression… hypno-birthing… psycho-sexual disorders… and particularly those problems where other healthcare providers are involved in the overall management of the client).
But really, does the label / title of the hypnotherapist matter? Well…
It’s like saying should I buy supermarket’s own Cornflakes or Kellogg’s… If you had to choose in a blind taste test, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference… To all intents and purposes they’re the same thing, and it’s pretty much the same with hypnotherapists or “clinical hypnotherapists”. The training is technically (and legally) not required to be any different. This is because in the UK, the only form of hypnosis that is regulated by actual legal legislation is hypnosis for entertainment purposes, or “stage hypnosis” (with the Hypnotism Act 1952).
Hypnosis for any therapeutic purposes is not covered by legislation, nor is the title of ‘Hypnotherapist’, meaning; anyone can call themselves a hypnotherapist or even a “clinical hypnotherapist”.
It’s just a label.
In real terms, it means nothing…
It’d be like saying you’re a “clinical dog walker” … yes, anyone could legally say that, but what does it mean??? Well it doesn’t actually mean anything, but that doesn’t stop you from being allowed to call yourself whatever you want in an unregulated profession – such as hypnotherapy!
So what should influence your selection when looking for the right hypnotherapy training course?
As with any investment (and if you’re training with a view to a new career, it certainly is an investment), you will want to choose the best quality of training available to you – regardless of the label. As such, you will need to know what you’ll be learning on the hypnotherapy course that you choose to take, whether a hypnotherapy certificate, “clinical hypnotherapy course”, “hypnotherapy diploma” or otherwise…
To do this effectively, it’s a great idea to directly compare your potential course options, and find out what they actually offer (you do this by looking through the website/prospectus…and if that doesn’t give you the info…ASK FOR IT!)
So what do you need to know? Well here are 2 of the main things:
1 – Course content:
Here are 9 questions you should be asking about the course content:
Does it blend theories and information with practical skills and real world knowledge?
Does it meet the core curriculum for hypnotherapy training?
(This is pretty important, as you’ll learn in a little while. You can download a PDF copy of the hypnotherapy core curriculum here: Download Core Curriculum)
Does it meet the recommended training hours required by UK / International professional associations?
(450 learning hours is the required amount by many of these associations)
Is the course content/training externally accredited?
(the main UK accreditation being GHSC/GHR and BIH)
Does it teach you information about various problems and conditions that people will come to you with – including symptoms and treatment methods?
(if so, which?)
Does it teach you how to actually help people with said conditions?
Does it teach you how to adapt your skills to treat everyone as an individual?
(because “the same” presenting problem can have a thousand different motivations and causes …which is why “content-free methods”, “hypnotherapy scripts” and other “standardised approaches” for clients suffering “the same problem” generally would have little/limited success)
Is it a highly practical course?
(hypnotherapy is a highly practical profession and the majority of people will not be able to learn to do it effectively by just talking about it, or reading books… You have to actually practice to become a proficient hypnotherapist)
Finally, do you have to actually pass an EXAM to qualify?
(if you don’t, alarm bells should be ringing!)
2 – Trainers:
Here are 4 questions you should be asking about the course trainers:
Are your trainers actually qualified themselves?
(you can ask for proof – and a qualified trainer would usually supply it!)
Are your trainers qualified to actually teach?
(again…what are their teaching qualifications?)
Can they actually teach?
(some “hypnotherapy trainers” are great at demonstrating that they can do hypnosis… but that’s about it. You’re not paying to watch someone else do it, you’re paying to learn it yourself!)
Do they actually help students learn?
(some hypnotherapy trainers just “leave the students to it”, or simply “go through the motions”… What do the reviews on their website say? Even better if they’re real people who you could potentially contact directly for unbiased information about the course!)
Content is KEY!
Imagine a 5-day “intensive diploma” course… It definitely gets your training out of the way quickly… but, do you actually learn and retain the information? Maybe yes, and maybe no… depending on the course, contents and training. However, does it actually cover the 120 classroom hours and 450 total learning hours required to meet the UK Core Curriculum? No. Intensive courses can be a great way to get your training completed and receive a certificate, but you need to ensure that the intensive training is full of top quality content, and taught in a way that will allow you to use the information you learn, and retain it!
There is also the other extreme… How about four or five years to get a hypnotherapy degree? Yes, you will definitely cover the minimum learning hours…but do you need a degree to be a hypnotherapist? …the fact that way less than 1% of hypnotherapists in practice in the UK actually have a legitimate hypnotherapy degree, would suggest not. For some people, just having a degree may be the most important thing, but for many people (and perhaps you included), it is more about becoming confident and competent at actually helping people, without spending years learning how to write academic papers…
So, what qualifications actually enable you to use hypnotherapy in a “clinical” setting?
Although not legally regulated, there is a UK regulator for hypnotherapists, the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), where registration is voluntary (but it can be seen as a sign of professionalism and quality of training – and it’s something we always suggest our own students seriously consider doing).
The CNHC are there to help protect the public (therapy clients), and maintain a register of professionally trained therapists. The CNHC themselves are regulated by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) who also regulate (amongst others) the Health and Care Professions Council (who regulate UK psychologists) and the General Medical Council (who regulate UK doctors).
To be eligible for registration with the CNHC, your training, as a hypnotherapist, MUST meet or exceed the Core Curriculum.
Why is CNHC registration important for you as a prospective hypnotherapist / “clinical hypnotherapist”?
Because the Department of Health and other national organisations, such as the NHS, are focused on using therapists who are regulated by the CNHC, and are advising doctors and other healthcare professionals to use CNHC registered hypnotherapists.
As the public are becoming increasingly more well-informed about hypnotherapy, they do their research, looking for ‘gold standard’ professionals (…because why go to an ‘OK’ therapist when you could go to a ‘great’ one). One way of standing out from the crowd is to demonstrate that you are a professional and have the confidence in your knowledge and abilities to voluntarily become registered with (and accountable to) the profession’s regulator.
Now, Go Compare!
We hope this blog has helped answer your questions about the potential minefield that prospective students can face in the search for that “gold standard” of hypnotherapy training.
As an example (and for your comparison purposes when choosing your hypnotherapy course) scroll down to the “Course Syllabus” section on this page;
…because it contains a list of literally everything that you will learn on our (internationally recognised) hypnotherapy certificate course.
This course is mapped to (and exceeds) the UK core curriculum for hypnotherapy training and has been externally accredited by the UK’s leading professional hypnotherapy organisations (as mentioned above) – so it’s a great benchmark for what you should be looking for in a hypnotherapy training course, whether you’re looking to use hypnotherapy in a clinical setting or otherwise…
If you have any questions relating to this topic or relating to hypnotherapy training in general, do get in touch with us directly via the contact page.
Thanks for reading!
– written by Dr Kate Beaven-Marks
& Rory Z Fulcher