So you want to be a hypnotherapist… I guess you’ve done a little research and you like the idea of helping people by utilising the power of the human mind… Maybe you’re tired of the ‘rat race’ and you like the thought of being your own boss, setting your own ‘hourly rate’ and working as much or as little as you want… Whatever your reasoning, hypnotherapy can be a very rewarding and lucrative career choice, but it’s not always easy to find out exactly HOW to break into the industry. People frequently Google “how to become a hypnotherapist?” so here’s a quick blog chock-full of information that may help you begin your journey to become a hypnotherapist.
Professional Hypnotherapy Training
A hypnotherapy training course is the absolute best way to become a hypnotherapist. As you will know if you have looked, there are numerous training providers out there, so how do you choose? Now, this would be easy if the profession were regulated, but currently it is not (in the UK). This means that not all hypnotherapy courses that you see advertised are equal. Some of them don’t even meet the most basic standards you would generally expect from ‘professional training’, so for potential hypnotherapy students this can be a minefield…
There are some courses that are ‘intensive’ and 4-7 days long, some that last for up to 2-3 years, and many different incarnations in between. Some ‘courses’ are even online-only. Some courses focus on a specific type of approach (such as behavioural, regression or content-free) whereas others are more holistic and broad covering a wide variety of therapeutic approaches…
As you can see, there is a lot to consider before you sign up for a hypnotherapy training course. Our advice is to find a course that meets or exceeds the UK Core Curriculum for hypnotherapy training. This means it will be 450+ hours (120 hours being face-to-face classroom time). You should also ensure that it covers a variety of different things, some of the most important ones being:
How to hypnotise (both progressively and rapidly)
‘Behavioural’ therapy approaches
‘Cognitive’ therapy approaches
‘Analytical’ therapy approaches
‘Regressive’ therapy approaches
Other approaches (such as NLP, REBT, Mindfulness, etc.)
How to create your own ‘hypnotic suggestions’
Information on various conditions you will be working with
How to set up your practice
When researching which course you are going to do (please don’t just sign up to the first one you find), you should compare exactly what you are going to get from the courses. Here are some of the questions you should be asking:
What does the course syllabus include and does it meet the core curriculum?
(the provider should be able to show you the full syllabus upon request)
Do you get any memberships / affiliations when you pass the course?
(some companies make up their own accrediting bodies – ensure that the ones offered are legitimate and well respected such as the GHR / BIH / FHT / NGH)
Is there an exam required to pass the course or do you pass just by attending?
(most courses for anything else require you to pass an exam at the end, hypnotherapy training should be no different)
What do past students have to say about the course?
(Check out testimonials, video testimonials are best. Also, you can ask to be put in touch with past students to talk about the course with them directly)
Speak to the tutors to find out if they’re the ‘right fit’ for you…
(If your tutor doesn’t have passion for the subject, then the training will likely suffer. Choose a course with tutors who are passionate about the subject, those who live and love hypnosis!)
Even if your chosen course doesn’t start right away, you shouldn’t wait to learn about hypnotherapy, in fact you can start learning right now! Get yourself a decent book on hypnotherapy that will tell you all about the basics (at least). A good example is my own book “The Beginner’s Guide to Hypnotherapy”
…which, as you can see from the Amazon reviews, is pretty easy to digest and covers a lot of the basics, this is a great way to introduce yourself to hypnotherapy and to reacquaint yourself with the learning process ready for your training. Also, check out our Reading List for ideas on some additional books to get started with.
Another great option if you’re more into ‘watching’ than reading is to visit YouTube, there are thousands of free videos about how to do hypnosis and hypnotherapy by some of the world’s top trainers (including ourselves, so do subscribe to our YouTube channel and you’ll get an update when we post any new hypnotherapy training videos). However, do keep in mind that anyone can post videos to YouTube, as such some of the videos that you see should be taken with a pinch of salt (and sometimes a shovel of salt!) There are many different styles and approaches out there, some are widely accepted and are taught similarly across the board while others can be ineffective or just flashy ‘gimmicks’, where people re-package things to try and make a quick buck…
As a new student of hypnotherapy, aim for a broad approach to learning, taking information from different sources, but if something looks unprofessional or irrelevant, don’t be afraid to move on to the next thing, regardless of what others say. Those therapists who use a variety of tried-and-tested approaches and skills often find it easier to adapt themselves to fit the needs of any client (which as you will learn, is very important) rather than those who limit themselves to a single approach hoping that ‘one size fits all’. Remember, sometimes the road to change is not a simple one…
Practice is KEY
Even before you sign up to a hypnotherapy training course, it can be a good idea to get yourself into the mindset of actually practicing and developing the skills and techniques that you learn, whether from books or videos. We do not recommend that you go out and see clients before you are competent enough to do so, so perhaps hold off on that until you are engaged in your formal training. That said, there’s nothing stopping you recording yourself using techniques and critiquing your own delivery… Re-writing hypnosis scripts in your own words to figure out how they work… Thinking of simple ‘suggestions’ you could give to people to help them change their problem behaviours… If you are seriously considering becoming a hypnotherapist, then perhaps it’s time to start to get into the mindset of the hypnotherapist.
Another great opportunity to practice before you sign up for a full course is our FREE ‘introduction to hypnotherapy’ taster day, which we run numerous times throughout the year. It’s the perfect way to get to grips with actually doing hypnosis and learning some of the ‘basics’ free of charge…
So that’s it… If you stick to this advice, you should be well on your way to becoming a well-trained, competent professional hypnotherapist. We hope this blog has been helpful, but if you have any more questions on how to become a hypnotherapist, do get in touch because we’re always happy to help!
– written by Rory Z Fulcher