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Who Wants to Be a Hypnotherapist?

Calvin D. Banyan, MA, BCH, CI

As a hypnotherapy instructor, I teach a wide variety of people from diverse backgrounds on how to be hypnotherapists. Some people take my course just out of curiosity and consider themselves to be hobby hypnotists, while others are licensed professionals from all of the helping fields, who want to add hypnotherapy to their psychotherapeutic "tool box." And yet, there is one other very important group of individuals, those who see hypnotherapy as a stand alone profession. Let me say a little something about each one of these categories.

The Hobby or "Lay" Hypnotist

The hobby hypnotist or "lay hypnotist" as they are often called are an important part of the hypnosis community. For many years I was a hobby hypnotist, inspired by my grandmother's brother, my Uncle Ward. He was a hobby hypnotist. It was hearing stories from my mother and grandmother about the hypnosis sessions that he conducted that first spurred my interest in the field. Later on, while I was in the Air Force, I took my first course in psychology at a local junior college, the teacher who was also interested in hypnosis recommended some books to me. I read them and then began teaching myself hypnosis and using it on some of my friends. It wasn't until many years later that I decided to become a Certified Hypnotherapist through the National Guild of Hypnotists and specialize in hypnosis as my career.

Hobby hypnotists like my uncle and myself and many others, practice hypnosis as a hobby, out of interest in the subject and a true desire to learn more about people and how the minds works. Many of these hobby hypnotists go beyond just entertaining themselves with hypnosis, and go further to help themselves, family and friends through the use of hypnosis giving them hypnotic suggestions to stop smoking, lose weight, for anger or stress management and much more. Usually these endeavors are "labors of love," where the hobby hypnotists is working strictly out of a desire to help their friends and family as well as satisfying their own love of this very interesting thing we call "hypnosis".

Here are some of the backgrounds that these hobby hypnotists come from:

  • Engineers
  • Teachers
  • Cosmetologists and Hair Stylists
  • Mechanics
  • Business Owners
  • Police
  • Students

The Licensed Professional

Licensed professionals such as physicians, psychologists, counselors, social workers, nurses and many others come to learn hypnosis and hypnotherapy from me. What these helping professionals have in common are an open mind and a sincere desire to help their clients and patients when other more conservative or "main stream" approaches have failed or have only been partially successful. These professionals have somehow learned about how hypnosis has helped in these tough situations and want to study hypnosis so that they can "check it out" for themselves.

I am particularly gratified to help these professionals because I know that they will be able to quickly integrate what they have learned in class and begin to help their clients and patients right away.

These helping professionals want to get more results and will find 5-PATH® and 7th Path Self-Hypnosis™ will provide them with answers to their problems and the problems that their clients/patients have.

They will be able to help their clients with a wide variety of issues including:

  • Chronic Illnesses of a functional nature
  • Psychogenic Pain
  • Intractable Pain
  • Stress Management
  • Personality Problems
  • Emotional Problems
  • Relationship Problems
  • Sexual Problems
  • Fears and Phobias
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • School Problems

The Professional Hypnotherapist

The idea that an individual can train and specialize in the field of hypnosis is a concept whose time has come. As with many other professions of today, they started off with the label of "Laypersons" and then graduated to becoming a recognized profession. This is the case with the field of hypnotherapy. As the profession continues to develop and establish itself along side the more "mainstream" professions, it is anticipated by many that it will follow the course of other such professions.

Here are some examples of professions that have followed this course of professional development:

  • Psychology
  • Nursing
  • Counseling
  • Social Work
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy

All of these professions were once the domain of another profession such as medicine. Over time, through specialization and training, they developed into licensed professions of their own.

At present, there is no legally recognized body managing national licensure of this profession. At present the largest hypnosis organization is the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH), who registers individuals as Certified Hypnotherapists after they have successfully completed a minimum of 100 hours of training either through one of their Certified Instructors or through another organization that has set up reciprocity with the NGH. The NGH will only set up such reciprocity when a school or hypnosis organization has shown that it can educate and evaluate (test) students for graduation that meet at least the minimum standards set up by the NGH.

Hypnotherapists may develop as general practitioners or specialize in areas such as:

  • Sports Hypnosis
  • Forensic Hypnosis
  • Child Hypnotherapist
  • Hypnosis for Childbirth
  • Pain Management
  • Hypno-Anesthesia
  • And, Others.

Most Hypnotherapists, upon receiving their certification find themselves generalizing. This approach is very successful because hypnotherapists, no matter what their specialization, tend to use the same tools, for example:

  • Hypnotic Inductions
  • Hypnotic Suggestions
  • Hypnotic Conditioning
  • Visualization Techniques
  • Hypnotic Age Regression Techniques
  • Parts Therapies
  • And, more.

These Hypnotherapists who are generalists will see a wide variety of clients and are very successful with an extensive array of issues such as:

  • Smoking Cessation
  • Weight Loss
  • Habit Change
  • Stress Management
  • Motivation
  • Anxiety and Fears

These generalists will be fully trained and ready to go into practice serving their clients with the issues above when they have completed a high quality training program such as the NGH Hypnotherapy Training Course that we offer at our center.

The Certified Hypnotherapist will be able to handle such issues without a referral from another professional, unless an exception has been cited by a local law or ordinance governing the practice of hypnosis in a particular state or municipality. However, given the proper training, Hypnotherapists may work with other professionals such as physicians and psychologists accepting clients through referrals, or working with the other professional as a team helping the client/patient to heal or reach other goals.

Because of the continuing pressure on the professions of psychology and medicine to be effective in the shortest amount of time, the prospect of these professionals utilizing hypnosis and hypnotherapy is on the rise, either through seeking this kind of training for themselves or by finding qualified hypnotherapists with whom they can make referrals.

So, who wants to become a hypnotherapist? People who want to have a successful career helping others succeed!

Now is a great time to consider training in the field of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Science continues to validate the reality and effectiveness of hypnosis. With this kind of evidence coming from the research centers, such as university and hospitals, more and more people will seek out quality training. However, it is those who become trained now who will be the teachers and supervisors of tomorrow. There is a great future ahead for those who train in hypnosis and hypnotherapy today.