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Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Are Leading Edge Careers

Calvin D. Banyan, MA, BCH, CI

What is hypnotherapy? When a professional uses hypnosis to help people make healthy changes in their lives, he or she is doing hypnotherapy. The Hypnotherapist takes on a role similar to the Physical Therapist or the Occupational Therapist, often working independently or with professionals from fields such as medicine and psychology.

Is Hypnotherapy A "Stand-Alone" Profession Or Only A Particular Kind of Therapy?

The use of hypnosis in medicine was first approved and recognized by the American Medical Association in 1958. Now it is becoming a leading edge profession that is helping people accomplish their goals for health, sports, business, and much more. Often hypnotherapy is found to be effective when more traditional therapies have had no significant affect.

At present, hypnotherapy can be considered a stand-alone profession where hypnotherapists work independently with their clients. It is also a profession that provides a service that is complementary to almost any other human endeavor (i.e., medicine, psychology, counseling, education and sports enhancement). Did you know that many Olympic teams use hypnotherapists? Did you know that some major league baseball teams use hypnotherapists to get their valued players out of a slump? Did you know that one of the fastest growing areas in hypnotherapy is in the area of natural childbirth?

Who Should and Perhaps Should Not Use Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy?

The Hypnotherapist is the only professional who is trained to work directly with the subconscious and unconscious levels of the mind. This allows for astonishing successes when conventional attempts have failed. Hypnotherapy can be highly effective in helping people overcome problems which cannot be helped directly through working with the conscious mind. Emotions originate in parts of the mind that are not under the control of the conscious mind. Hypnotherapy can be highly effective for issues that have an emotional component. Areas where this can be of vital importance are addiction, chronic illness, chronic pain, self-esteem, relationship issues, repressed memories, motivation, phobias, stress management and more. In all of these cases, reducing or removing painful emotions can be an important aspect in the successful treatment.

As you can see by the list, hypnotherapy is usually used by normal everyday people with normal everyday problems. Hypnosis is less commonly used by mental health professionals who work with people who have been diagnosed as suffering from a mental illness. The use of hypnotherapy in treating people who are mentally ill is still in the early stages. More research needs to be done in the area of working with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and sever mood disorders.

Hypnosis and Science

Significant research is occurring at universities around the world, demonstrating that hypnosis is real and that use of hypnosis can have real measurable affects on the brain and other tissues of the body as well as effecting behavior. Thanks to modern medical equipment and procedures such as Positron emission tomography (PET), scientists are showing that effects of hypnosis are different and more profound than the effects of mere imagination (The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis, Scientific American, July, 2001). In addition to hypnotherapy done with a Hypnotherapist, universities are now mounting evidence that self-hypnosis can also be a powerful tool when learned from a qualified instructor (The Journal of Family Practice 2001; 50: 441-443).

Hypnosis Training

Hypnotherapy as a profession is not commonly taught in colleges and universities. Individuals who would like to learn more about the use of hypnotherapy or becoming trained in hypnotherapy need to look at schools which specialize in hypnosis training. When selecting a source for hypnosis training, we recommend that you contact reputatable organizations such as the National Guild of Hypnotists, or the state agency responsible for licensing schools. For example in Minnesota, that agency is the Minnesota Higher Education Services Office.

Becoming a Hypnotherapist has been one of the most rewarding decisions I have ever made. The field of hypnotherapy has provided me with the ability to help people that I never could have helped by doing talk therapy. It has also provided me a way to help them more quickly than doing talk therapy would have. If you are already in a helping profession such as medicine, psychology, counseling or related a field, I would encourage you to look into hypnotherapy training. If you are not currently trained or licensed in professions such as these, and you are interested in training in a career that rapidly helps people make good positive changes their lives, I would also encourage you to look into this fast growing profession. Advanced degrees are not required to enter into training which leads to certification. Only certification courses that are of at least 100 hours in duration are recognized in all 50 states.