A hypnotherapist is a practitioner of alternative medicine and helps patients come out of disturbed mental states or modify their behavior patterns through hypnosis, which is a state of mind in which the subconscious is heightened while the conscious is subdued. Specialized training and education is required to become qualified and practice as a hypnotherapist. The US Department of Health is the regulating body for hypnotherapists in the US.
There are no set criteria on who can become a hypnotherapist. As an alternative medical practice the field of hypnotherapy is open to anyone who is interested in making a career helping people get well and live healthy lives. However, a college degree with training in basic health care can help hasten you on your way to becoming a hypnotherapist.
Educational courses for hypnotherapists range from classroom-based education to online courses and are available in many different formats. Most of the certificate courses in hypnotherapy are provided by private institutions, while state-run colleges provide degree courses that allow you to become a state-licensed hypnotherapist. You should choose a course that meets your expectations of a career in hypnotherapy.
Qualifications of a Hypnotherapist
There are a number of different qualifications that are recognized for those wishing to practice as a hypnotherapist. The International Association of Pure Hypnoanalysts (IAPH) offers both diploma and certificate programs in hypnotherapy that are recognized worldwide and allow holders to register and practice as a hypnotherapist. The American Council of Hypnotist Examiners is another one of the older institutes offering certification as a hypnotherapist.
Depending on the type of hypnotherapy you intend on practicing you can opt for different courses and certifications. Demonstrational or stage hypnotism does not require any formal certification and simple training from a hypnotherapist would suffice. Clinical hypnotism on the other hand calls for formal certification and registration with the National Guild of Hypnotists. Same is the case for those who become therapeutic or medical hypnotists. The National Guild of Hypnotists is the nodal agency for most of these certifications.
Registration as a Hypnotherapist
To practice as a clinical, medical or therapeutic hypnotherapist in the US, you should have the perquisite qualification as well as registration with the National Guild of Hypnotists. Additionally, you also need to get a license from the US Department of Health before you can set yourself up as a hypnotherapist.