What You Need to Know About Hypnosis Certifications
I often get inquiries about how to get certified as a hypnotherapist and what states recognize various hypnotherapy certifications. The questions reveal a misunderstanding about the way hypnosis certification works.
Most areas do not regulate or barely regulate the practice of hypnosis. In the US, most states do not license hypnotherapists. Most state governments do not recognize ANY hypnotherapy certification.
It’s not that states think the certifications out there are low caliber, it’s just that they’re not in the business of quality control of the education of hypnotists. In most areas, no license or registration is needed. Certification is done by professional organizations rather than government agencies.
Questions Answered About Hypnotherapy Certification
Q: Does my state/country recognize the International Hypnosis Association/Professional Board of Hypnotherapy/National Guild of Hypnotists/American Board of Hypnotherapy/ACHE certification?
A: That’s not the way certifications work. With rare exceptions, states/countries do not require you be certified as a hypnotherapist before you start a practice. Governments typically are not interested. They don’t (again, with rare exceptions) recognize any certifications from any hypnosis organization.
Certifications are more for proof to the public that you’ve received a certain level of training. Certifications are awarded by professional organizations such as the National Guild of Hypnotists, the International Hypnosis Association, the Professional Board of Hypnotherapy, ACHE and others. Each hypnosis organization has its own standards and educational requirements for certification.
The upshot is this: Being certified is a totally separate issue from whether or not you can legally practice in your area.
Let me give you an example:
In Washington State, you are required to register with the State Department of Health in order to practice hypnotherapy. They do not require you be certified as a hypnotherapist. Although on the application form, they ask you to list your training, they do not require any level of hypnosis training!
They do require that you take an AIDS awareness class (of all things), pay them an initial application fee as well as an annual registration fee. Other requirements include handing each client a disclosure form that tells them your level of education and handing each client a pamphlet from the state detailing their rights and responsibilities as well as yours. And of course, there are the usual requirements that go along with starting any business–a business license etc.
Believe it or not, Washington is one of the more restrictive states in terms of practicing hypnosis. Most states don’t even have a registration requirement. Many countries also have few or no requirements for practicing hypnosis. Now, I’m not saying this is the way it should be. I’m just saying this is the way it is! To tell you the truth, I’m tired of answering the “will your course really allow me to practice hypnotherapy” question. The truth is, in most cases, no course that you take has anything to do with whether or not you meet the requirements to practice in your area.
If you’re seriously thinking about starting a practice and don’t know what the regulations are in your area, feel free to email me and I’ll see what I can find out for you.
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