Each State Licensing Board has different requirements that constitute a full certification in hypnotherapy. It is important to take this into account as you search for the best hypnotherapy certification program that fits your professional needs and goals.
There are many groups that offer hypnotherapy certification. How can you tell which is the correct one for your professional aspirations? Typically, the question comes back to whether you are looking to learn simple hypnosis or clinical hypnotherapy. Additionally, you must answer the question as to whether or not you already have a Masters degree in a mental health field. Every state is different, every hypnotherapy school is different and there is no one standard across the board to receive a hypnotherapy certification. The generally accepted hypnotherapy certifications are:
The field of hypnotherapy, unlike other professional therapeutic fields, is generally unregulated and certainly not standardized. It is different from state to state and each state has its own standards with some states having virtually none at all. All professionals who hold at least a Masters degree in a health care discipline, and have licensure/certification in the state which they practice, are qualified to pursue hypnotherapy certification and are able to incorporate hypnotherapy into their current practice of psychotherapy. The State of Florida is the one exception, requiring an additional certification in hypnotherapy over and above the mental health licensure.
In some of the most prominent (well-recognized) hypnotherapy training institutions, in order to receive certification you must complete at least 60 hours of in-person classroom training and complete at least 20 practice sessions, some of them under supervision. To provide adequate preparation in the field, any certification training must include supervised practice sessions, not just demonstrations by trainers. Otherwise, the training is abstract theory only, and lacks the hands-on experience so necessary to mastery of any clinical practice.
Legitimate training leading to certification as a clinical hypnotherapist must incorporate information about the ethical uses of hypnosis and professional boundaries. There should be information relating to the use of hypnotherapy in treating specific diagnostic presenting issues, such as depression, addictions, anxiety, sexual abuse, or anger management. One would expect to learn how to teach self-hypnosis to others, and what are the appropriate uses of self-hypnosis. NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and Gestalt Therapy are related therapeutic techniques that are often incorporated into hypnotherapy training as well.
Hypnotherapy can also be very effective in conjunction with medical treatment such as pain management, accelerated healing of broken bones or burns, or anesthesia for surgery. Certification in clinical hypnotherapy should prepare a health care professional to work with these types of conditions and many more in an integrative medicine setting.