How to become a Hypnotherapist. Read through our comprehensive job guide to learn more about this career.
What does an Hypnotherapist do?
As a hypnotherapist, you would aim to access deeper parts of people’s minds to help them overcome a wide range of psychological and physical conditions, including:
- panic attacks
- sleep problems
- lack of confidence
- stress-related physical conditions
- unwanted habits such as smoking or overeating.
You would bring about a state of deep relaxation in your clients, and then make suggestions to their subconscious mind to help them alter negative patterns of behaviour and thinking. Some people may need several sessions for the treatment to be successful.
Your work would involve:
- setting up an initial consultation with your client
- discussing their medical and social history
- recommending a course of treatment
- inducing a hypnotic trance
- making positive suggestions and statements.
You might choose to combine hypnotherapy with other types of psychotherapy and counselling techniques.
Most hypnotherapists are self-employed and run their own practices. This means that you could choose your own working hours, although you would often provide evening and weekend appointments to suit your clients.
You could work from your own home, or from rooms in a shared practice, private hospital or clinic. You may also practise hypnotherapy in some NHS hospitals.
How much does an hypnotherapist earn?
As a self-employed hypnotherapist, income depends on the hours you work and the number of clients you see. You would typically charge an hourly rate of anywhere between £50 and £105.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
To prepare for work as a hypnotherapist, you can take a qualification recognised by one of the professional bodies associated with hypnotherapy, such as:
- the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)
- the Hypnotherapy Society
- the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC), through the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR).
Check each organisation’s website for more information.
Many courses approved by the professional associations, such as the NCH Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD), involve a series of practical weekend workshops spread over a few months, plus self-study and written assignments.
You will not usually need qualifications to get on to most hypnotherapy training courses, although it may be useful to have a background in healthcare or counselling.
Some hypnotherapy courses are at postgraduate level and aimed at qualified psychologists or healthcare professionals, and require a relevant degree or professional qualification.
Contact course providers for exact entry requirements.
Training and Development
Joining an association should prove that you are competent to practise, which should help your career. Each association has its own eligibility rules for joining, but in general you will need a recognised hypnotherapy qualification and a certain amount of supervised practice. See the NCH, GHR and Hypnotherapy Society websites for full details.
You will need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date throughout your career, for example by researching new techniques, and attending conferences and short courses.
Although there are no laws about the training and registration of hypnotherapists, the main professional associations in this field have been working together to create standards of practice (check the website for the Hypnotherapy Regulatory Forum) and work together with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) to form a single (voluntary) regulatory body to cover a wide range of complementary therapies (see below).
- Hypnotherapy Regulatory Forum
The aim of the CNHC is to protect the public by registering practitioners, setting standards for safe practice and providing a means of redress if things go wrong.
To register, your profession must be a member of the CNHC (this is being rolled out in stages). If you are interested in joining, you should check with your professional body and on the CNHC website regularly for updates.
- Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
Skills and Knowledge
- the ability to build trust and rapport with patients
- good listening and communication skills
- maturity and emotional stability
- understanding and sensitivity
- a non-judgemental attitude
- the desire to understand and help people with their problems
- a calm and professional manner
- honesty and integrity.
You would usually be self-employed and run your own practice. Interest in hypnotherapy is growing, due to an increasing volume of referrals from GPs and private health insurers.
There are a few opportunities within the NHS but these are mainly for qualified medical practitioners.