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Q & A: Hypnotherapy

Common Questions about Hypnotherapy Training & Certification

Questions
How many hours of training do I need to become a Hypnotherapist?
Do I need a license to practice hypnotherapy in my state?
How will I really know if a school is "Approved" or Not?
What are the state and federal government laws concerning certification?
Do I have to be certified before I can open my private practice?
How many organizations are there that certify?
Won’t my clients be concerned if I’m not a member of a certifying body?
How will I get liability and malpractice insurance if I’m not a member of an organization? I thought you had to be certified through an organization to get reimbursed by insurance?
If I do decide to join an organization what will I be get in return for my membership fee? Will I be able to "vote" in the membership? Will I have input on issues concerning the certifying organization?
Which organization is the best to belong to? I read about one organization that says they are the largest, most important one to join. Are they?
What about those "in-house" certifying organizations? Who are they?
Should I join an organization or certifying organizations? What would be the purpose?
My Diploma from a State Approved Institute in the United States says that it certifies me as a Hypnotherapist. Why do I have to join a certifying organization to be certified again?

Is Certification a State License to Practice?

We have put together the most frequently asked questions and concerns from prospective students. Many have told us they were grateful for this information because they had become confused by the apparent differences in hours of training and the many organizations that certify.

TRAINING: In virtually all states in the United States, hypnotherapy is a free and open practice, not governed by state or federal regulations. The highest legal document for practicing hypnotherapy is a Diploma issued by an approved State Licensed School or Institute. These are legally granted state by state, according to each state’s requirements. Hours and quality of training may vary from state to state and also from school to school. However, 200 to 300 hours of training are becoming the industry’s standard.

CERTIFICATION: There is no true legal certification governed by law in most of the United States. In virtually all fifty states, certification is not a requirement to practice hypnotherapy. Exceptions are Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, and Washington require mandatory Licensure or Registration.

Answers

How many hours of training do I need to become a Hypnotherapist?
Hours of training can vary depending on your purpose of the training and your personal background. Professional hypnotherapy training standard is between 200 hours and 300 hours of hours of training, lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on utilization of techniques learned in class.
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Do I need a license to practice hypnotherapy in my state?
Virtually in all fifty of the United States, a diploma from an Approved State Licensed School is the highest level of legal, official, state government recognition. Four states: Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, and Washington require mandatory Licensure or Registration.
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How do I really know if a school or institute is Approved or Not?
Approved Schools and Institutes are legally granted the right to operate by their state governments according to each state’s requirements. Look for an approval from a State agency. For instance in California, the Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Education is our state-governing agency. Other states have different names for their state agencies that grant approvals in their state. Hours of training may vary from state to state. However, 200 to 300 hours of training are becoming the industry’s standard.
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What are the state and federal laws concerning certification?
In virtually every State and Federal Government agency, they do not legally recognize these certifying organizations or clubs. You may want to call them and ask if there is any legal recognition regarding their certifying body organization written in the law. In most states, hypnotherapy is an open practice not requiring any governmental license or regulation.
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Do I have to be certified before I can open my private practice?
Certification is not state licensure or federal approval and is not required for practice in most of the fifty United States. Certification may be misleading by these very titles and claims. With any certifying organization, do your research to discover their true identity and primary purpose through deed and not mere words. Check with your state government for requirements, if any.
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How many organizations are there that certify?
There are more than half a dozen major certifying groups and organizations in the United States.
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Won’t my clients be concerned if I’m not a member of a certifying organization?
The ABC and XYZ’s, the alphabet soup of certification has little or no meaning to consumers whom are more interested in the effectiveness of the training the Hypnotherapist received in school. Consumers can be misled into thinking that the Hypnotherapist’s certification is a state license, when in reality this is not the case. A certifying organization or club membership unfortunately does not always protect the consumer because certifying organizations are not policing agencies.
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How will I get liability and malpractice insurance if I’m not a member of an organization? I thought you had to be certified through an organization to get reimbursed by insurance?
Liability insurance for Hypnotherapists can be obtained directly from the insurance carrier without belonging to a certifying organization, sometimes at less expense.

Insurance reimbursement for hypnotherapy services is NOT automatic or guaranteed by membership in any certifying organization. You may want to call Blue Cross yourself.
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If I do decide to join an organization, what will I be get in return for my membership fee? Will I be able to vote in the membership? Will I have input on issues concerning the certifying organization?
Certification or club memberships in many cases are not true associations with voting privileges. Some do not elect their officials who shape policies and procedures for their organization or lobbying efforts. Not all organizations that certify are equal. When you send money to certifying bodies essentially for a club membership, you receive a "certificate" designating your membership in a particular organization.

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Which organization is the best to belong to?" I read about one organization that says they are the largest, most important one to join. Are they?
At this time no certifying organization or club membership has emerged as the single most important or prestigious. Almost all have played a valuable role in working with the state legislature to protect the rights of Hypnotherapists. Many make claims as what they can do for you. Remember to ask for specifics, and benefits. There are usually application and renewal fees to join.

Certification by any group really amounts to a club membership with all the political and social implications. Looking closer at these certifying organizations or club memberships, we see a posturing for a leadership position as the profession of hypnotherapy continues to grow and form. ALL organizations have some advantages and disadvantages and serve our right to practice hypnotherapy. They bring us together. Nevertheless, as individual practitioners we should have the right to closely examine and scrutinize every organization we wish to belong to and also have the choice to belong to all, some or none. We should not be dictated to which organization we should belong. It is a matter of our choice.
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What about the "in-house" certifying organizations I’ve been hearing about? Who are they?
Most major certifying bodies or clubs memberships are "in-house" organizations. In most cases, the members of these organizations do not elect the officials on their boards. Most organizations are owned or belong to schools that teach hypnotherapy. Perhaps this may be a self-serving interest; you will have to decide every organization’s motivation.

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Should I join an organization or certifying body? What would be the purpose?
In the final analysis everyone has to decide for himself or herself if they want to belong to a club or certifying organization. Like anything else you must weight the advantages and disadvantages carefully of these proprieties/political organizations. Private organizations are not governmental and have no legal authority or jurisdiction as to whether you can practice hypnotherapy or not. They are not recognized in the realm of the law. If however, you would like the social aspects that an organization brings, and the group advantages involved in some clubs, then the choice is yours. Is this one of your priorities for your private practice? Will it make a difference by joining, and so forth? Belonging to an organization can have its benefits. Remember that certifications received from different organizations with different requirements are not equal. The choice is yours.

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My Diploma from a State Approved Institute in the United States says that it certifies me as a Hypnotherapist. Why do I have to join a certifying organization to be certified again?
It depends on the institute and the institute’s state approval. Most institutes issue Diplomas that certify you because that is where your training and education was received. Some issue a "certificate of completion", therefore not stating certification. The type of document you receive depends on what was approved by the State from the school or institute. Some certifying organizations claim the word "certify" on the diploma is a play on words. However, consider this point: Your diploma you received from the school or institute is state approved. On the other hand, certifying organizations are not State approved and do not operate under state regulations. They are private organizations. Your choice to join a certifying organization should be based upon voluntary membership. Not because of a sense of urgency to be "certified."

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California Institute of the Healing  Arts & Sciences

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