Consumer Alert

Consumer Alert from the International Board of Hypnotherapy

How do you know if a hypnotherapist has adequate training to deal with your issues? How do you know if he or she is competent to get involved in your health?

The practice of hypnotherapy is not regulated at the federal level.  This means educational institutions and professional certifying boards set their own standards for minimum academic requirements, scope of practice, code of ethics, postgraduate studies and continuing education.

It may surprise you to learn that there are still some hypnosis certifying organizations or boards that only require about 100 hours of training, an online application, and payment of a fee to be certified.

While hypnotherapy is a healing art, it is evidence-based and grounded in scientific method.  Just as an education in medicine, massage therapy or counseling requires practical skills development with a clinical supervisor, so does hypnotherapy. The International Board of Hypnotherapy does not award certification to a person who has learned hypnotherapy through a distance learning program, a correspondence course, home study or an online course.  Nor will the IBH certify those whose course was a combination of distance learning program, correspondence,  home study, or online course mixed with some classroom hours.

IBH has set a new standard for certification requirements.  For Level 3, IBH Fellow and Certified Medical Support-Clinical Hypnotherapist, IBH rigorously screens each potential member, requiring not just proof of training (400 on-site hours), but also a written examination and evaluation of their practical skills, review of therapeutic script development, state-issued proof of identity, and professional liability insurance. With IBH members there is also the peace of mind of knowing that they have received training in, and are held accountable to, a strict code of ethics.

Before consumers employ the services of a hypnotherapist, we recommend they confirm that the practitioner has between 300 and 600 hours of actual on-site training in hypnotherapy from a state-licensed school.  Hypnotherapy is neither the practice of medicine nor psychology, so regardless of anyone’s prior academic education in related topics (medicine, counseling or social work), the hypnotherapy practitioner still needs comprehensive education in actual hypnotherapy techniques in order to be competent.

To locate an IBH hypnotherapist in your area click on “Locate a Registered Medical Support Hypnotherapist.