How do you become a hypnotherapist?

A therapy room the therapist hypnotising a man with a pocket watch. Below are the words 'how do you become a hypnotherapist?'
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People often search the internet for ‘how to become a hypnotherapist?’, so we figured we’d write a quick guide to set you on your way, giving you all the information that you need to help you begin your journey to become a hypnotherapist (you’re welcome). Now, it’s important to realise that no matter what you currently do, regardless of your existing skills, personality or life experience, YOU can become a hypnotherapist! But how, I hear you ask? Well, you’re doing the first thing already, researching how to become a hypnotherapist – well done! That’s step 1 out of the way. However, before you continue onto the next steps and figure out exactly what you’re looking for, it’s worth considering exactly why you want to become a hypnotherapist. Perhaps you are bored with your current job (or don’t have one), and you’re looking for an exciting new career – if so, that works! Maybe you like the idea of being self-employed and ditching your role as an ’employee’, taking charge of when and where you work, and even who you work with – you’re in the right place! Maybe you want to earn a bunch of money with very few business set-up and overhead costs – again, hypnotherapy can help you do this! Or perhaps you simply want to start helping people to improve their lives – in which case, becoming a hypnotherapist is probably perfect for you! Whether you want to become a hypnotherapist for one of those reasons, or for another completely different reason, read on and we’ll help you take the first steps towards starting your journey as a hypnotherapist…


How to become a hypnotherapist

Well, to cut a long story short, to become a hypnotherapist what you really need is hypnotherapy training. Whether you choose a comprehensive online course, a bunch of hypnotherapy books, or a live, in-person hypnotherapy diploma course, you’ll need to learn how to do hypnotherapy safely, effectively and comprehensively. In the UK, there are (at time of writing) no laws that govern hypnotherapy training, so pretty much anyone can ‘say’ they’re a hypnotherapist. Now, whether they can actually ‘walk the walk’ is a different matter, because when someone doesn’t get the right level of initial (and ongoing) training, there are usually gaps in their knowledge and a lack of skill in their practical abilities. Depending on where you are in the world, there will be different laws relating to hypnotherapy, but law or no law, getting good quality training is your first port of call if you want to become a professional hypnotherapist (and make a business out of it).

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Just like the variation in skill of hypnotherapists around the world,  do also be aware that not all hypnotherapy training is equal. There are some hypnotherapy trainers and hypnotherapy training courses out there that won’t (or can’t) give you the level of training that you need. Some people start teaching hypnotherapy before they’ve even seen hypnotherapy clients, and obviously this tends to show in the (lack of) quality of the training they offer, as well as the (lack of) abilities of the students that undertake said training. It can be a bit of a minefield, so make sure you check the credentials and experience of your potential teacher(s) before signing up to anything. Look through their websites, do they have smaller/more affordable training products or even free YouTube videos that you can check out before signing up to a more costly course option? Do they have testimonials relating to their abilities as a hypnotherapy trainer? Because if they don’t, they should! For example, check out all of the testimonials our live hypnotherapy training has received! These are the types of things to look out for before you decide who to train with.

Once you’ve chosen who’s going to teach you to become a hypnotherapist, you need to figure out exactly what they’re offering you. Are there different training options and which one will suit you best? Obviously, at hypnosis-courses.com we offer a whole range of different hypnosis and hypnotherapy training options. However, if you’re looking to become a hypnotherapist and you have little-to-no experience, then it’s up to us as a training provider to properly inform you about exactly which of our courses might best meet your needs. In the example mentioned above (wanting to become a hypnotherapist and having little-to-no experience), we’d recommend our Hypnotherapy 101 – Learn Hypnotherapy Skills course, because it fits the bill perfectly. That course will give you a broad range of information about the different topics you’ll need to know when you become a hypnotherapist. Unfortunately though, not all companies are as student-focused as we are. In fact, some hypnotherapy trainers just want to sell you anything and everything, because they want your money and don’t care about the outcome. That’s why finding good quality training that will truly help you to become a hypnotherapist can sometimes be a bit challenging! Of course every training company has something to sell. The important thing is what is sold and how it’s sold to you. As conscientious hypnotherapy trainers, our focus is not getting people to buy every single course that we have on offer, because it’s likely that you don’t need to! What we want, is for you to have a positive and useful experience (specific to your needs) that will set you up for success in the future. So, go for a hypnosis training company that has your needs in mind, rather than having their own financial interests as the key focus!


Hypnotherapy course duration

So, one aspect of figuring out what you’re getting is course duration. How long is the course? If it’s online, then it really needs to be more than just an hour or two. Remember, you’re aiming to learn a whole therapy. How long do you think a psychologist or a counsellor trains before they see clients? It’s a helluva lot more than a couple of hours, that’s for sure. So, to get a depth of training, you need to ensure that you’re given sufficient information to get you started. That takes time. Our Hypnotherapy 101 training mentioned above is over 6.5 hours long, which is pretty comprehensive in comparison to some other online hypnotherapy training courses, however, it is by no means exhaustive! It’s definitely enough to get you started working safely, appropriately and effectively with hypnotherapy clients, yes. But it definitely isn’t enough to ‘fully qualify’ you as a hypnotherapist. There’s no sugar-coating it, it’s just not, and nor should any trainer say that their course is enough, if, in reality, it actually isn’t. As a company, we’re pretty open about that kind of stuff, but again, some training schools are not. Some online courses that last for a mere couple of hours suggest that ‘this course gives you all the skills and knowledge you need to become a hypnotherapist’, or that you’ll be ‘a fully qualified and competent professional hypnotherapist’ upon engaging with said training. As mentioned previously, hypnotherapy is quite often not legally regulated, some trainers will use this to their advantage by making false claims. So, engage your brain and your logic when choosing your course, especially when considering the course duration.

If your goal is to become a hypnotherapist and immediately set up your own practice (and not need any more training), then you’re probably going to need more than just a short online training course. Our live hypnotherapy diploma course, for example, is over 130+ hours in duration (face-to-face) and includes a minimum of 330+ hours of evidenced home study! How do you think the knowledge and skill of a hypnotherapist who’s training consisted of a short online hypnotherapy course would fare in comparison to a hypnotherapist that engaged in over 450+ hours of hypnotherapy training? Well, there’s no comparison. However, as mentioned, either person can call themselves a hypnotherapist (in the UK at least). At the end of the day, it comes down to whether you want to qualify quickly ‘on the cheap’, or if you want to take a comprehensive course and make an investment in your future.

There are courses out there (both live and online) that range from minutes to hours, there are some live hypnotherapy training courses that are short and ‘intensive’ (2-7 days long), and others that consist of 20+ days of training. Some courses are over in less than a week, others last for 2-3 years. There are so many options out there, and it’s up to you, the student, to decide to get the best possible level of training that you can on the budget that you can afford. To do that, the best thing you can do is compare the tutors, course duration, what’s covered on the course, as well as the cost.


Hypnotherapy course cost

You can invest any amount of money in hypnotherapy training (seriously, any amount). There are books out there ranging from a few pence to hundreds of pounds. Similarly, you can find online courses that range from small to large (and even extortionate) fees. If you’re looking for live training, then it’s likely you’re going to need to pay more again. However, generally, the more that you invest, the better your level of knowledge and skill will be…most of the time (it’s not always the case, as some trainers and authors do overvalue their products and courses, although it’s a general rule of thumb).

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So, why not just buy the competitively priced ‘Beginner’s Guide to Hypnotherapy’ book (or something similar) and be done with it? Well, although that is a good book (I should know, I wrote it), it will only take you to a certain level. As well as that, you only get one type of information, which is ‘text’. Now, I’m not bashing hypnotherapy books, as I personally started off my career in hypnosis by learning from books (before progressing to online and live training courses). However, a smart student of hypnotherapy will realise that learning from books alone can be quite limiting. This is where online training comes in (as well as the books, if you like), to up your game, without upping the cost too much!

By engaging in an online hypnotherapy training course, you’re getting multiple levels of learning and engagement (and generally, a lot more information, delivered in different ways). Many of our online courses, including our flagship Hypnotherapy 101 course, as well as containing extensive training videos, also contain a comprehensive course manual. So, you’re effectively ‘getting a book’ as well as a video training course. The video aspect is super important too though, because as well as reading the words, you get to hear from real-life hypnotherapists about how to do what they do. You get to learn from watching them, and seeing exactly how they deliver hypnotherapy, hearing how they formulate and phrase the words that they use during a hypnotherapy session. You get to watch live demonstrations of real hypnotherapy techniques in action and in some cases, you even get to experience those techniques for yourself. So, perhaps you can see why online training can be much more effective than just reading a hypnotherapy book!

Finally, live training, though generally most costly, is the pinnacle of learning to become a hypnotherapist. A really good live training course may set you back a couple of grand (yes, seriously). However, consider the fact that a professional, qualified hypnotherapist can quite reasonably charge between £60-250 per session (or more), and that initial course cost doesn’t then seem quite so substantial, does it? As well as getting all of the benefits of online training, a live hypnotherapy course gives you the option to interact with your trainers, to ask questions to better understand information, as well as creating discussions and challenging taught ideas and concepts. You are observed by your tutors and given direction and feedback on your performance, which in turn helps you improve even quicker. In many cases, you also need to pass an examination in order to receive your qualification (which isn’t the case for the majority of online hypnotherapy courses). This helps you further reinforce the knowledge and skills that you’ll learn on a course. Most importantly, you get an opportunity to actually practice the techniques that you’re learning with your fellow students in class – this is an integral part of becoming a great hypnotherapist!

As we offer all 3 training options (books, online courses and live training), we fully understand the needs of hypnotherapy students, both in the UK and internationally, and we get that finances can be an influencing factor in terms of which type of training is chosen. Moving forwards on your journey, it’s important to keep in mind that what you’re doing is investing in yourself. Spend what you can in order to ensure that your training is sufficient, and know that in the beginning, a book might be a good place to start, but if you can afford it, a good online course would likely be better (or if you can get both, do that)! If you decide to take that option, then you’ll definitely have plenty of stuff to practice whilst you’re building up your finances in order to pay for your full hypnotherapy diploma training. If you’re truly serious about becoming a professional hypnotherapist, saving to join a practitioner level course is something that you’ll find a way to do (even if it does take a little longer than you’d like). However, if you’re not sure whether you’re ready to make that commitment yet, then an online course is a great way to ‘test the water’ without a 4-figure financial investment!


What you should learn on a hypnotherapy course

Your hypnotherapy training, whether a comprehensive live training course, or a shorter online introduction to hypnotherapy should include most (if not all) of the following topics, in order that you have a thorough understanding of how hypnotherapy works:

How to hypnotise (both progressively and rapidly)
How to test suggestibility in your clients

‘Behavioural’ hypnotherapy approaches
‘Cognitive’ hypnotherapy approaches
‘Analytical’ hypnotherapy approaches
How to create your own ‘hypnotic suggestions’ (direct, indirect and metaphorical)
How to get information from your client (case history)
How to inform clients about hypnosis (the pre-talk)
How to teach self-hypnosis
How to set clients homework

If a course (even an online hypnotherapy training course) does not cover most of these topics, then you might want to find a different course, as these are the main things that you will need to know in order to start working effectively with clients as a hypnotherapist. Obviously this list is very broad, and by no means exhaustive. If you are planning to go beyond an introduction-level course and engage in a full practitioner-level hypnotherapy diploma course, your training will likely need to include a live (face-to-face) training element and should also include:

Information on various conditions you will be working with
‘Regression’ hypnotherapy approaches

Using hypnosis alongside other approaches (such as NLP, REBT, Mindfulness, etc.)
How to set up your hypnotherapy practice
Advanced hypnotherapy approaches


Question everything!

When you’ve decided that you are going to become a hypnotherapist and you begin researching which hypnotherapy course you are going to do, its important that you compare exactly what you’re going to get from the courses (don’t just sign up to the first one you see). Here are some questions you might ask your prospective hypnotherapy trainers:

What topics are covered on the course? – the trainer should be able to show you the full syllabus upon request. Our courses have a full write-up of what’s included as well as an ‘explainer’ video to show you exactly what you’re going to get!

Is there an exam required for you to pass the course or do you pass just by attending/downloading it? – as mentioned previously, most online courses do not have examination elements, however live training often will (or probably should).

What do past students have to say about the course? – check out the courses/trainers testimonials, video testimonials are best. If they don’t have any, you could ask to be put in touch with past students to talk about the course with them directly.

Speak to the tutors to find out if they’re the ‘right fit’ for you! – if your tutor doesn’t have passion for hypnotherapy, then the training will likely suffer. Choose a course with tutors who are passionate about the subject, those who live and love hypnosis!

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Start now

Now is always the best time to begin. Hypnotherapy books and online courses can be started immediately, so the sooner you get started, the sooner you can start your career as a hypnotherapist. If you’re looking at live training, and the course you want doesn’t start for a few weeks/months, then get going with some online training in the meantime. The more knowledge and experience you get, the better a hypnotherapist you’ll become.

As a new student of hypnotherapy, it can be good to learn from many different sources, because the world of hypnotherapy is very diverse, so there are many different approaches and opinions out there. Keep in mind though, that if something looks unprofessional, irrelevant or ridiculous, then don’t be afraid to move onto studying something else (regardless of other opinions). As a rule, hypnotherapists that use a wide range of approaches often find it easier to adapt themselves to fit each individual client, rather than the client having to fit their approaches. This is flexibility is a very important quality to have as a hypnotherapist.

Once you begin to learn, also begin to practice, because practice is a fundamental part of learning to become a hypnotherapist. It is a practical topic, so to get good at it, you need to practice your socks off! I have, and so have all of the other really good hypnotherapists that I know. Practice makes perfect, and it’s no different in the hypnotherapy world! So, practice, practice, practice! That said, we don’t recommend that you go and see clients before you actually know what you’re doing. However, you can quite easily record your own hypnotherapy sessions for yourself, which gives you a great chance to experience hypnotherapy as well as developing your own abilities in preparation for seeing paying clients or even helping friends and family with hypnotherapy. You can re-write hypnosis scripts in your own words to figure out how and why they work. You might think of ‘hypnotic suggestions’ that you could give to people in order to help them change habits, behaviours and thoughts. Whatever you choose to do, the more you engage with the information that you learn, the better your hypnotherapy skills will become and the sooner you will become a competent, confident hypnotherapist!


We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog on how to become a hypnotherapist. If you have any more questions about this topic or anything else for that matter, do please get in touch, because we’re always happy to help!

– written by Rory Z Fulcher
(Hypnosis-Courses.com Trainer)

Rory Z Fulcher Hypnosis Courses Online hypnosis training

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