When you consider how many ways that hypnotherapy can add into your income stream, it isn’t surprising that people are seeking new, quick and convenient ways to learn it. Some people want to change careers and become full-time hypnotherapists, others want to do hypnotherapy part-time, such as when their children are at school, or to earn those extra luxuries in life by working a couple of evenings a week. Many people look at online training as a way of optimising their study time, fitting it into busy lives without having to factor in travel and associated costs. We are often asked if it is possible to learn hypnotherapy online, in enough depth to set out as a competent, confident practitioner, and our answer is usually ‘yes and no’. This blog will explore the reasons for this, as well as a range of points to consider if you’re looking to learn hypnotherapy online.
A simple google search will give you page after page of course providers (more than 6.3 million results, in fact). So, how can you start to develop a shortlist of possible training providers? How can you choose which course will be best for you? Well, there are five key criteria you may wish to look for in order to narrow your selection and help you find a training course that’s sufficient to give you what you need to become a confident and professional hypnotherapist. These are, duration, delivery, content, engagement and practical experience opportunities.
Online hypnotherapy course duration
You will find online hypnotherapy courses ranging in duration from as little as an hour, up to days, weeks or even months (there are also some trainings even longer than this, but the longer ones tend to be ‘offline’ rather than online). However, unless you have pre-existing experience already, an hour or two is unlikely to give you the knowledge and the opportunity to develop the skills you will need as a practitioner. A short (e.g. less than 8 hours) course can be useful in giving you enough preliminary knowledge and foundation-level practical skills to know if learning hypnotherapy, or becoming a hypnotherapist, is right for you. When it comes to course duration, consider what you want to learn, and whether the course is long enough to cover topics in enough depth. It can be tempting to do as short a course as possible to get a certificate, yet the certificate won’t hypnotise your clients and get great results… It is your knowledge and skill that will help there. You also need to consider your own time frames and how much study time you are able to commit. Some online hypnotherapy courses have online meetings that are months apart, others are weekly and a few are even intensive, with ‘blocks of time’ or multiple days close together. Studying online can be quite intense so having a bit of time in between classes can allow you to process all your have learned in the session, as well as building on that learning with practice and by engaging with the training materials.
Online hypnotherapy course delivery styles
There are a wide range of hypnotherapy courses online, which incorporate many different delivery styles, ranging from simple PDF documents through to professionally recorded videos produced in recording studios, as well as ‘live online’ training sessions, often held via online conferencing software (such as ‘Zoom’). With these different delivery styles, there are a number of factors to consider. Whilst a PDF manual is useful to read, some things are better learned by watching. Therefore a combination of written and video training materials can be useful. In addition, if you have any questions about what you are watching, then a means of quickly getting those queries answered by your tutors/trainers is helpful too. A good practitioner level training course is likely to employ a variety of learning delivery methods, each contributing towards a stronger learning process overall. For example, a detailed manual provides essential theory and information about techniques and approaches. Video lectures and demonstrations are great as you can watch them in your own time and as often as you need. Live (online) discussions with the tutors and other students are fantastic for developing understanding and finding out about different perspectives. Similarly, online student forums are great for further support and ongoing discussions. Also, on the topic of ‘live online’ course meetings, watching and experiencing live demonstrations and getting live practice opportunities (with feedback) are integral towards the development of strong hypnotherapy skills.
Online hypnotherapy course content/syllabus
There are many different theoretical perspectives/styles of hypnotherapy which connect into the overall scope of hypnotherapy training, that it can be confusing as to what you might need to learn. Some courses will offer just one overarching concept, such as ‘cognitive hypnotherapy’ or ‘behavioural hypnotherapy’ or ‘regression therapy’, but what do these terms mean for a beginner, or someone that doesn’t have any idea of what a good online hypnotherapy course should include? Well, behavioural hypnotherapy works with someone’s habits and ways of responding to situations. For example, someone might bite their nails when they are stressed – a hypnotherapist would use ‘behavioural hypnotherapy’ in order to work with such issues. Cognitive hypnotherapy focuses on people’s thoughts and beliefs. For example, someone might be anxious when driving on busy roads, due to their limiting belief that they are not a good enough driver – dealing with the thoughts and beliefs relating to their problem, using cognitive hypnotherapy, would likely be the best approach for such a client. Analytical hypnotherapy looks as underlying reasons for problems, and helps clients to achieve deeper insight from their subconscious mind. Of course, this may not always be necessary for responses that are caused by ‘bad habits’ or unhelpful ways of thinking. Finally, there is regression hypnotherapy, which is all about exploring a client’s past memories within hypnosis. This can be useful, yet not every problem originates in the past, so working through behavioural and cognitive hypnotherapy approaches first is often a good idea. To be able to best respond to the needs of a client, whatever their problem/goal, learning about all four of these key hypnotherapy approaches is helpful. It is also important that you learn both practical and theory, in order that you develop a strong knowledge and practical skill base which will enable you to work flexibly and effectively.
Engagement with online hypnotherapy courses
When you listen to a discussion on the radio, how much of what is discussed do you remember? Do you remain fully focused on what is being said, or do you end up doing something else at the same time, such as looking through your social media posts or answering emails? The more you focus, the more you will tend to remember. The same is true with online hypnotherapy training. Unless you are actively engaging with the training course, you are less likely to learn as much as you could. As a student of hypnotherapy, especially with an online hypnotherapy course, it is up to you to engage with the training materials as well as during live sessions (if offered). Just passively ‘half-watching’ a demonstration, or reading about a technique may give you some information. However, fully engaging with training materials, giving 100% focus to any discussions online, and being fully present during your online practice experiences helps to further reinforce your knowledge and develop your understanding.
Some online hypnotherapy courses will just give you the training materials (manuals and videos), and there is no further ‘real world’ or ‘live’ engagement with the course or tutors. Whereas, other courses will have an active ‘live online’ element to the course too, and potentially also a student forum or social media group (e.g. our ‘Hypnotic Learners’ group on Facebook). These highly engaging additions are very useful as they enable you to have real-time active discussions and debate, as well as learning more from your fellow students, past graduates and your tutors, increasing your course engagement overall. An advantage of having these live engagement opportunities is the relationships and rapport that you develop. This can add to your study experience and you can also develop peer friendships that can offer support and advice throughout your career.
Another advantage with online hypnotherapy courses is that you may get a more diverse range of students to engage with throughout your course of study. This is because there are no geographical or travel restrictions that limit who joins, meaning someone from Australia can just as easily join a class as someone in the UK, or someone in the USA, Canada or even in the Arctic Circle! This gives you the opportunity to understand different cultural attitudes and perspectives relating to hypnotherapy that you might not otherwise have been aware of.
Online hypnotherapy courses and practical experience opportunities
Hypnotherapy is very much both a science and an art, and requires both theory knowledge and practical skill from the practitioner. As such, development of practical skills is just as important as learning the theory side of things (if not more important)! Some shorter online courses that may not offer live-online practical opportunities can still fulfil this need for practical development, by incorporating tasks and activities for you in the course notes/videos – this is true of our own ‘introductory level’ course, the Hypnotherapy 101 online course. This is great at an early stage of your hypnotherapy training, as you can practice in your own way and at times that suit you. However, at practitioner level the practical experience that you’ll need to work towards will be more in-depth and it can be really helpful to have practice opportunities built into the online training course itself. Not only are you then not having to hunt around for people to practice with, but your tutors can observe and give you real-time feedback and guidance too.
In all of our practitioner level training, whether online or in person, practice is a key element of the training, and is a requirement in order to receive certification, because, if you think about it from a client perspective, if you were choosing a hypnotherapist, would you prefer to choose a therapist who has put in a lot of active practice during their training, or would you be happy receiving therapy from someone who’s (maybe) watched a few videos and simply read some hypnotherapy training materials?
…I know which I’d choose!
Some final thoughts
For online hypnotherapy training at an ‘introductory’ level, it can be good to consider what topics you will be covering, how you will learn and what skills you will develop – the ‘live/interactive’ element is not so important at this stage of training, and isn’t frequently offered. However, with practitioner level hypnotherapy training, ideally you will want it to cover all of the elements mentioned throughout this blog. Also, for practitioner level hypnotherapy training, you will benefit from a well-rounded course that not only covers the immediately popular topics (e.g. hypnotic inductions and techniques), but also other vitally important aspects of hypnotherapy, such as client conditions, ethics, taking client information, legislation, business management, marketing, and much more…
If you’d like to get an idea of the kinds of topics that you can expect to learn on a good quality practitioner level hypnotherapy course, check out the syllabus and contents of our own Live-Online Hypnotherapy Certificate course. Taking place over 9-weeks, and incorporating manuals, pre-recorded training videos, live-online training sessions (via Zoom), as well as ongoing support and mentoring, this course is the ‘benchmark’ in online hypnotherapy training, and is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to become a confident, competent hypnotherapy practitioner, no matter where in the world you’re located!
Finally, remember that learning can be fun – even when learning how to become a therapist! So, if you choose trainers with good teaching and presentation skills, you are likely to enjoy the training process. Not only does that make learning a more pleasant experience but when you are enjoying your learning, you tend to learn more and remember it for longer. What an added bonus!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog on hypnotherapy training online, and 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 Dr Kate Beaven-Marks