Are Hypnotists Certified?

Whenever I’ve put together one of my ‘hands-on’ hypnosis training courses, I am asked about certification. Most students assume that anyone using hypnosis has to be licensed or “State-certified.” This is a false premise. As of 2016, I know of no State in the USA that requires you to sit for any exam.

A few States may require you to obtain a Tax ID Number which, in my State of Washington is currently $90. It’s always approved as long as you pay the fee. You may also need a city license, usually $0 – $25. Black Bart should have had it so easy!

So, what’s the deal about certification? Most hypnotherapist training schools proclaim that you will be “certified” upon completion of their training. That certificate and a quarter may buy a cup of coffee. In essence, it means nothing as far as your business is concerned. Let me give you an example.

After practicing hypnosis for a time, I felt I should get some formal training. Upon completion, I was provided two certificates; one that read Hypnotist and the other read, Master Hypnotist. Boy, was I proud of myself, especially since those certificates were signed by a Licensed Psychologist, whom I never met.

Each of my ‘certifications’ cost me an additional $25 and I was expected to renew them each year. It only took a month or so to find that my certificates did absolutely nothing to help my business. But, they sure looked good on my office wall. Once I took them down, no one noticed. And, I’ve never been asked about certification by any of my clients.

One of the things you’ll hear—if you do call some of those schools—is that whenever they hear from someone in your area, they will refer the caller to you. Sound good? Well, in 35 years, I’ve never had a single referral. Have you ever gone to your doctor or dentist and asked to see a copy of his or her degree and their class ranking in medical school? Of course not. If you feel better after your visit, you’ll go back again. If not, you won’t.

It is my opinion that any training course promising certification should be up front about that colorful sheet of paper. It’s a bit dishonest to claim that, once you’ve completed their special training courses, you will be a ‘certified’ hypnotist. If you were to ask the average person on the street what it means to be certified, he would likely answer, “it means some kind of State license.”

Bottom line? Nix on the certification and be happy if you get tons of practical experience instead. That’s what counts in the real world!

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