If you are wondering how to become a hypnotherapist, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers in this area of alternative therapy, as well as job prospects in the UK.

    The Job Description
    Hypnotherapists aim to access deeper parts of the mind in order to help their clients overcome physical and psychological problems. Hypnosis can be used to overcome a wide range of conditions, including depression, stress, anxiety and addictions.

    As a hypnotherapist you would use different techniques, including storytelling, metaphors and direct suggestion, to relax clients into a trance-like state. Therapists believe that once the client has reached this state, they can alter negative or dysfunctional patterns of behaviour. Some people may need several sessions for the treatment to be successful.

    The work of a hypnotherapist typically starts with an initial consultation. During this they would discuss their client’s problem or condition, take a full medical and social history, and then recommend a course of treatment.

    The method can be used to treat a range of conditions, including drug and alcohol addiction, phobias, depression, eating disorders, panic attacks, insomnia and emotional difficulties.

    Person Specification
    The key personal attributes of hypnotherapists include:

    good written and spoken communication skills
    maturity and emotional stability
    the desire to understand and help people with their problems
    the ability to build up a rapport with clients
    to be able to remain emotionally unattached.

    How to become a homeopath
    You could take a variety of courses to prepare for this field of work. Three membership organisations hold details of course providers meeting their professional standards:

    the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)
    the Hypnotherapy Society
    the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR).
    Courses often require one or two years of part-time study. They are likely to combine lectures, group exercises, demonstrations and practical work. You will learn hypnotic techniques, hypnotic language patterns and management of client needs.

    Many courses do not ask for specific academic qualifications. If you have experience or qualifications in healthcare or counselling they could be useful in this area of work. Contact the course providers for entry requirements.

    There are a number of postgraduate courses available in hypnotherapy. You will need a degree or equivalent professional qualification in order to get onto a course at this level. Late entrants are welcomed, as this is a career where life experience is highly valued.

    Training and Development
    Although hypnotherapy is an unregulated profession, the Hypnotherapy Society, NCH and GHR are are working to regulate the profession and create standards of practice. Membership is becoming more common amongst therapists.

    To maintain your membership with an organisation you will need to maintain your skills and knowledge with ongoing training, perhaps by attending lectures and seminars. As a new practitioner you may undergo supervision as part of your membership. See the NCH, GHR and the Hypnotherapy Society websites in Further Information below for details.

    Skills for Health, the Sector Skills Council for Health, has developed National Occupational Standards for hypnotherapy. These standards will influence training and qualifications in this area.

    The Pay (a rough guide)
    Most hypnotherapists are self-employed and charge by the session. Charges can vary between £40 and £80 an hour.

    A newly qualified hypnotherapist can earn between £15,000 and £20,000 a year.
    An experienced hypnotherapist may earn £35,000 or more a year.

    Job Prospects
    Demand for hypnotherapists is growing, due to an increasing volume of referrals from GPs and private health insurers. Opportunities exist in a variety of settings, including private hospitals and clinics, and private practice.

    There are a few opportunities within the NHS but these are mainly for medically qualified practitioners.

    Useful therapies resources:
    National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)
    PO Box 43
    Burton on the Water
    GL54 2D
    Tel: 0800 952 0545

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