Undertaking a hypnotherapy training course requires a considerable investment, in terms of financial, time and emotional investment. You need to ensure that you’re making the right choice for you, and are doing a course which trains you to be an ethical, confident practitioner, who can register with one of the UK’s leading professional hypnotherapy bodies. There are absolutely loads of hypnotherapy training courses out there, and the range – in terms of quality and subjects covered – is immense. It’s easy to get very lost when you first start researching hypnotherapy training courses. The following guide should help you in making an informed choice. If you’ve got any questions, though, please get in touch!
1) You can’t learn how to be a hypnotherapist from an online course
There are loads of hypnotherapy training courses which look amazing and may be, comparatively, reasonably priced. They have great websites, and promise that you emerge from a few months online training as a fully qualified hypnotherapist. However, once you try and register with a respected national professional body, your qualifications will be completely insufficient. You simply won’t have the right type of qualifications to have access to a range of therapy insurers, which means that you won’t be able to hire out reputable therapy rooms, and you certainly won’t be eligible for membership of the CNHC. The fact that you’ll be limited in what you can actually do with your online qualification out in the real world reflects the fact that hypnotherapy simply is not a subject which can be properly taught online. You can learn about the history and theory perfectly well, but hypnotherapy is about working with real life people, who may have major problems – and you cannot learn how to be a sympathetic, ethical, confident practitioner from an online course. You need interaction with real people, role playing and case studies, or you could end up making someone’s problem worse rather than better.
2) Your hypnotherapy trainer should be a qualified, practicing hypnotherapist
I work with clients and offer training courses, including the Diploma in Analytical Hypnotherapy and a range of hypnotherapy CPD courses. The only way I can give my best to my hypnotherapy students is to pass on my knowledge from working with real life clients, and I need to keep my skills up. My students often find that some of their best learning comes from listening to my stories about the clients I had the previous week (with all names and details remaining confidential, of course). It brings the subject to life. I keep learning from my clients, constantly developing my own skills – and I pass these skills onto my students.
3) Your course should allow you to register with a respected professional body and the CNHC
Start using acronyms and people’s eyes start to droop. Learning about professional bodies isn’t the most exciting part of your research into a hypnotherapy training course, but it is crucial. Otherwise, you risk doing a course which severely limits your opportunities for gaining insurance, renting therapy rooms and listing on some crucial online directories. Put simply, anyone can set themselves up as a hypnotherapist – there are no legal requirements to do a certain level of training. Reading a book, doing an online or weekend course, or simply taking a notion for being a hypnotherapist are all sufficient to create a website and call yourself a hypnotherapist. You do not have to do an accredited course or sign up with a professional body. However, there are certain huge advantages to doing so. Firstly, you want to do a course which is accredited by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC) which was established to ensure that all accredited course providers meet certain standards and cover certain subjects. Check with your training provider that they provide a GHSC accredited course (and that they have complied with the changes which came into place in 2019). The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is a government funded body and, as such, carries a lot of weight in terms of registration. It is the first port of call for NHS doctors and psychiatrists, for instance, when they are looking for a complementary therapist for one of their clients. Look for a course which will allow you to register with the CNHC upon completion.
4) Your training provider should provide ongoing support and supervision
Often, the easy part of a hypnotherapy training course is attending the classes and doing the coursework. The really hard part comes when you’ve got your first paying clients! Look for a course which offers you post-course supervision, and check whether this is included in your course fee or whether it is an expensive add on. I offer six months free supervision. If you live close enough to visit me in Prestwick, Scotland, supervision can take place face-to-face. Because many of my students travel a considerable distance to attend my courses, supervision can take p0lace by phone or Skype. I offer six months post course supervision free of charge. As well as official supervision, I’m happy to answer urgent queries by phone or email as they come up.
5) Your course should have small enough student numbers to provide sufficient learning support
Becoming a good hypnotherapist requires a lot of hands-on practice. You need to have a tutor who can watch you closely as you learn, and advise you on the subtleties of your practice. If course numbers are too large, you’ll end up learning how to do things the wrong way, or come out with a heap of theoretical knowledge which is not supported by practical learning. Another major problem with large course sizes is that you can spend so much of your time waiting for your tutor to reach you that you begin to lose interest and realise that time could be far better spent. Ask how large the student intake is, and how many tutors there are to each student.
6) Question the extras!
Many courses appear to be reasonably and fairly priced, until you look at the extras! Is supervision included in your course? Is marking extra? Will you have to pay for course materials? Extras may be a necessary requirement on the part of the course provider, but just make sure you’ve added up exactly what your course will cost you so that you don’t get a surprise down the line.
7) Case studies
Some courses place a huge emphasis on academic learning. I’m from an academic background and spent years teaching and researching at universities, and am fully aware of the benefits of academia. However, learning to be a good, ethical and confident therapist relies far more on learning the practical skills involved than learning how to reference in a particular academic manner. If you trained to be a counsellor over the course of two to three years, considerable emphasis is placed on completing a work placement and dealing with real life clients. Similarly, on a good hypnotherapy training course, you will be encouraged to complete case studies, practicing your skills with friends and family. It’s a wonderful way to learn, and you will be learning with the support of your trainer. You can also iron out some of the issues you encounter with people who know you are learning, before you’re dealing with real life, paying clients. When looking for a course, look for one which values the real-life work of a hypnotherapist above academic learning and which identifies case studies as part of it’s assignment requirements. In addition to case studies, I encourage my students to complete an assignment about how they view themselves as a hypnotherapist, focusing on their strengths and the aspects of their personalities they may have to work on. I also encourage them to draw up a business plan (not necessarily one which is a formal bank-type plan) to give them a good idea of how to market themselves, to identify the local competition and to identify the practicalities they need to consider when establishing their business.
8) Does the course fit with your needs?
It’s sometimes tempting to do a course because it looks exciting and enticing, only to find out that it is impractical for you to do so. Will this course fit in with your existing timetable? Every weekend might look doable, but is it really when you consider your other responsibilities? Can you manage to travel to the course, even in the bad weather? How will you fit the course work in around your other work? How quickly will you be able to complete the course and gain the qualification you need to establish yourself as a hypnotherapist? Will your course provide you with the right type of qualification to register with the CNHC, or will you have to undertake more professional training? These are all useful questions to ask yourself to ensure you’re doing the right course at the right time. Ultimately, it may be a fantastic hypnotherapy training course, but it needs to be the right course for you.
9) What are you going to do after the course?
Sometimes training courses look so tempting that it’s possible to lose sight of what you’re going to do with the course. Some people do training courses simply out of interest, which is perfectly fine. Others, however, undertaking hypnotherapy training with a view to making a living as hypnotherapists, and working with clients on a daily basis. If this is your goal, does your hypnotherapy training course allow you to do this? Is it GHSC accredited? What’s your timeframe for establishing your practice after the course ends? Will you get continued support from your course provider?
If you would like more information on my GHSC accredited hypnotherapy courses, run from Prestwick and Glasgow, Scotland, please contact me for information.