Students learn how to use hypnotherapy to help clients with physical or psychological problems.
Because many hypnotherapists pursue private practice or self-employment opportunities, the coursework also often covers business topics such as marketing, record keeping and building a customer base.
Certificate programs in hypnotherapy vary greatly. Some are undergraduate programs, while others are offered only to healthcare professionals. Program lengths vary, but most certificate programs take less than a year to complete. Graduates can pursue professional certification at several levels.
No prerequisites are required for vocational and technical school programs, but a high school diploma is needed for university-level programs, and previous healthcare education and experience is required for professional programs. An internship is often required at all levels of hypnotherapy education.
Educational prerequisites and admissions requirements differ greatly between programs. Programs offered at technical or vocational colleges may require only that applicants submit an application and application fee. Programs offered at the university level may require high school transcripts, standardized test scores and an admissions essay. A select number of hypnotherapy certificate programs are designed for current healthcare professionals and require previous education or medical experience. The curriculum of a hypnotherapy certificate program typically has no general education requirements outside the hypnosis concentration. In addition to regular coursework, most programs feature an internship where certificate candidates practice what they have learned in the classroom under direct supervision. Courses may include the following topics:
- History of hypnosis
- Basic hypnosis
- General hypnotherapy
- Relaxation and meditation techniques
- Regression analysis
- Fears and phobias
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
In addition to being self-employed as certified hypnotherapists, graduates of this program may also seek employment opportunities in a variety of healthcare settings. These may include doctor's offices as well as the offices of psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage counselors and personal therapists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of May 2015, the mean salary for mental health counselors was $45,080.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Master's degree programs in hypnotherapy are available for individuals who want to continue their education beyond the certificate level. Other options include graduate degrees in related fields, such as master's degree or doctorate programs in areas like wellness or alternative medicine.
The International Certification Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy offers voluntary certifications for hypnotherapists. There are four separate certification levels available based on education and experience. The certifications include Certified Hypnotist, Certified Professional Hypnotist, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Certified Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapist.
In addition to physical issues, programs in hypnotherapy include work related to business and psychology. Voluntary certification is available on multiple levels depending on a therapist's level of education and experience.