Occupational description of Hypnotherapy

According to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (U.S. Dept. of Labor), a Hypnotherapist “induces hypnotic state in client to increase motivation or alter behavior patterns. Consults with client to determine nature of problem. Prepares client to enter hypnotic state by explaining how hypnosis works and what the client will experience. Tests subject to determine degree of physical and emotional suggestibility. Induces hypnotic state in client, using individualized methods and techniques of hypnosis based on interpretation of test results and analysis of client’s problem. May train client in self-hypnosis conditioning.”

The main job skills for a Hypnotherapist include such things as initiating behavior change (such as in weight management, smoking cessation, alcohol abuse), teaching & practicing interpersonal skills (from reducing mal-appropriate emotional responses to learning new communication skills), teaching & practicing intrapersonal skills (from overcoming self-defeating behaviors to discovering new self-confidence), and pain management (from managing chronic pain to undergoing medical & dental procedures with hypno-anesthesia, in which hypnosis is used as a substitute for chemical anesthesia). 

Clinical hypnotherapists most often see clients individually or in small groups. Mental health professionals practice hypnotherapy as an adjunct to other therapeutic and counseling skills. Medical and dental practitioners learn hypnotherapy to help patients deal with fear and pain. Hypnotherapists also work in spa or resort settings, where they use hypnosis to promote relaxation or facilitate behavior change related to a healthy lifestyle.