How to Pick a Hypnotherapy School

How to select a hypnotherapy school

"If only I had known..." should not be a predominate afterthought between ones hypnotherapy training and the early stages of professional practice. After all, most people enter that training with the idea they want an easier life, with less stress and a ready income. The dream can certainly be realized; but only with realistic expectations and forethought.


That is the reason for this course. Dr. Kweethai no longer offers training in Basic Hypnosis — devoting her efforts to Master Courses instead — but her thoughts on how to approach basic training suggest how you might approach such training in a way that results in later success as a practicing hypnotherapist.


As university professors we watched too many students graduate with a Degree of Uncertainty. In other words, they received a diploma but had no idea what to do with their life. 


Within the field of hypnotherapy we have observed a similar phenomenon; recent graduates find it difficult to translate the enthusiasm experienced during Training into the satisfaction of a worthwhile career. Some find fault with their instructors. Some pass it off as a lack of innate ability within themselves. While others accept a marginalized lifestyle as the price of participating in a field that is unregulated, spiritually oriented, and frequently misjudged.


The purpose of this Course is to help you reflect beyond assumptions and, therefore, finish your training from whatever mindfully selected school you choose knowing that you are prepared to embark on a new career.

Course details

Description: A few things to think about if you are contemplating training to become a certified hypnotherapist.


Completion time

   Reading: 15 minutes

   Videos:  18 minutes

   Reflections:  5 hours (@~30 minutes per lesson)


Prerequisites: none

Credit: none




Definition of hypnosis & hypnotherapy

All hypnotherapists practice hypnosis, but not all hypnotists can perform hypnotherapy.

It's not a matter of whether or not you can earn an income, it's HOW you choose to do it. It's also a matter of whether or not you can maintain the trust of each client. Drawing a clear distinction between hypnosis and hypnotherapy makes it more likely you will accept only clients you can truly help; enhancing their trust and your own sense of competence. 


Make a list of what attracted you to the study of hypnosis and what you hope to accomplish.

Use that list to construct a statement of purpose. This will guide your selection of a training program and help you make choices as you engage in learning. 



Why learn hypnotherapy?

Knowledge does not change behaviors. Hypnotherapy works with the subconscious mind to help people return to health and happiness.

As a hypnotist you learn to discriminate between the conscious and the subconscious mind. It gives you access. You learn to give suggestions that influence client behaviors; but that is only the broadest approach to addressing the client's interests. Hypnotherapy, by definition, goes well beyond mere suggestion to more comprehensively address the client's issues, not just obvious behaviors.


Search 'Hypnotherapy' on the internet and identify working hypnotherapists. Look at the types of client issues they work on. How do they define their approach? Dig down into strategies they advocate. Do they use readily understandable terminology, or is their meaning obscured by jargon?


Now search 'Hypnotherapy schools'. Can you easily understand what each program claims to teach? Is there a school whose claims seem consistent with your statement of purpose?



What makes iHealth Hypnotherapy School unique

What makes iHealth Hypnotherapy School unique is that we are professional teachers, as well as operating a successful hypnotherapy practice.

Learn from professionals who have achieved at a level you aspire to. But also consider whether or not they are able to adequately convey to you what has made them successful. 


Looking at the programs located in the prior reflection; is there any evidence that the principle instructors are successful hypnotherapists? Do they maintain a private practice? Do they provide evidence of their skills, not just in teaching, but in doing hypnotherapy? 



Consider the example you want to follow

The learning setting should be consistent with the therapy setting. Support expectancy. Enhance trust.

Hypnotherapy is highly personal. If the learning setting feels like a cattle call, can you expect the degree of individualized attention required for you to develop the qualities of a centered and concerned hypnotherapist? Large classes widen your networking opportunities, but limit access to the instructor; and are better at conveying general information than developing personal skills.


Look for evidence that instruction takes place in surroundings conducive to learning. It need not be a conventional classroom, but you don't want a sense that students meet in a lobby area and sit on each other's laps. In other words, is the location convenient, comfortable, and set up appropriate to the advertised class size?



Quality of hypnotherapy students

The quality of students accepted into iHealth Hypnotherapy School is an indication of the premium we place on their subsequent ability to practice successfully.

Even though Dr. Kweethai now focuses on Master Classes, she is still very selective in terms of whom she allows to attend. Whether or not one migrates into the successful practice of hypnotherapy, her intent is that every student derive a significant benefit from having attended.


Dr. Kweethai continues to learn, often studying a single topic with several different teachers. She maintains of practice of communicating with each new teacher before committing to a class, workshop or retreat. This serves 2 purposes. 1) It provides an indication of how the instructor relates to students individually. 2) It allows her to clarify matters of interest that may not be detailed on a website or brochure. 

As a reflective exercise, consider what questions you would ask an instructor under similar circumstances, after having made yourself familiar with their website and other materials, and consistent with your statement of purpose. 



Advantage of more hours in a hypnotherapy course

There is an advantage to requiring more hours in a hypnotherapy course, such as being better prepared to practice upon graduation.

But the nature of the hours is very important. It seems unwise to pay a premium for a 500-hour course if 300 of those hours are comprised of a reading list; i.e., books you will purchase and read on your own with no related, live instruction or accountability beyond a signed affidavit of completion.


For each instructional program you have located, sum the number of face-to-face hours of instruction. For an online program, you can likely get an idea of a breakdown of video time versus other tasks and assignments. You should be able to get an idea of the amount of 'active instruction' versus unsupervised or relatively unaccountable hours for which you are to earn credit. 



Supervised practice in hypnotherapy training

Supervised practice in hypnotherapy training increases students' confidence because they immediately know what they are doing correctly and incorrectly, with an opportunity to engage improved practice.

We see this as the critical difference between 'knowing about hypnotherapy' and the ability to 'do hypnotherapy'. We meet people at annual conferences who are very conversant in theories and strategies, yet lack confidence to practice full time. 


For each instructional program, look for accountability standards. Will you need to demonstrate competence beyond mere knowledge? In other words, is assessment built into skill practice? Is there a criterion level of skill, not just knowledge, required for certification? 

Is there evidence that independent study (reading, etc.) is linked to skill learning? In other words, will assigned readings aid the completion of clinical tasks as you practice your skills?



When is a hypnotherapist ready to practice?

When is a hypnotherapist ready to practice? It is less about the certification and more about the commitment to practicing skills and continuing to learn.

What led you to study hypnotherapy? While it can be fun and rewarding, it also requires constant practice, learning new skills, addressing unique issues, and a high level of collaboration, while still protecting your own sense of self. Certification is merely the end of your initial training; learning continues. 


Many programs are comprised of multiple courses, classes, sections (the terminology varies). In your own understanding, do those parts appear designed to build, either independently or in a logical sequence, toward a level of basic skill; or merely to the accumulation of the number of hours; required for certification?


Then, assuming a description of basic abilities is provided, is there a system of continuing education available? Upon completion of your initial certification you may or may not wish to continue learning with the same instructors; but the availability of master coursework acknowledges the breadth of learning necessary to the viability and success of a full time hypnotherapy practice.



Make a living with hypnotherapy

To make a living with hypnotherapy requires confidence and competence.

If you have self-doubts in your current job or profession, that will not change just because you learn hypnosis or hypnotherapy. And self-employment brings its own set of challenges. You are most likely to be successful at hypnotherapy if you have already mastered something else; because that demonstrates your ability to master a skill set, to set and achieve goals, to reflect and revise, to keep your own score card. 


At this point, examine your own abilities and predilections honestly...

Are you a self-starter?

Do you enjoy learning for the sake of learning?

Are you a natural problem-solver, comfortable with discontinuous processes and ambivalent results?

Do you have an extensive vocabulary, yet the ability to adapt your vocal patterns?

Do you like people?

Fess up now; because if the answer to any of these is No, you can easily earn certification but find actual practice a perpetual struggle.


No guarantee without continuous learning

There is no guarantee one can practice hypnotherapy even after any number of training hours. It takes a real commitment by the student to fully engage in the training, and afterward to pursue continuous learning.

No training can comprehensively prepare you for the unique circumstances that present themselves every day in a hypnotherapy office. Regardless of the quality of instruction, the first few years feel like on-the-job training. The greatest value in any program is that it prepare you to ask the right questions and learn how to look for answers. 


Dr. Kweethai left a successful career in academia with no plan; knowing only that a better option would emerge. When she discovered hypnotherapy, she embraced the possibilities. Her basic training program was in every way basic; but she read beyond the curriculum. Upon certification she located mentors to guide her through the early days of her practice. 


Are you an entrepreneur? Can you transition from being an employee to being self-employed? 

Would you be able and willing to locate and collaborate with colleagues or a mentor?

Do you have confidence to sustain yourself through the inevitable difficulties and disappointments of a new, complex endeavor?