If you are interested in training as a hypnotherapist it is likely that you will have started to carry out some research, on hypnotherapy training courses available and the training schools which offer them, on the internet.  Before long, I have no doubt, you will be looking for guidance!

Bearing in mind that you are likely to be facing a substantial investment with regard not only to course fees, but your time and energy, you want to be sure that the hypnotherapy training course you choose is the optimum one.

Unfortunately it is a minefield out there!  I hope that the following advice will give you some assistance in making you decision.  Please note that training in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) is not, as is claimed in some sites, a pre-requisite to training in hypnotherapy. NLP theory, use of language and language patterns and NLP techniques are inherent within the practitioner course.

Please feel free to contact the school at any time to discuss anything which we may have inadvertently omitted to address here or to access contact information from graduates who have already had the ‘Scottish School of Hypnotherapy Experience’!


There are moves to achieve some form of regulation in the hypnotherapy profession, however as the situation stands presently, all regulation is voluntary.

As such anyone, even with little or no training, can call themselves a hypnotherapist.  This also applies to the field of training.  In both cases therefore, recognition of the hypnotherapy training course by bona fide accrediting bodies is the only guide a person, seeking training in the field, has.

Over the last decade however a plethora of ‘accrediting bodies’ have also developed though there are moves afoot to bring about some form of rationalisation.

Last year the two main lead bodies, the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council and The UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations announced that they were  setting aside ‘differences of opinion’ in order to work together as the vehicle to lead the industry forward.’   To this end they have formed the HYPNOTHERAPY REGULATORY FORUM.

The following are some additional frequently asked questions which I have tried to answer for you.  You might however choose to ask any hypnotherapist you approach in order to give you a basis on which to evaluate their response(s).


The following are a few questions you should consider asking before choosing any particular hypnotherapy training course or training school.

  • How long has the course been in existence?

  • Are the course providers willing to facilitate contact with previous graduates or are you expected to rely on testimonials?

  • Are the hypnotherapy training courses provided by the school or training establishment recognised and/or accredited by a reputable body such as the The Hypnotherapy Association, the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council,  the National Council of Psychotherapists or The UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations?

  • Do the course trainers have substantial experience, not only in the practise of hypnotherapy, but also in curriculum development, teaching, supervision, assessment procedures and mentoring techniques?

  • On application for information regarding their hypnotherapy training courses does the school respond rapidly enough?

  • Do you get the opportunity to speak to a course director?

  • Is the hypnotherapy training course on offer comprehensive?  In other words when you complete the course will you be qualified to practise or are there ‘add-ons’, all of which will cost money?

  • Does the curriculum include suggestion therapy, hypnoanalytical techniques, past life regression, healing under hypnosis, psychotherapy, elements of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and address individual self-development?

  • Is there a residential element?

  • Is it a 'correspondence course', completely ‘distance learning’ ?

  • Ask about course design to see if it ‘fits’ with your schedule. 

  • Is the Course structured to include 'hands on' practical experience, written examination with in-depth written constructive feedback, case studies that are responded to in extensive detail, and certification?

  • Is post course support in the form of free mentoring available?

  • Are postgraduate training courses available?

  • Is the training school appropriately insured for on premises training – i e. Professional Indemnity / Public Liability?  Does that insurance cover undergraduates working with volunteer clients?

  • Will the student, on graduation to qualified practitioner, be eligible for practitioner insurance?

  • Is the qualified therapist entitled to become a member of the NSPH, the longest established and largest professional hypnotherapy society in Scotland?


When a student qualifies on any hypnotherapy training course they are usually eligible to join as a member of one or all of the bodies which accredited the training.

It can be useful to visit the websites of these bodies to ensure that the recognition they are claiming to have is valid.  You will also get a ‘flavour’ from the site vis-à-vis the legitimacy of the body.

The following are some additional questions you may like to check with those associations who offer course accreditation:

  • Do the organisations maintain a register of practitioners?

  • Do they have an Advisory Council which meet on a regular basis to ensure maintenance of standards in training and professional practice?

  • Does it have a formal Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics, Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures in place?    (If you are already a member of a professional association in a different field of endeavour, check to ensure that the accrediting body’s codes and procedures do not contradict those of your own)

  • Does the organisation provide support, raise the profile of the hypnotherapy profession, and uphold course standards, thereby safeguarding the welfare of both the public and the hypnotherapist?

  • Does the organisation support or sponsor regular peer group meetings as a forum for the exchange of views, information, advice and discussion?  Do they have an internet forum on their website?

  •  Does the society provide its members with a useful publication, monthly or quarterly?

The Clinical Hypnotherapy Training Course offered by The Scottish School of Hypnotherapy Glendaruel, Argyll, Scotland, UK certainly meets with the entire above criterion.  

NSPH  members are recognised as having received meticulous instruction and training in hypnosis, hypnotherapy, hypno-healing, hypnoanalysis, past-life regression, psychotherapy and on graduation are deemed proficient, meticulous and knowledgeable in each of these areas. They are also committed to ongoing Postgraduate training as a means of continuing personal development and as a method of keeping up to date with new changes and advances.

The Scottish School of Hypnotherapy is the only recognised clinical hypnotherapy training course accepted for entry into the National Society of Professional Hypnotherapists and is validated by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council, and the National Council of Psychotherapists.


  • Phone first.

  • Ask about their training and how long they have been in practice and approximately how clients they see on average.

  • Visit their website, if they have one, and check professional recognition (also double check on the website with any associations of which the therapist is claiming to be a member).

  • Does the therapist offer an initial consultation which allows you to meet and discuss any presenting complaint with them before you commit to a session?  The reason this is important is that good rapport supports the hypnotic process and it is not easy to make such a judgement over the phone.

  • Ask how many sessions the therapist thinks you might require.  If the recommendation is for more than two, without prior discussion, I would listen very carefully to the arguments they use to support the proposed number of session.  It is not possible to judge how quickly or otherwise a client will respond to hypnotherapy.  Much depends on the individual client, their motivation and other determining factors.  Do not allow yourself to enter into a commitment which involves multiple sessions even if the therapist offers ‘bulk discounts’!

  • Use your intuition.

  • All good hypnotherapists should undergo continuing professional development.  This would not be an easy area to question; however membership of most legitimate professional bodies will require evidence of this.  You can always check with their accrediting organisations.


In contrast to the common misbelief there is nothing weird or mysterious about the hypnotic state. It is a totally natural state which can be most closely likened to day dreaming or the period just before going to sleep.

Utilising fixity of attention, hypnosis brings about an inward focusing of attention, which results in a state of deep relaxation. During this altered state of awareness, the critical, analytical mind reduces activity, consequently rendering the unconscious mind more accessible.
During hypnosis the subject is not asleep and remains in control of the session. Nothing can happen without the individual’s consent and they will be aware of what is being said though may not, post hypnotically, remember all that has happened.

Hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy, a useful supplement to conventional medicine and can achieve considerable success in its own right.


Can Anyone Be Hypnotised?
Virtually everyone can enter the hypnotic state, if they choose to do so. It is important however that techniques utilised are appropriate for the individual subject and that confidence in, and rapport with the hypnotherapist exists.
The ‘hypnotisability’ of an individual is innate, though with practice, everyone can become more proficient. Some of the best hypnotic subjects are intelligent people with a strong ability to visualise.

Low IQ can mitigate against successful induction, however it is likely to be the level of concentration that a person of low IQ can maintain which is relevant to whether hypnosis occurs or not rather than low IQ per se.

Anyone suffering from psychotic illness should not be treated with hypnosis.

Is there a loss of control?
Many people are concerned that they will have to rescind control to the therapist and that the hypnotherapist will, therefore, have some sort of power over them. Be assured there is no ‘magic’ and the only power used is the power of the subject’s own mind.

Is the subject rendered unconscious?
During hypnosis EEG recordings reveal that the hypnotic subject is actually more alert than during the waking state. There is however, a focusing of attention inwards so that outward attention becomes less.

This experience is similar to daydreaming or the state encountered, and rarely remembered, in the few seconds before one drops off to sleep.
The subject is simply in a state of deep relaxation where the analytical part of the mind ceases to carry out its normal full function and the unconscious mind becomes more open to suggestion.

Is the hypnotised subject under the 'Power' of the hypnotherapist?
MOST CERTAINLY NOT - No-one can be made to do anything against their will, codes of conduct, values or morals. The subject retains full control throughout the entire hypnotherapy session.

Is regression necessary?
The human brain is an amazing organ in that the restrictions placed on it during childhood may still be acted on and used as criteria for decisions made later in life, often in situations where those restrictions are obviously no longer relevant or appropriate. Hypnosis can help to reprogram these references so they are relevant to the here and now.

In some instances however, the behavioural change desired may be resolved by suggestion therapy alone, especially if the original template of behaviour has already been modified and the subsequent behaviour has become an empty response.

Can one’s innermost secrets be exposed?
Definitely Not!! The subject retains full control whilst in hypnosis and cannot be compelled to reveal anything they wish to keep secret.

Should the GP be informed?
It is recommended that subject inform their doctor of any complementary treatment they are contemplating. In fact, in some cases a professional hypnotherapist will be reluctant to commence treatment without written consent to do so.

What is suggestion therapy?
Suggestion therapy refers to the utilisation of an altered state of awareness to place goals, negotiated with the client prior to the session, into the subconscious part of the mind.  As a result of this programming the client’s behaviour, when they return to the normal waking state, is informed by these suggestions (to a greater or lesser extent depending on depth of hypnosis and motivation of the client)

What are hypnoanalytical techniques?
Hypnoanalytical techniques are invoked when there is a likelihood that undesired behaviour or patterns of ill health have origins in the psyche.  Utilising a variety of techniques, including past life regression, it can be possible for the client to access information which they may have forgotten, or which they have remembered in a form, more palatable than the actual reality.

What is an abreaction?
When repressed memories come to the surface, a variety of emotions may be experienced by the client.  The extent of the emotional experience varies from client to client and memory to memory but the emotions can be quite profound.   The commensurate outpouring of emotions associated with the memory is known as an ‘abreaction’.

What is CBT? 
CBT stands for cognitive behavioural therapy and is occasionally referred to as CBC, cognitive behavioural counselling.  The main aim of CBT is to alter a person’s reactions by altering their thoughts.  The focus is on how one thinks about themselves, the world and other people and highlights how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings.

What is NLP? 
NLP or neuro-linguistic programming
NLP is a process which involves the development of behavioural flexibility, strategic thinking and an understanding of the mental and cognitive processes behind behaviour.

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