So what's the difference between a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist? In short - it's pretty BIG...
A certified and registered hypnotherapist is trained in BOTH hypnosis and advanced hypnotherapy. Their training is extensive and involves more than one formal course through a reputable training institution that focuses upon training in navigating the sub-conscious mind safely and effectively. And in some cases, as with Holistic Hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy backgrounds are included in the professional training and certification process.
A hypnotist is trained only in hypnosis and more often than not has gained a certficate over a short weekend course. They are not qualified to practice as a hypnotherapist although many may advertise themselves as such. This can create a problem when seeking a qualified hypnotherapist to work with.
Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more hypnotists advertising themselves as hypnotherapists so in this article we'll help you to avoid falling into the trap of working with someone that is clearly unqualified.
The difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy is HUGE and so it is important to understand not only the difference but also how to ask anyone practicing as a hypnotherapist whether they are fully qualified or are simply a hypnotist that refers to themselves as a hypnotherapist. Quit smoking and weightloss hypnosis programs are inherently filled with hypnostists that claim they are hypnotherapists, so it's important to understand the difference and know how to confirm this with anyone you are seeking to work with.
So what is a hypnotist actually trained in and qualified for?
Hypnosis is the process of getting a person relaxed and giving them suggestions that may or may not help them to get their desired results. They may stop smoking or lose weight or decrease their anxiety. However, these hypnotically suggested changes are often temporary, and this is one of the reasons that both hypnosis and hypnotherapy have gotten the reputation of not having long lasting results. The terms hypnotist and hypnotherapist have been used interchangeably when in fact they are two very different concepts.
A hypnotist is trained in assisting someone into getting into the hypnostic state and more often than not, is trained in using pre-written scripts to do so, scripts that are read to their clients. The scripts involve particular language and "suggestions" that have been pre-designed to take someone into the hypnotic state and for a addressing a particular issue. Unfortunately, as they are pre-written, they are not in any way tailored for the individual which is why their use can be less than effective on it's own.
Just putting the person in the state of hypnosis and giving suggestions, however, does not resolve the deeper issues. It is more like a tourniquet than a band-aid, but it still only stops the bleeding for a short period of time.
What a registered hypnotherapist should be qualified in
A hypnotherapist has undertaken at least a year to two years of training that has involved hypnosis, counselling and psychotherapy ( if they attend a leading training institution ) and has studied and undertaken a year of practical application in the use of hypnosis as a therapy. The therapy aspect of hypnotherapy is what sets it apart from hypnosis as it involves learning about how to work through therapeutic healing within the sub-conscious mind and involves complex understanding of issues and the appropriate application of therapy within the hypnotic state. Any reputable hypnotherapist would also understand that each person is very different and therefore can not be dictated to from a pre-written script.
What to look for in a hypnotherapist
Unfortunately there are far fewer qualified hypnotherapists than are actually advertised and therefore it is important to always ask about the practitioner's qualifications and training – you are more than within your rights to ask for proof to ensure the training insitution and diploma/s are credible.
Our Advice for finding the best hypnotherapist for you
Our advice is to do your homework, ask the questions we have set out here and go on your instinct. It is always better to be thorough so that you get the best hypnotherapist available and that is suited to you and your needs. We ALWAYS recommend calling to discuss your issue so that you can adequately gain a feel for who it is you are looking to work with. It is important that you feel heard and comfortable with the hypnotherapist, so take your time and let them prove to you that they are the besst person for you.