Conversion Course & Diploma in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy (APL route)

Are you already a qualified hypnotherapist?

Do you want to add and upgrade your skills?
And obtain a Certificate in Behavioural Hypnotherapy
Or a Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy?

NOTE: the Conversion Course is now being run as a live webcast training and an online course until the end of July 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

You can read more about these options in the table at the bottom of the page.

The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy

We frequently receive enquiries from hypnotherapists who are already fully qualified and registered to practise but wish to retrain with the UK College in order to study the cognitive-behavioural approach to hypnotherapy. Although many experienced therapists choose to complete our standard Diploma training, we recognise that for others they would like to receive credit for the prior training and join our courses at a more advanced level.

Therefore, we have created an option for hypnotherapists who are already qualified and registered with NCH or GHR or another similar hypnotherapy organisation.

The conversion course

The Diploma course is made up of three stages – and the conversion course allows qualified hypnotherapists to ‘skip’ Stage 1 and join at Stage 2.

On completion of Stage 2, Stage 3, the written assessment and case studies, you will be awarded the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy.

  • Stage 2: Certificate in Behavioural Hypnotherapy.  A seven-day intensive training course in CBH with a focus on integrating hypnotherapy with behaviour therapy. This will give you a very solid introduction to CBT particularly from the behavioural perspective. You will learn strongly evidenced, core CBT techniques for anxiety and stress – and how to integrate those with hypnosis for improved outcomes.
  • Stage 3: Certificate in Cognitive Hypnotherapy. A seven-day intensive training programme in CBH that gives you a strong introduction and foundation in the cognitive model of therapy – particularly the latest cognitive models for anxiety. It focuses more strongly on cognitive therapy, problem solving therapy, imagery techniques and mindfulness-based approaches – with a particular specialised focus on the latest approaches for social anxiety, training clients how to remove self-consciousness.
  • Assessment and Case Studies: in addition to attending at least 80% of the classroom training, you will be required to provide evidence of your learning through submitting three case studies and written answers to the assessment questions in the Student Handbook. You will also provide a portfolio of your feedback and reflection from the practical exercises in the classroom training.

Once the above steps are complete, you will then be awarded the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy  – a Level 4 qualification externally verified by NCFE – and can use the post-nominals Dip CBH. In addition you will be able to be licensed to use our trademark “Hypno-CBT®“.

Course Content

Stages 2 and 3 integrate hypnotherapy with a wide variety of cognitive and behavioural approaches and techniques, including:

  • Stress Inoculation Training (Meichenbaum), [Stage 2 course]
  • Cognitive Therapy for Anxiety (Clark, Wells and Beck) [Stage 3 course]
  • Exposure and Desensitisation approaches (Wolpe, Lazarus), [Stage 2 course]
  • Tension Control and Applied Relaxation (Jacobson, Benson, Ost, Borkovec), [Stage 2 course]
  • Habit Reversal Training (Nunn and Azrin) [Stage 2 course]
  • Aversion Therapy, Thought Stopping, Paradoxical Intention (Salter, Frankl etc) [Stage 2 course]
  • Mindfulness Based Approaches (Perls, Kabat Zinn, Hayes et al) [Stage 3 course]
  • Problem Solving Therapy (Nezu, Nezu & D’Zurilla) [Stage 3 course]
  • The role & use of Imagery in Cognitive Therapy (& in Hypno-CBT) [Stage 3 Course]
  • Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (Ellis)  [Stage 3 Course]
  • Assertiveness Training, Authentic Self-Expression and Social Anxiety (Salter, Lazarus, Clark & Wells). [Stage 2 & Stage 3 courses]

While the Stage 1 course focuses on the core skills of a hypnotherapist, the Stage 2 course covers more behavioural therapy and interventions in hypnotherapy and Stage 3 introduces cognitive approaches and techniques.

The training provides a thorough grounding in modern Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy and covers much of traditional Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – but with a special focus on imagery techniques, imaginal exposure, relaxation training and integrating hypnosis into CBT and mindfulness-based approaches.

The course teaches a very strong integration of hypnosis with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (including mindfulness) and is not simply “CBT plus hypnosis”. Students are trained in the basic theory and skills, while learning basic case conceptualisation and treatment design. Approximately 50 per cent of the course time is dedicated to practical exercises (acting either as therapist or client, or in group work).

“A very feasible and relevant integration of hypnotherapy and CBT”

Dr Anthony Dimech, Consultant Psychiatrist

The core text, which you can browse free of charge online, provides a much more detailed and comprehensive example of the theory and practice on which the course is based.


This is an advanced, intensive training, which presupposes that entrants are qualified in hypnotherapy to the level normally required for professional registration with one of the leading hypnotherapy registers.  A short training or distance-learning course will not be sufficient.  Likewise, training in NLP or other types of therapy will not provide a sufficient basis, by itself, for entry.  You must demonstrate that you are currently registered as a full practitioner member of the General Hypnotherapy Register, National Council for Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy Society, or an equivalent organisation, based in the country where you live or work.  You must also be in a suitable state of mental and physical health to participate and be fluent in spoken English.

You will also have to complete pre-course reading materials and home study. The application process may also include a short phone interview.

Pre-course reading material and assignment

In order to join at Stage 2, it is essential that everyone attending is well versed in our approach to hypnosis – which for many previously trained hypnotherapists may either seem very commonsensical or might seem like a radical departure from the traditional concept of hypnosis as ‘trance’.

We teach a non-state model of hypnosis that understands hypnosis not as something that is done mechanically to the client, but rather as an act that the client engages in (focusing and using their imagination) to bring about a very responsive mind-set. This “responsive mind-set” is what makes the client’s responses “hypnotic”. However this is not a “trance” but a set of normal psychological factors brought together in a particular and enhanced way. This approach fundamentally sees hypnosis as being self-hypnosis, as it something the client is doing (even though to begin with they need help with that).

Hypnosis is made up of normal psychological factors being used in a special, focused way – and doesn’t need to be explained by “trance”.

This approach is based on extensive experimental and clinical research. It has important practical implications; moreover it frees us from the concept of “induced trance” and allows us to easily integrate hypnosis with cognitive behavioural therapy. (Because hypnosis-as-trance is not theoretically compatible with the cognitive behavioural approach to therapy).

For some previously trained therapists this requires a major reconsideration of a lot of what they have been taught about hypnosis – therefore we require that everyone joining at Stage 2 via the Accredited Prior Learning Route (i.e. as previously trained, registered hypnotherapist) commit to reading and watching some videos prior to the Stage 2 course, in order to be “up to speed” and comfortable with the model of hypnosis that we use throughout the course.

This is to ensure that they are optimally prepared to have best training experience (rather than disagreeing or experiencing a lot of friction with our approach to hypnosis) – AND also to ensure they are not holding back the group by asking questions that were covered and fully answered in Stage 1.

Stage 2 & Stage 3 are based primarily on the book The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Hypnosis (2012) by Donald Robertson. This book brings together information on CBT, cognitive-behavioural theories of hypnosis and experimental and clinical research on hypnosis, with material drawn from over a decade of experience teaching in this area.

The pre-course reading assignment for those applying to join at Stage 2 are the first three chapters of The Practice of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy.

There is a considerable shift for many hypnotherapists in adopting the cognitive-behavioural model – therefore in this course there is some considerable focus and group discussion on the theoretical models AND practical implications of the cognitive-behavioural model of hypnosis.

Essentially, this is a highly focused training on how to assess clients and conceptualise their issues within a cognitive-behavioural framework – and then design and deliver treatment plans in that model.

Recommended reading

  • The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Hypnosis (2012) by Donald J. Robertson
  • Cognitive Hypnotherapy: An Integrated Approach to the Treatment of Emotional Disorders (2008) by Assen Alladin
  • Harland’s Medical & Dental Hypnosis: Fourth Edition (2001) by Michael Heap & Kottiyattil K. Aravind
  • Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis: An Evidence-Based Approach (2006) by Steven Jay Lynn and Irvine Kirsch

We are also running

Stress Management and Resilience Building course from 20th to 25th April

Your chance to learn how to pitch a self-designed stress management workshop to corporate and educational sectors

Read more

The new, evidence-based hypnotherapy

This course specifically assumes a cognitive-behavioural approach to hypnosis.  The cognitive-behavioural orientation is well-established now, and rapidly growing in popularity, as it is widely-recognised to be the most evidence-based approach to hypnotherapy.  There are many good books already available on this subject (see reading list below).  The cognitive-behavioural approach to hypnosis was introduced in the 1960s and 1970s by T.X. Barber, one of the best-known and most highly-regarded scientific researchers in the field of hypnosis.

If you have previously trained in other orientations, you are bound to find there are differences in both theory and practice.  In particular, the field of hypnosis is often divided broadly into traditional trance suggestion approaches, Ericksonian (and NLP) approaches, psychodynamic (or “regression” approaches), and cognitive-behavioural approaches.  These four traditions disagree over certain fundamental points and these differences have fuelled scientific debate for many decades.  You can read more about the cognitive-behavioural theories of hypnosis, etc., from the many articles available free of charge on this website and from the core textbook. Everyone attending the course must be prepared to study and learn within this model before and during the time of the course.

You may want to read this excerpt from the core text, which summarises some of the key scientific research findings in relation to cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy.

Changes to the conversion course format due to the Covid-19 crisis

Until the end of July 2020 (perhaps longer, we will keep you updated) we are holding all of our courses either via live webcast or as Online Courses.

The main difference between these is that the webcasts will take place live during the dates we had arranged for our London courses. Online Courses are made up of edited course footage which you can study at your own pace.

You can take the Conversion Course in one of three ways: a live webcast course, an Online Course resulting in the full qualification, or a self-led Online Course resulting in the Certificate qualification.

Webcast conversion courseOnline conversion courseSelf-led online conversion course
Suitable for those who can commit to set dates to attend the webcast trainingSuitable for those who require/would like flexibility to study the footage at their own paceSuitable for those who wish to study flexibly, and learn the approach without the full Diploma qualification
Attend Stages 2&3 via webcast, and
receive access to Stage 1 footage online too
Access to Stages 1, 2 and 3 onlineAccess to Stages 1, 2 and 3 online
No supervision hours3 hours of supervisionNo supervision needed
Assessment fee includedAssessment fee includedNo assessment needed
Full Diploma qualificationFull Diploma qualificationCertificate qualification

We have 10-month payment plans for all conversion course fees. 

The next dates for the webcast conversion course are:

  • Stage 2: Monday 11th to Sunday 17th May 2020
  • Stage 3: Monday 15th to Sunday 21st June 2020

Application for Conversion Course/APL Route

Click the button below to fill in an application form. You will be able to select in the form which way you would like to take the conversion course.

Apply for Conversion Course