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Home / Accredited Hypnotherapy Training Courses / Frequently Asked Questions – Train to be a Hypnotherapist

FAQ about Hypnotherapy Training
& How to Train to be Hypnotherapist

Find answers to all your questions about hypnotherapy training and how to train to be hypnotherapist. Topics covered include our unique approach, course format, payments and booking and questions about accreditation, how to become a hypnotherapist, training to be a hypnotherapist and much more.
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  1. Questions About our Approach
  2. Questions About Course Format
  3. Questions About Payment & Booking
  4. Questions About Accreditation and Practice

Questions about our approach

What approach to hypnotherapy do you use and why?

The UK College has always adopted a cognitive-behavioural approach to hypnotherapy.  That means we draw mainly upon modern research on hypnosis that emphasises the role of cognition and other ordinary psychological factors in determining responses to hypnosis.  We also draw upon elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) as this, unsurprisingly, is the therapeutic approach most compatible with the cognitive-behavioural model of hypnosis.

When you train to be a hypnotherapist you will find it very grounding and confidence-building to know that what you are learning is based on extensive experimental and clinical research.

You can read more about our approach here: What exactly is Hypno-CBT®?

What do you mean by ‘evidence-based hypnotherapy'? Is training based on research carried out by the college?

It means we do our best to base our teaching upon a critical reading of contemporary research published independently in the main scientific journals of the hypnosis field, such as the International Journal for Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis (IJCEH).  We also draw upon recognised empirically-supported treatments (ESTs), such as CBT, and integrate elements of these approaches with hypnotherapy.  Likewise, our courses explicitly refer to various modern textbooks which present a credible evidence-based approach, such as Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis: An Evidence-Based Approach (2006) by Lynn and Kirsch.

If you are looking to switch careers by training to be a hypnotherapist, then an approach that is strongly evidence-based will give you a solid grounding and confidence right from the start.

If you're already a psychotherapist or have a degree in psychology, then you know how important it is to have an evidence-base for your approach and techniques.

What is the difference between cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy and CBT? Can I call myself a Cognitive-Behavioural Therapist if I have your diploma?

Cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy is a modality of hypnotherapy and not classed as a full CBT training. Both approaches share similar theories and concepts and therefore complement each other well. Cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy also assimilates certain evidence-based techniques from CBT. Similarly, another major modality of hypnotherapy, “hypno-analysis”, draws upon theories, concepts, and techniques from psychoanalysis. However, this is a hypnotherapy diploma and not a full CBT practitioner training, so you cannot call yourself a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist after this training (you will be able to call yourself a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist). You will, nevertheless, learn a lot about CBT and “the cognitive behavioural approach” to psychotherapy during the training.

Do you teach Ericksonian hypnotherapy?

We do not teach Ericksonian hypnotherapy. Our training has always adopted an evidence-based orientation and Ericksonian methods lack sufficient support from research on hypnotherapy. Our college is known for adopting a predominantly cognitive-behavioural orientation and “scientific” (or at least a semi-scientific) approach to teaching hypnotherapy. We hold as an ideal the “scientist-practitioner”.

In contrast, it is acknowledged by leading researchers that “…Ericksonians are clinicians who have little use for scientific facts”. (Weitzenhoffer, The Practice Of Hypnotism, p.593)

Moreover some of the indirect and covert techniques of Ericksonian hypnotherapy, for example the idea of inducing hypnosis without the client being aware, would not be compatible with the fundamental collaborative principles of the client-therapist relationship in cognitive behavioural approaches.

Do you teach NLP techniques?

We do not teach NLP techniques on the course. Despite the claims made for NLP there is a notable lack of evidence demonstrating the approach and techniques of NLP as effective. We believe that therapists have a duty to use the best interventions available and therefore we teach methods that have demonstrated reliable evidence of effectiveness.

Do you teach past-life regression as part of the Diploma?

We do not teach past-life regression on the course. Past-life regression is a “new age” technique and not normally considered part of mainstream clinical hypnotherapy. It is not included, for example, in the official National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy published by Skills for Health. Our college adopts an evidence-based orientation and past-life regression lacks sufficient support from research to be considered part of this approach. Interestingly it is not a meditation, mental health or enlightenment  practice in yoga, Hinduism or Buddhism, and it is deemed impossible to break through to memories of past lives until a very advanced level of spiritual development, just preceding enlightment, has been attained.

Perhaps some of the most notable features of hypnosis are the vivid imaginary experiences that clients can experience, imagination that is experienced “as if real”. Indeed one of the leading researchers in hypnosis, T.R Sarbin, called hypnosis “believed-in-imaginings”. Experiences of past lives (or alien abductions) have been shown to be influenced by cultural beliefs (subjects from Canada recalled human past lives, subjects from South Korea recalled animal past lives).

Therefore unless you are the Buddha, who just before his enlightenment was able to remember his past lives over 91 eons (each eon is the life of the solar system), it is likely that any “past life memories” induced under hypnosis are simply “believed-in-imaginings”. They may appear to be extremely vivid and with strong emotion attached, however this is a particular feature of the imagination during hypnosis.

Does the diploma training cover specific treatments e.g., for smoking cessation/weight loss/IBS etc?

The diploma focuses on teaching effective techniques for treating the widest range of problems and therefore mainly focuses on stress and anxiety, the most common presenting problem in hypnotherapy. In addition we cover pain control, goal setting, motivation, basic habit control, assertiveness and problem solving. We also run separate workshops on more specific topics which build upon the core skills learned during the diploma training.
Specific issues, such as smoking, weight loss and insomnia, require both detailed specialist knowledge AND require anxiety and stress aspects of those issues to be addressed. Thus the course focuses on teaching the core skills (treating/coping with anxiety and stress) that can then be used in a wide variety of presenting issues.

How successful is hypnotherapy compared to other forms of therapy?

Hypnotherapy is one of the most evidence-based interventions available in the field of psychological therapy. It is supported by a broad range of research spanning a period of over 150 years, including modern meta-analysis, systematic reviews, laboratory experiments, brain imaging data, and individual clinical trials. The International Journal for Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis (IJCEH) is an excellent source of hypnosis research material, and a free subscription is available to REBHP Members. A brief summary table of the studies on hypnotherapy is available here:
Brief Review of Empirically Supported Treatments

Where is the evidence for hypnosis being effective?

There is SO much research into hypnosis that it’s hard to know how to pull it together into a concise answer.
You can find the research into hypnotherapy by going to the National Library of Science – a US based website that is the global library for biomedical research papers.
As you can see that search generates over 16,000 results.
So we need to summarise that research!

Where can we find good summaries of the research into hypnosis?

The best place is to turn to a number of respected professional organisations that have published articles or reports about the efficacy of hypnotherapy.

Royal College of Psychiatrists
The Royal College of Psychiatrists have a helpful summary of the effectivesness of hypnotherapy on this page on their website:

The Royal College of Psychiatrists say:
“Research has shown that the following psychological conditions can be helped by hypnotherapy:
·  post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
·  depression
·  anxiety
·  insomnia
·  eating disorders
·  functional disorders (bodily symptoms and conditions such as headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or backaches which may have a significant psychological component)
·  improving memory for people who have experienced a brain injury

It has also been shown to help in the following medical conditions, often by reducing anxiety but also by reducing other symptoms:

·  pain
·  medical and surgical procedures
·  cancer treatment side effects
·  anaesthetic procedures
·  burn wound care
·  dental procedures
·  childbirth
·  menopausal symptoms

In addition, warts and other skin conditions can be improved by hypnotherapy. This is possible through the positive effects hypnosis has on the immune system.
Hypnotherapy may also be effective for people who are trying to quit smoking or lose weight.”

Questions about the course format

Why is it possible to do your course in such a short period of time when others take a year or more?
Can you really train to be a hypnotherapist in 3 months?

Basically, our course is equivalent to a typical one-year hypnotherapy diploma but it's compressed into intensive modules you can attend over consecutive days – the total number of classroom hours (136 classroom hours) is actually greater than on many “one-year” courses. Many course attendees prefer this concentrated way of learning.

If you choose to train to be a hypnotherapist you'll find most hypnotherapy training courses require approximately 120-150 hours of classroom training. Our course runs “intensively” over three seven-day blocks, whereas other courses may require one or two days of attendance each month. We are required to meet the same standard of training, but we have chosen to do so in a shorter space of time because that format is more popular with students who do not wish to travel each month, or who want to complete their qualification without delays between each module.

We are also experienced in adult education and have been refining this training programme for over 15 years.  It's reasonable to state this is one of the most highly concentrated training programmes available.

See the video below for a clear explanation of how the training can be so compact.

I am already qualified in Hypnotherapy. Can I start the diploma at stage 2 or 3 and miss out stage 1?

If you are a registered hypnotherapist with NCH, GHR or CNHC then we do offer an APL (Accredited Prior Learning) option to join on Stage 2. You can either just complete Stage 2 and receive a Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy or continue to complete Stage 3 to achieve the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy.

Note: if you have been trained in Ericksonian, NLP or some other approaches you may find our approach quite a considerable adjustment in thinking and style of therapy. Therefore we require some pre-course reading in order to join at Stage 2. You can read more about this option here: Conversion Course and APL route.

Is there anything that you recommend I read in preparation for my training course?

Yes. Preparatory reading is not essential, although we do suggest that you read some material if you have time before the start of your course. The main textbook we suggest reading is the current edition (4th Edition) of Hartland’s Medical & Dental Hypnosis by Heap & Aravind.
(Note: the 3rd Edition is NOT suitable preparatory reading – this book was considerably re-written with the modern view on hypnosis in the 4th Edition).

How much time should I leave between each stage of training?

That depends on your circumstances. If you are familiar with the subject already and feel confident that you’re able to keep up with the course then you can complete the stages of training close together, and train to be a hypnotherapist more quickly. Alternatively, if you feel that you need more time to digest the course material and do background reading then you may space the stages out more, e.g., over a period of 18 months. The training programme was specifically designed to allow complete flexibility in this regard to suit different students’ needs.

Probably 50% of students like to take the “fast-track” approach of completing the training course quickly (often within 3-4 months).

Do all the courses include practical exercises?

Yes.  This is a vocational training and practical experience both as a hypnotherapist AND as a client receiving hypnotherapy is essential; therefore we have always sought to include as much practical skills training as possible within our courses, while recognising the need for covering the essential information.  On average 50% of the course time is spent conducting practicals – either as the hypnotherapist or receiving hypnotherapy as the client. To become a hypnotherapist you do need to have extensive practical experience and skills – so there additional free online practise sessions twice a week that you can join.

In addition for each “Stage” of the course there is a daily group practical that the group practices – this might be a specific mindfulness exercise or muscle tension release which is practised everyday for about 15 minutes with consequent discussion. Everyone experiences how much this is particular “skill” is developed during that particular 7 day course – this is essential both for the personal development of the student (as these exercises will help considerably in “being present” as a hypnotherapist for your clients) AND they help us understand the impact of regular practice when encouraging clients to practice, or listen to recordings, between sessions.

NOTE: if you are taking the Online Diploma we have thought about how to facilitate practicals during your training. The twice-weekly online practise sessions are focused specifically on practical exercises, facilitated by a course trainer. You will have the chance to break out into pairs online with your fellow trainees to practice the exercises and have a debrief and Q&A with a course trainer afterwards. You can also read our post about how to conduct case studies during this time here.

What if I miss a day of the course?

We understand that some things just can’t be missed. The course is designed to allow for this. Students can miss up to a day of each Stage and will be given reading and links to course materials to catch-up. Please fill in the Flexible Attendance Form before you book the course to let us know which parts of the course you will have to miss.

 How many live training hours are included in the Online learning Diploma?

As part of the Online Learning Diploma you will have the opportunity to work with one of our coaches.  Your coach will support your learning, engage with discussion with you around the content, discuss the practical exercises and feedback from your volunteers and be there to answer any questions you have.  You will have 15 hours with your aligned coach.  In addition all students are required to attend 12 College run practise sessions.  These sessions are run 3 times each week at different times of the day / evening / weekends.  They are 2 hours in duration and give you the opportunity to practise the scripts and exercises with fellow students.  You will also have between 2.5 and 4 hours supervision for your case study, dependent on which level of qualification you decide to take.  In terms of the minimum live training hours at level 4 this is 41.5 hours and at level 5 this is 42 hours.

Questions about payment and booking

Can I pay in instalments?

Yes. If you are taking the Diploma training via Live Webcast, the full fee is £3300. You can pay this in a one-time payment and save £425, or through a 12-month or 4-month payment plan.

If you are taking the Online Diploma training, the full fee is £2394. You can pay this in a one-time payment and save £269, or through a 12- or 4-month payment plan.

On all Diploma training courses you can also save significantly with the Early Bird Rates by paying 30 days or more in advance of the course start date.

For information about the fees for all courses, click here.

I have already done your diploma, is there any discount for re-attending modules?

Yes. There is a discount to re-attend the whole Diploma course. Please contact for more info about this.

What are the entry requirements for the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy and to train to be a hypnotherapist?

You are not required to have any previous training or experience in a therapy-related subject.

Students must be aged 18 or over. Students should have no history of criminal convictions or sanctions by professional organisations which might reflect upon their suitability to practice as a therapist. Students should be sufficiently fluent in spoken English to engage with English-speaking clients. Students must be in suitable mental health for training, e.g., without a history of psychotic symptoms or current mental health problems.

We ask that students are open to new information and have a learning attitude. Acceptance onto the course and on-going course attendance is at the discretion of the UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy.

Read more about our Course Eligibility Criteria here.

Questions about Accreditation and Practice
How to become a hypnotherapist?

When can I start seeing clients?

We strongly recommend that you do not begin to treat clients for payment until you have been accredited to do so by a professional body like NCH, GHR or REBHP. Unless you are already qualified and registered to practice in an similar profession like counselling, life coaching, psychotherapy, CBT, etc., you would normally be required to complete the Diploma training and the assessment in full before being accredited to practice hypnotherapy.

However, when you train to be a hypnotherapist on this programme,  part of the training now includes Case Studies. So you will be supervised as you work with your initial “practice clients” for your Case Studies.

Who are your courses recognised / accredited by?

Our complete hypnotherapy Diploma training programme, comprising of three stages (Stage 1, Stage 2 & Stage 3) plus home study (and a written assessment), is approved by the following organisations:

The British Psychological Society
The National Council of Hypnotherapy
The General Hypnotherapy Register
The Register for Evidence-Based Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy
NCFE (National Awarding Body)

The Diploma is a customised award awarded and verified by NCFE, a government-regulated examining and awarding body. NCFE have verified the award as being equivalent to a Level 4 qualification on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

You can read more about the course accreditation here.

Is your diploma recognised by the NHS? Will I get GP referrals?

The NHS do not recognise hypnotherapy diplomas. The Diploma is officially mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy published by Skills for Health, and correlated with the NHS Key Skills Framework. It is, however, currently unusual for clients receiving hypnotherapy to be funded by the NHS – although some hypnotherapists have arranged this.

Note: some hypnotherapists develop a good relationship with local GPs and consultants who may recommend hypnotherapy for their patients. The evidence-based approach and the integration with CBT should make hypnotherapists trained in our approach more likely to receive referrals from GPs and other health professionals.

Most hypnotherapy clients self-refer and pay for their own treatment privately.

How can I find out more about UK College graduates and how they have used their training?

The majority of our graduates set up in private practice once they have completed their diplomas and obtained professional insurance etc.

You can hear from some of our graduates in the following webinars:

Please see below for a few of our most successful graduates, and click on their names to view their websites.

Will I get any support with setting up and building my therapy practice?

Yes. Starting your own therapy practice can be a daunting prospect, especially if you have never been self-employed or started your own business before. We provide as much support as we can to Diploma students both during and after their training.

You will get one year's free membership to the Hypno-CBT® Professional Membership Hub: an online platform for current students and alumni to support them on their journey to becoming successful cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapists, as well as continually developing as therapists once they are set up in practice. A key feature of the hub is the fortnightly Walk-In Business Surgery Sessions with business-building expert Mark Austin.

We also have a Business Accelerator Intensive course for Diploma graduates, and we have a Marketing and Practice-Building Course with marketing professional and CBH therapist Kate Mayor, too. We also run regular free webinars on the topic of marketing and business support (like this one). And there is marketing and practice-building advice within the Diploma course too.

Will I get help finding a supervisor?

Yes. All practising hypnotherapists should have a clinical supervisor, whose role is to continually mentor and support you in direct relation to your practice with clients. The UK College has a list of approved supervisors. Also certain professional registers such as NCH and GHR maintain a database of approved supervisors and will provide members with support in finding a suitable supervisor.

Questions about hypnotherapy generally:

Why isn’t hypnotherapy available on the NHS if it’s so effective?

With regard to hypnotherapy being available on the NHS – here are some links to answer that question (it's a complex issue – hypnotherapy is recognised by much of the NHS, but the NHS is not a monolith, and hypnotherapy is  not easily available).

And again from RCP:
“Hypnotherapy is not usually available on the NHS, but NHS psychologists and therapists trained in hypnotherapy may be locally available. Many therapists use hypnotherapy to make other therapies like CBT more effective.”

Some in the NHS do offer it:

NHS, Hypnosis and Cancer Support
University Hospital of Southampton

Gut Focused Hypnotherapy is particularly effective for chronic IBS and is a recommended treatment:

And this article here is helpful:

Any other questions?

If you have any questions about our training courses and how to become a hypnotherapist or if you would like to request a prospectus, please feel free to contact us.