Becoming A Hypnotherapist
Darren Marks (Hypnotist) gives expert video advice on: Where did you learn to become a hypnotherapist?; Where can I find out about hypnotherapy courses?; Can I learn to be a hypnotherapist via a correspondence course? and more...
Where did you learn to become a hypnotherapist?
My original training as a hypnotherapist was with the Institute of Clinical Hypnosis, who I'm now a lecturer for. They're a private hypnotherapy training college, and they teach from Kings College in Central London.
Where can I find out about hypnotherapy courses?
To find out about hypnotherapy courses, you could do an online search for hypnotherapy courses. Or, you can go through one of the main hypnotherapy organizations, like the General Hypnotherapy Register or the Hypnotherapy Association.
Can I learn to be a hypnotherapist via a correspondence course?
You can learn hypnotherapy via a correspondence course in the same way that you could pick up a book on hypnosis and read about the techniques and just start applying them. It's not a good idea to learn hypnotherapy via correspondence course; I would recommend live hypnotherapy training and supervised practice rather than simply learning from a book or a correspondence course.
How long did it take to train to become a hypnotherapist?
The original diploma course that I took was over two years. It was a part-time course but required lots of reading, studying, and supervised practice in between the live training. So that's generally how sort of laypeople would get involved with learning to be a hypnotherapist. Although, having said that, it is vital that people continue their professional development through ongoing courses. I always do at least one extra training course every year.
What qualifications do you need to be a hypnotherapist?
If you're going through one of the sort of hypnotherapy diploma course which I took, essentially you need to do the foundation course in hypnotherapy in order to progress towards the professional diploma.
Do you need any specialist equipment to be a hypnotherapist?
You don't need any specialist equipment to do hypnotherapy. Essentially, all you need is your voice and the concentration of your client. However, I use some equipment to help people enhance the process. I use a system of headphones where I speak into a microphone. I'm wearing a pair of headphones and my client is wearing a pair of headphones. They can hear me normally like you can hear me speaking to you right now. But they can also hear me speaking through the headphones. It allows me to mix in some background sounds. And I use what's called white noise. White noise sounds a little bit like waves crashing, but it's electronically generated. The reason I use it is because it helps to drown out any background sounds from the building I am working in. But the rhythm of the sound itself is designed to help people to relax. I find that the white noise in the headphones enhances the experience and makes it more intense and more focused. I know that some therapists, although I don't do this myself, use biofeedback monitors where they can actually register the heartbeat of their client so they will know immediately if there has been some kind of emotional response to something that's been said. I personally don't use it because I prefer to work using my intuition when it comes to that type of thing.
Is there a code of conduct for hypnotherapists?
If you're looking for a professional hypnotherapist, they need to belong, and you should definitely choose somebody that belongs, to one of the professional organizations like the General Hypnotherapy Register or the Hypnotherapy Association. In order to be a member of one of those organizations, a hypnotherapist has to sign up to a code of conduct. So the answer is yes, there is a code of conduct for hypnotherapists.
Is there a union or guild of hypnotherapists?
There are lots of different organizations for hypnotherapists. There is work at the moment to bring them all together under one umbrella organization. I personally belong to the General Hypnotherapy Register and the Hypnotherapy Association.
Do you need to have insurance cover?
If you're looking for a professional hypnotherapist they need to belong, or you should definitely choose somebody that belongs, to one of the main hypnotherapy organizations. Now the two that I belong to, The Hypnotherapy Association and the General Hypnotherapy Register, in order to be a member you must have professional indemnity insurance.
Do I need a psychology or science degree?
You don't need a psychology or science degree in order to be a hypnotherapist or to train as a hypnotherapist. Having said that, it's not going to do you any harm the more knowledge and experience that you have of the workings of the mind. It can only hold you in good stead in becoming a hypnotherapist.
What did you do before you became a hypnotherapist?
I've been a hypnotherapist most of my working life. When I was originally training as a hypnotherapist, I was training really out of interest rather than it becoming my career. And at the same time, I was also training in conservation of decorative arts, furniture restoration. And as things turned out, I've ended up doing the furniture restoration as a hobby, and what I thought was originally going to be my hobby, or interest of hypnotherapy, has ended up being my full-time career.
Do you need any particular skills to become a hypnotherapist?
The particular skills you need to become a hypnotherapis is the ability to connect with people, empathize with people, and communicate well. These are skills that you can learn, anybody can learn to be a hypnotherapist, but certainly, if you already have a natural leaning in that direction, that would be ideal. In the same way that anyone can learn to be an artist, I learned to draw, but it's not something that came to me naturally, I had to learn how to do it.
Is it important to have any particular life experiences?
I think it's important that you are passionate about your work to become a hypnotherapist. I think whatever field of work you go into, if you have passion, then you're going to be able to do that work well, to the best of your ability. So, there's not specific life experiences which I would recommend that you have in order to be a hypnotherapist. I can only tell you my own personal experiences, and that when I was studying to be a hypnotherapist, towards the end of my training, my mother was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, and anybody who's experienced a close family member becoming ill in that way will know that often family members feel useless; they don't know what to do when somebody close to them is in that situation. I found myself automatically using the new skills I'd been learning as a hypnotherapist with her, to help her to relax, to build up her confidence, to help her get through the treatment. She found enormous benefit from the hypnotherapy, and it was in that moment, in that experience that I realized that the training and the experience that I'd had learning to be a hypnotherapist was like gold dust, and I could use it to help many people, and hypnotherapy ended up being my speciality for many years. I volunteered to work as a hypnotherapist in a cancer support center, they ended up offering me a paid job, because they were so pleased with the hypnotherapy work, and it was because my heart was really in it. So, certainly whatever it is that you do, I would recommend that it's something that you feel passionate about.
Why did you become a hypnotherapist?
I became a hypnotherapist due to my interest in how the mind works. I've always been interested in meditation and in ritual and religion and all of these things which influence how we think and how we feel. When I was a little boy, my father gave me a book by a hypnotist called Ralph Slater; he was a very famous stage hypnotist at the time and I was absolutely fascinated by how this man was able to help people reduce pain and do seemingly incredible things. In fact as a youngster, I remember reading from the back of this book, his instructions of how to hypnotize people and practicing on my friends. So that's really, it started at a very young age, but it was only much later on that I ended up developing and learning hypnotherapy seriously.