As a full-time hypnotist who's hypnotized thousands of clients in real-life scenarios for over a decade, I can report that hypnosis can be a rewarding profession, but it's also useful (and fun!) just to learn how hypnosis works.
I'll never forget when I first started learning hypnosis, just to test it out, putting on my best hypno-voice and telling a clerk: "You don't have to charge me that late fee".
He seemed puzzled, but without another word he subtracted the fee... it was only $35 but I left that store feeling pretty good, with a little bit of guilt mixed in there (after all, I did owe the late fee). Who knows if I actually hypnotized him into removing the charge, maybe he just thought I was a weirdo and didn't want to argue about it, but just learning hypnosis encouraged me to at least try!
BUT when it comes to training, you have to be careful, because the quality of hypnosis instruction varies from outstanding to worse-than-useless. Anyone can purchase the right to call themselves a "certified instructor" and resell training materials, even if they have no experience working with real clients.
The sad truth is that for the most part, hypnosis instructors are people who have never successfully developed an active practice themselves, so they've turned to running weekend workshops in rented conference rooms, selling certificates as a way to make a little extra income, often while presenting themselves as "Master Clinical Hypnotherapists" etc.
The problem is: if your hypnosis teacher does not have plenty of direct experience working with real people, then the course is likely to be filled with "filler" material that is of no practical use. In fact, this type of filler material can misinform you, so that you end up knowing even less about hypnosis than the average member of the public!
That's why I say some hypnosis training can be "worse than useless".
I had to learn what was worthwhile by spending a lot of money and time, in order to find courses that were actually useful. I also discovered that the best training is often not the most expensive!
Click this image or this link to learn about a training program I recommend;
it's from the people who run HypnosisDownloads.com:
These are just a few of the classics:
Be advised: in the hypnosis field, the “bestsellers” are often the equivalent of “junk food” that professional working hypnotists can recognize as being superficial fodder for mass consumption, relying on hype and promises of gaining some sort of amazing mind control power over others.
It's difficult to sort out the good stuff from the immense pile of hypnotic junk on the internet. Be careful who you learn from. There are so many "masters" out there whose main experience consists of arguing on hypnosis message boards while sitting in their office cubicles.
(The following message is intended for people who are hoping to do hypnotic work for a living, not people who are just interested in learning hypnotic skills and techniques for their own personal development.)
No matter what kind of training or studying you do, the ONLY way to become competent is by real-life practice. This goes double for people who want to apply hypnotism in the process of helping people achieve their goals. Very often, learning hypnotic techniques, participating in the "hypnosis community", and attending training courses become procrastination tactics, because most people are uncomfortable and afraid to get started.
Before you get into this field, it's important to understand that even the best hypnosis training is not going to enable you to build a successful, profitable practice, unless you also develop strong marketing and business skills.
It is troubling to see people led into this field with promises of making "$100/hour working part-time from the comfort of your home!", or people who think that getting a certificate will be the start of an exciting new career or job. This is not a job or a career, it is a self-employed profession.
See for yourself: go to Monster.com, the largest employment website out there, and do a search for job titles "hypnotist" or "hypnotherapist". Last time I checked, both job titles returned zero results in the entire US.
If you're afraid of engaging in the difficult work required to build a business, and are unwilling to develop basic marketing skills, you should expect very little success in this field. And no matter how much training you pursue or how many certificates you collect, without consistent exposure to real-world clients, you will never develop the experience necessary to become a competent hypnotist.
This is not meant to discourage people from becoming hypnotists. In fact, what I am saying is that, as long as you focus on the important things, you can become an excellent hypnotist and help a lot of people --- and pursuing certifications will not do that for you.
As described on The Truth About Credentials page, hypnosis-specific titles such as "C.H.", "C.ht.", "B.C.H.", "C.I.", or "D.C.H.", and titles such as "Clinical Hypnotherapist" are made-up and sold by private organizations and businesses. They are not recognized by any official governing body.
(I am certified, but I know that these credentials are so meaningless that I don't bother to use them, and the public does not care about them either, unless they're ignorant about the nature of these certificates and are misled into thinking that they represent some special, official qualification, which they do not)
Focus on the training that will help you develop real skills. Do not become one of the many "certificate junkies" that are always looking for the secret to success, the magical technique that will give you confidence. There is no secret and there are no magical techniques.
If you are serious and committed to hypnosis as a means of helping people and helping yourself, go for it! But, if you just heard it was a way to make extra money, or to "be your own boss", and if you think you need to make stuff up about your credentials and experience just to get people in the door, why bother?
Once you learn basic hypnotism skills, the best thing to do is to focus on the market. The problem is, most people feel a need to be supported by like-minded people who share their interests, and so they turn inwards, directing most of their efforts into interacting with other would-be hypnotists. That's a very common pattern that keeps most people stuck in "waiting to get started" mode.
It's pretty simple: when 95% of people in a community are unsuccessful at building an active practice, it is crazy to think that you will learn how to build an active practice by exchanging ideas with people in that community!
You must look outside the community to figure out what works for you. That's the only way you can get competent at applying the hypnotism skills from any course.
Barry Thain, a genuine expert and hypnotist who works for the National Health Service in the UK, and who runs an active practice, says that in order to make it in this field you need to be: 1) a good hypnotist, 2) a good businessperson, and 3) a good marketer. You will notice that being a good hypnotist is necessary, but not sufficient.
So, I recommend that you learn the principles in Michael Gerber's book "The E-Myth", as it is very relevant to the idea that being a good "technician" is not enough, if you are serious about doing this work.
Once you learn basic hypnosis, then focus on learning marketing --- as that is the only way you will gain real experience anyway.
Be careful about spending big money on advertising before you understand marketing! That is doing things totally backwards. That's a common trap that many beginners fall into, because they are encouraged to spend lots of money on advertising campaigns by people selling advertising space.
You must understand marketing before hoping to profitably use advertising. Otherwise you'll either end up in the poor house, or at best have acquired a very expensive hobby!
So in addition to Michael Gerber, I would highly recommend studying (not just reading) the works of Michael Port, Seth Godin, and Dan Kennedy, among many others.
Specifically for hypnotists, I also recommend studying books by Lynn Grodzki (this is not an affiliate link).
She has great material especially for people who are more on the touchy-feely end of things, who often have some internal resistance to getting out there and making a living and at the same time helping people. It will help you develop the attitude that you can be successful and ethical at the same time (imagine that!).
You should probably spend as much, or more, time studying and practicing marketing and business development, as you do hypnotism. I believe that if you cannot develop good marketing skills, you cannot really be a skilled hypnotist, because marketing and hypnotism are closely intertwined.
The link to the Hypnosis Downloads training program on this page is an affiliate link, meaning that if you decide to purchase a program on that website, I receive a commission. But that is not the main reason I recommend that program.
I recommend quality training because too many members of the public are having less-than-satisfactory experiences with poorly-trained hypnotists who think that reading a relaxation script to a client will somehow hypnotize them.
And when poorly-trained hypnotists are desperate and struggling to develop their practice, they will often do things that end up doing more harm than good, such as inflating their credentials, making impossible-to-fulfill promises, and offering to do hypnosis sessions for less than the minimum wage!
Because of this, all professional hypnotists should have an interest in improving the quality of hypnotists out there "in the field"!
PS. Make sure to check out The Truth About Credentials page on this site. It will help you understand what hypnosis credentials and certifications are about.
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