Mark Johnson IACT 2016 Educator of the Year

IACT 2016 Educator of the YearEvery year at the International Association of Counselors and Therapists (IACT) annual conference they present various awards to members for different reasons. This year IACT presented Certified Master Trainer Mark Johnson the 2016 Educator of the Year Award in recognition of Excellence in Communication and Outstanding Performance.

Mark took advantage of his Master of Music degree and spent 12 years teaching group piano, keyboard and organ lessons. While he began learning hypnosis in 2003, he had the opportunity to watch his father hypnotized people as far back as the 1960’s. With that background in mind, hypnosis and teaching are nothing new for Mark.

In 2010 he began traveling to offer hypnotherapy sessions in a variety of locations in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina. When Mark started teaching the following year he realized that his travels to offer sessions had created a network of connections that he now uses to teach his Basic and Advanced Hypnotherapy classes in 5 different locations.

In addition to learning from his father, Mark studied with the best of the best in terms of Hypnosis Instructors. He has attended classes with Gil Boyne, Ormond McGill, Randal Churchill and George Bien. In addition, Mark has attended advanced training with Brian Weiss, Michael Newton, David Quigley and Paul Aurand.

Like he does in his sessions, Mark brings all his knowledge and understanding into the classroom when he teaches. He has a extensive training, though he makes a point to explain that he also learns when he works with clients as well as when he teaches. It is important for Hypnotherapy students to understand that working with clients is like going to graduate school.

How a Hypnosis Certification Helps

Certified icon on virtual screen. A hypnotherapy practice is one that combines therapeutic methods with hypnosis to help bring buried memories and beliefs to the surface. There is no central agency responsible for certifying hypnotists in the United States, but there are still good reasons to become a certified hypnotherapist.

First of all, gaining a hypnosis certification tells potential clients that a particular hypnotherapist is reputable. Since there are no requirements in most states for someone to say that they are a hypnotherapist, clients could potentially end up with anyone off the street claiming to specialize in hypnotherapy. A certification gives a clients peace of mind when selecting a practice, since they know the practitioner they are seeing has met the requirements of the certifying agency.

Certifications for hypnosis training are valuable for hypnotherapists as well as for many different kinds of therapy practices, including social workers, marriage counselors, family therapists, and registered nurses. There are even many medical, dental and mental health doctors who are certified as hypnotherapists. Hypnotherapy is considered a valid line of study by many medical practitioners today, and getting certified helps to have a practice recognized by these professionals.

The courses involved in a scholarly certification course also help the therapist to learn more. Hypnotherapy is a delicate process that requires proper training and practice before use. Certification courses help a therapist to become a more skilled hypnotist and a better counselor. There is much to be learned from a good hypnotherapy course; they shouldn’t be snubbed just because they aren’t required in order to perform hypnotherapy on clients.

Having more certified hypnotherapists benefits the profession as a whole. The public sees certified hypnotherapists as more professional than those who do not have such certifications. The more professional and certified hypnotherapists there are, the more valid the whole profession seems to the general public. This increase in value to the public means that the idea of hypnotherapy will become more accepted by everyone.

Certified hypnotherapists are also more likely to be recognized as valid providers by insurance agencies. There are obvious financial benefits for a practice to be recognized by insurers that outweigh the original investment required by a hypnosis certification. Clients are also more likely to select a practice that is covered by their insurance over one that is not. Increased client access means better results for client and more money for the practice as well. A more profitable hypnotherapy practice can of course pay its therapists more, but can also provide more and better services for its client.

A good hypnotherapist continues to learn after their initial training. Additional classes and specialty certifications are available, however many of these require a hypnotherapy certification to qualify for these advanced certifications. Each client provides an additional opportunity to learn even more about hypnotherapy, but without the foundation provided by your initial hypnotherapy certification, it would be challenging to establish a valid reputation that would provide this opportunity.

There is no one agency or board that certifies therapists to use hypnotherapy techniques on their clients. Despite this, there are lots of good reasons for a therapy practice to hire certified hypnotherapists or have their existing hypnotherapists certified. These reasons include getting potential clients to see the validity of a practice, having a practice recognized by medical professionals, helping hypnotherapists to grow as therapists and counselors, increasing public awareness of hypnotherapy as a valid form of therapy, and having a practice recognized by insurance companies as a valid form of therapy for their clients.

Obtaining A Hypnotherapy Certification

Young therapist working with patient on hypnosisHypnotherapy is the process of using hypnosis in combination with additional therapeutic processes to help a client deal with repressed memories, past traumas and subconscious beliefs. It takes a skilled hypnotherapist to uncover and interpret the subconscious mind accurately. Few people can perform these techniques using hypnosis with any kind of true skill without hypnotherapy training. That’s where a hypnotherapy certification course comes into the picture.

A hypnotherapy course trains the student to use hypnotism properly in their practices. There are different types of hypnotherapy and a good certification course will teach more than one. Becoming properly trained is a vital first step for a therapist who wants to make use of hypnosis; they can’t just start waving a watch in a client’s face and expect to see results! However, not everyone who is certified as a hypnotherapist has attended one of these courses.

On a side note, although the swinging watch referenced above is a common representation of hypnosis in movies, it is rather dated in the modern practice of hypnosis. Gone are the days of telling the client to “watch the watch”, though this is an example of the types of things people consider to be one of the common misconceptions about hypnosis people have when they decide to contact a hypnotist for a hypnosis session.

Different states and countries have varying definitions of what it means to be “certified” as a hypnotherapist. There is no one specific course a professional must attend to become a hypnotherapist. In many states, someone can practice as a hypnotherapist without any formal training at all. In others, only the word “therapist” is regulated, meaning the person must be certified as a mental health professional, but there is nothing controlling their training as a hypnotist. There are no legal or formal requirements, training, or certifications necessary to advertise as a hypnotist or practice hypnosis.

In the United States, one authority on certifications in hypnotherapy is the International Association of Counselors and Therapists (IACT). In order to qualify as certified on their list, a therapist must attend a hypnotherapy training course taught by one of their Certified Master Trainers or provide documentation of training elsewhere that meets the requirements for certification within IACT.

Certification classes are available in IACT schools around the world as well as at their annual hypnotherapy conference in Daytona Beach, Florida. The current requirements include 220 hours of hypnotherapy training and at least 110 of those hours are required to  be in the classroom. Being certified by the IACT means gaining recognition as a hypnotherapist within the profession, from the public, and from insurance companies.

There is also an organization known as the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners (ACHE) which is a large hypnotherapy organization for professional hypnotherapists who use hypnosis in clinical practice. Like the IACT,  ACHE provides training, workshops, and certifications to these professionals and also sponsors an annual hypnotherapy conference.

Organizations and schools that train certified hypnotherapists generally share a common goal: to increase the perceived and actual validity of the profession. Certifications give the public confidence in selecting a hypnotherapist, that they are paying money to an actual trained therapist and not just someone off the street who claims to know hypnosis. It also helps the practitioners to know that they are using the technique correctly and safely to help their clients, not harm them.

Hypnotherapy certification is not as straightforward as some other types of certification. There is no central source for these certifications, nor is there any set type or amount of training necessary to become a certified hypnotherapist. Each organization determines the requirements for their certifications, and some organizations, such as ACHE, offer different levels of certification depending on the total number of classroom hours of training. However, getting some kind of professional certification benefits a hypnotherapist. The hypnotherapist gets additional training and the knowledge that they are treating their clients to the best of their ability, and the client gets the peace of mind that they’ve hired an actual professional therapist.