Does Hypnotherapy Work In Improving Someone’s Life

Hypnotism concept, gold pocket watch swinging used in hypnosis treatmentWhen some people think about hypnosis, they picture a night club act where the hypnotist puts his subject in a hypnotic state and gives him commands to do silly things like bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken. This has, unfortunately, tarnished the reputation of hypnotherapy, and it is an inaccurate representation of this profession. A lot of people have heard about hypnotherapy and hypnosis being used as a way to help people lose weight and stop smoking, which are 2 of the most common reasons the average person decides to contact a hypnotherapist. Their primary concern is does hypnotherapy work?

The fact is, hypnotherapy is becoming more and more accepted in the medical community as an effective alternative to treating things like anxiety, stress, pain and psychosomatic disorders. In 1958, the American Medical Association recognized that hypnotherapy has a place among the treatment techniques used by medical professionals in certain illnesses. Certain health issues may require a referral from a physician or mental health profession before the hypnotherapist can begin working in areas normally reserved for licensed professionals.

Hypnotherapy can be seen as an alternative to many traditional treatment situations. A report from the British Psychological Society was published in 2001 stating that hypnotherapy has produced benefits in a wide range of health issues relating to stress, anxiety, and pain. Issues such as headaches and migraines, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, and even various types of skin conditions responded positively to hypnotherapy. Problems around weight loss also received benefits. This report was done by a group of expert psychologists commissioned by the British Psychological Society.

In 2007, American Health Magazine published a study comparing the effectiveness of hypnotherapy against behavior therapy and psychoanalysis, and concluded that hypnotherapy was more effective in many cases. This claim was supported by an independent analysis done by a German university of over 400 studies. They reported that hypnotherapy had a success rate of 64 percent when used to treat chronic pain, anxiety and stress.

Hypnosis is a method of getting access to the subconscious mind. The activities in the subconscious mind influence thought and action 90 to 95 percent of the time. When a person is under hypnosis, he cannot be directed to do anything that he does not want to do.

Illustration depicting a sign with a hypnotherapy concept.Hypnotherapy can help an individual make lifelong changes by getting to the root of the behavior. In hypnotherapy, the client is put into a state of mind similar to how the mind is right before the client falls asleep. It is in this sleep/wake consciousness that the sub-conscious mind is ready to receive input under hypnotherapy. The mind will remember and record this new information and will direct the body to act on it. Thus, positive changes, healing and growth in one’s life can be achieved.

So, for those who are still wondering does hypnotherapy work, they can see that there is widely supported evidence that it does. Hypnotherapy is gaining more respect as a method of treatment for many health conditions. Many medical professionals agree that this can be a powerful form of therapy for ailments of the mind and the body. It is important to seek hypnotherapy only from specialists with the appropriate certifications. This will ensure that the client and the hypnotherapist work together to obtain the best results possible.

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.