The short answer is, unfortunately, that you can’t – anyone can call themselves a hypnotherapist without any training, oversight, or insurance.  Instead equipped with nothing more than a room, a brass plate, and a convincing manner they can set up in business and start to take peoples’ money.

That’s why I’ve always made a point of mentioning my membership of the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH), and my registration with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CHNC).  What I’m pleased to be able to say now is that the CHNC has been recognised by the Professional Standards Authority as an accredited voluntary register.

But what does this mean, and why should it interest you?

As for what it means, the Professional Standards Authority has recognised that the entry requirements to be registered with the CHNC, and the on-going oversight, reach their exacting standards.

Why should it interest you though?  As I’ve mentioned in a profession like mine anyone can set themselves up and open a practice with no more behind them than a couple of library books.  When we look at hypnotherapists who describe themselves as “qualified” we reach another potential problem – the sheer number and variety of schools,  and courses that range from excellent down to what might be kindly described as “introductory”.

Instead of researching the training and qualifications of your hypnotherapist, and which professional bodies recognise them, checking their registration with the CNHC is an easy way to re-assure yourself about questions that you might not be comfortable asking them directly.

CHNC registration assures you that the hypnotherapist

  • has a recognised qualification
  • is a member of a professional body
  • is required to undergo appropriate levels of training and professional development every year
  • is subject to appropriate levels of supervision
  • is subject to a code of ethics or professional standards
  • is insured
  • has consciously decided to stand by, and be subject to, these requirements

This is a register that hypnotherapists can be “struck off” from – for instance after losing a professional membership, breaching a code of ethics, or not maintaining their professional development.  Whilst there would be nothing illegal in their continuing to describe themselves as a “hypnotherapist” they wouldn’t be able to display the CHNC and Professional Standards Authority accredited voluntary register logos.

I’ve already had conversations with hypnotherapists who aren’t on the CHNC register who feel that I’m disparaging what they do, but I’m not.  I’m not tarring everyone with the same brush, or discounting every hypnotherapist who isn’t on the CHNC register – what I am saying is that it’s the best way for people to check on or find their hypnotherapist, and that I’m proud to sign up and be measured by the criteria they use.

Whether you agree with me or not let me know your views on this.