Because hypnosis has the power to alter important aspects of your life, it is vital for you to protect yourself from "quacks" that, unfortunately, are so abundant in the field of hypnosis.

But how? Educate yourself in the myths and examine the qualifications a professional hypnotherapist should have. Below are a few important things to consider when selecting a hypnotist.

Beware of hypnotists who:

Only have a CHT (Certified Hypnotherapist) after their name.
A Certified Hypnotherapist is really a misnomer. Most states do not have licensing in hypnotherapy — this is why the therapist being licensed in another regulated therapy is paramount. A "CHT" may be certified and claim to have received 200 or more hours of training from an institution (roughly 5 weeks of full-time work), but licensed health-care professionals typically have seven to nine years of university coursework, plus additional supervised training in internship and residency programs. Their hypnosis training is in addition to their medical, psychological, dental or social-work training.

Have a Ph.D. from institutions that you never heard of.
There are many "institutions" that provide students with Ph.D.s, M.A.s, etc. that may be registered as a school in their state, but that are not accredited by any governing body in regards to what standards their graduates must meet to be licensed mental-health professionals. While this might be acceptable for many trades, medical and mental-health professions need strict regulation to ensure the quality of care you are receiving!

Use subliminal messages.
According to The Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, two double-blind studies have tested subliminal message self-help audiotapes claiming to improve memory, increase self-esteem, or induce weight loss. Actual content and labeled content were independently varied. Some subjects believed they were using memory tapes but were actually using weight-loss or self-esteem tapes, and so on. After a month of use (per manufacturers' recommendations) by volunteer subjects, there were no effects of subliminal content in the claimed direction on any of the three dimensions.

In the face of all evidence to the contrary, there are many hypnosis programs on the market that claim to use subliminal messages to bolster the effectiveness of the content. Although it is true that we can perceive things below our conscious awareness, there is no evidence of anyone hearing a message which is buried beneath layers of other sounds to the point where the message does not distinctly stand out. Of course, if the message distinctly stood out, it would not be subliminal. This is definitely a scam.

Offer audio products that seem impossible.
You might have seen products promising to do things which seem almost impossible. We have seen products claiming to:
Grow Your penis
Make you taller (no kidding!)
Give you luck
Make you financially successful
Increase your psychic ability

Some of these products have some theoretical basis. For example penis growth might be theoretically possible, but there has been no research supporting such a claim. Furthermore, it is doubtful that the actual hypnotist's program has ever been researched in any analytical manner. Other products, such as promises of getting lucky, rely on New Age beliefs in order to convince you that hypnosis can open you up to Universal energies.

Hypnosis is not a belief or a theory — it is a practiced science used by mental health professionals to help people improve their lives.

Beware of the following organizations who certify hypnotherapists:

National Guild of Hypnotists
This organization offers hypnotherapy certifications in as little as 2 semesters of hypnotherapy training and 15 hours of continued education a year.

The American Board of Hypnotherapy
This organization offers standard Hypnotherapy Certifications, as well as "Ph.D." degrees. However, these doctorate level degrees are Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) for Clinical Hypnotherapy or Esoteric Studies, not Doctor of Psychology degrees.

The International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association
This organization offers hypnotherapy certifications in as little as 3 months of hypnotherapy training.

To learn more about who these institutions will certify, read our article: "The Certified Hypnotherapist . . . CAT?"

If you have any questions regarding a particular hypnotist's background or school, please email us at: