Finding a therapist or clinician who uses hypnosis

Different countries regulate hypnosis and psychotherapy in various ways. In most countires no specialist training is required in order to call oneself a 'hypnotherapist' - this means that most people styling themselves 'hypnotherapists' don't have adequate training. The International Society of Hypnosis recommends that the only therapists who use hypnosis should be those who are already qualified in a professional discipline (such as medicine, dentistry, psychology or psychotherapy). To quote Martin Orne:

"If a person is not professionally qualified to treat something without hypnosis, then they’re not qualified to treat something with hypnosis, either. First you look for that professional certificate on the wall -- physician, dentist, clinical psychologist, or whatever. Then you look for the certificate of hypnosis." (Martin Orne)
"Hypnosis is kind of like an empty syringe. Anybody can stick a needle into your body, and similarily, anybody can learn, in the space of half an hour, to induce a hypnotic state in another person. Hypnosis in itself, though, does not help people with physical or psychological problems, anymore than sticking them with a hypodermic needle does. The benefits of hypnosis depend almost entirely on what is done after the hypnotic state has been induced (that is, what is put into the "syringe"), and this is what requires professional skill and specialized knowledge and training. Hypnosis has many non-clinical uses. It can be of use in improving your golf game, helping you relax, or enhancing your creativity. If you are seeking psychotherapeutic or medical benefits from hypnosis, however, it is important to choose your hypnotist carefully." (Olafur S Palsson at


United States

Patients in the United States seeking psychological treatment with hypnosis have two choices. They should contact either the:

Societies of Hypnosis - is a referral list representing the 3 main hypnosis societies

American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) - for referrals page click here

Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH) - via Societies of Hypnosis

From the ASCH website:

We recommend that you consider a professionally-trained practitioner. Careful questioning can help you find someone appropriate for your needs. Ask if the person is licensed (not certified) in their field by the state. If they are not legitimately licensed, they probably lack the education required for licensure. Find out what their degree is in. If it is in hypnosis or hypnotherapy, rather than a state-recognized health care profession, the person is a lay hypnotist. Check for membership in the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (which are the only nationally recognized organizations for licensed health care professionals using hypnosis) as well as membership in the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), or the American Nurses Association (ANA). Contact a state or local component section of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis to see if the person is a reputable member. If you have doubts about their qualifications, keep looking.

Great Britain

The British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH) is the only professional hypnosis organisation in Great Britain. BSCAH is a national organisation of doctors, dentists, psychologists and other health professionals who are trained and interested in hypnosis and its use as a therapeutic tool. All those on the BSCAH referral list have gained Accreditation with BSCAH. Patients seeking medical, dental, or psychological treatment with hypnosis in the UK should contact the British Society for Clinical and Academic Hypnosis and click the 'Referral List' link.


The Australian Society of Hypnosis is the only professional hypnosis society in Australia. To contact a trained, qualified health practitioner, psychologist or dentist trained and qualified by the Australian Society of Hypnosis you can browse their online referral list.


For other referrals please contact the International Society of Hypnosis or European Society of Hypnosis to see if your country has a professional hypnosis organisation


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What is hypnosis?
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