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Honestly Now, Does It Make Sense to Give Hypnosis to the Medical Profession Exclusively?

Posted Under: Hypnosis Blog,Hypnosis Manifesto

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ManifestoRelated-bdr.jpgI hear this from time to time, “Hypnotism should only be done by medical doctors (or psychologists, etc).” Please! This simply makes no sense at all. Medical doctors and psychologists simply do not have the training, or time to do this work as well as well trained hypnotherapists!

Many people are surprised to learn that hypnosis and hypnotherapy are not a part of medical or psychological training programs. There may be a note about it here and there in a text book, but they don’t receive any serious training in it. (I was surprised to find this out as I studied for my undergraduate and graduate degrees.)


A few doctors and psychologists seek out additional training in hypnosis after they are licensed. And when they do receive hypnosis training through AMA or APA approved training programs, that training is no more sophisticated, nor is it typically longer in duration than that available to others and available through organizations like the National Guild of Hypnotists require for certification. In fact the training that doctors and psychologists receive is sometimes much less, and often has consisted of a single weekend course.

Here is where it gets even more interesting. How many of these medical doctors or psychologists who are “trained” in hypnosis or hypnotherapy practice hypnotherapy full time? I’ve never heard of such a thing. But many, many hypnotherapists do!

Now, let me ask you this… Would you rather have your surgery done by someone who does it part time, or someone who does it full time? The answer is obvious, the full-timer is the one that would have the opportunity to work on me or my family. I want an expert, a individual who really works in the profession full time.

So next time you hear something like, “hypnosis and hypnotherapy should only be done by doctors and psychologists,” bring this up.

Here is another interesting thought, while I am at it. When was the last time your doctor spent an hour or more with you? Probably never, unless you have undergone a lengthly surgery that cost thousands of dollars. Realistically, doctors just cannot provide the service at a reasonable cost, or at a highly trained and experienced level.

This is why America (and the world) needs to promote, encourage and continue to develop the profession of hypnotism. Think about it; doctors don’t do physical therapy full time, nor do they do occupational therapy full time. Why? Because they can make more money doing what they spent years and years training to do, provide services in their medical specialty. So, who provides physical and occupational therapy with the doctor’s patients? Licensed Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists do! I suggest that we look at how those professions emerged, and see if we can use that information as part of a useful model for the development of the hypnotherapy profession.

Hypnotherapists who are properly trained and certified can (or should be able to) provide their services in two major ways: First as independents who work mostly with non-medical and non-psychological issues (i.e., non-diagnosable issues such as habits and motivation), and then secondly, work on medical and psychological issues when they have been diagnosed, and the doctor (or other licensed professional) refers the client to the hypnotherapist (much the same as a patient would be referred to a specialist in a particular area of medical practice, or Occupational Therapist, or Physical Therapist).

To read more about challenges that our profession faces, and some proposed solutions, please read my Hypnosis Manifesto.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this point of view.

6 Reader Comments to Honestly Now, Does It Make Sense to Give Hypnosis to the Medical Profession Exclusively?

  1. Steve R. February 3, 2007 at 11:11 AM

    I read something written by a licensed psychologist who claimed that hypnosis should only be done by someone who has gone through 6-7 years of study to earn their doctorate, implying that they have had years of training in hypnosis (wow, where do I sign up?), when in fact they may have just gone through a weekend course as you mention.

    Still, I admire how your Manifesto takes a balanced view of why licensed professionals may fear unregulated hypnotists. It’s too easy to blame it on greed and turf protection. That just makes it easy to ignore the things that can be done to improve the profession.

    I would like to ask, do you think it is worthwhile to get at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology or related field? I have a bachelor’s degree already but am thinking of going back to school; do you believe that the effort/expense of getting an additional degree in psychology would make someone more effective in helping people with hypnosis? Or would that time/effort be better spent on hypnosis-specific training? Thank you!

  2. Alexandra Bley February 12, 2007 at 10:04 AM

    Dear Cal,

    Thanks so much for this article.
    I might have read the same article that Steve mentioned in one of the health magazines. It made me angry that they urge peolple to seek only help from hypnotherapists that are licensed psychologists, physicians or other healthcare providers.
    One of the things that made me smile was that they claim about half of the people that quitt smoking using hypnosis do so after one session and won’t touch a cigarette for about two years.
    Ha, am I glad that I went through YOUR training!!!

  3. Chet Payne June 19, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Psychologists and psychiatrists hate us and would take our privilege to practice hypnosis away in a heartbeat if they were given the chance. Just like Realtors need NAR to protect them from bankers stealing there profession we need NGH and like organizations to help protect our profession.

  4. Cal Banyan, MA, BCH, CI, FNGH June 20, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    Hi Chet – Thanks for your comment. We should also be members of the hypnotists union and the National Health Freedom Association. They all help to preserved our right to practice hypnotism.

  5. Tamara March 19, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Excellent post. Keep posting such kind of information on your page.
    Im really impressed by your site.
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  6. Cal Banyan, MA, BCH, CI, DNGH March 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Thanks Tamara.
    Cal

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