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ASCH vs NGH: Which Gets You More Clients?

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Hypnosis OrganizationsMy mouth fell open and I had to shake my head in disbelief when I got an email from a fellow hypnotist today. To sum up the shocking point in her email, she stated that she was resigning from the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH), and joining the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), because she thought this change in membership would get her more clients and students for her classes. I thought to myself, "What is she thinking!?"

First off, just in case you didn’t know, I’m a member of the NGH. It is the only hypnosis organization I belong to other than the 5-PATH® International Association of Hypnosis Professional, which I founded for the ongoing development of 5-PATH® hypnosis professionals around the world (but that is a different story). I feel no need to join any other organization, and I don’t expect I ever will.


Here is the inside truth, unvarnished and straight at you. In the vast majority of cases, probably better than 99%, the number of clients you have and will ever get, do not come from who you are associated with (membership-wise) in any hypnosis organization. This is because your potential clients have no idea what the heck the different memberships mean.

ASCH will only allow membership if you are a licensed professional, and in the past, has worked against hypnosis professionals who are not licensed and do not have academic credentials such as a PhD or MD.

NGH is an inclusive organization that works to bring all hypnosis professionals together so that the profession can grow, so more people can be helped through the use of professional and ethical application of hypnotic techniques and processes. And, I believe, it would be a fair estimate to say that unlicensed hypnosis professionals are probably helping as many people, or perhaps even more people than the members of ASCH. Furthermore, the NGH does more to protect the right of non-licensed hypnosis professionals to practice (and therefore help more people) than any hypnosis organization of any kind located anywhere in the world.

So, having said all of that, it is important that all hypnosis professionals, licensed and un-licensed, understand that we don’t get clients because of belonging to one particular hypnosis organization or another. People choose an individual hypnotherapist for a number of much more important reasons.

Here are just a few:

  1. They liked your website.

  2. They liked your advertisement in the phone directory.

  3. You helped their friend of family member (referral).

  4. They took your self-hypnosis, or other class and like you as a person and as a professional.

And, all of these factors have one thing in common, this person who called your office to learn more about your service or to make an appointment with you, believed they could trust you to do good work and help them succeed.

I tell every class that I train, "Hypnosis is a confidence game. If you don’t get their trust, then there will be no game." The most important factor leading up to whether or not someone chooses you to work with him or her is whether or not you appear to be trustworthy. Since very few people have any idea about what the major hypnosis organizations stand for, or require for membership or certification, then belonging to one organization over another does not have any effect on whether they trust that you can help them.

At our center, we have helped thousands of clients. Each and every one of the therapists who have ever worked at our center have all had to have a current membership with the NGH and have all been certified by them. (My certification course results in NGH certification.)

The person who emailed me stating that she was changing from the NGH to ASCH, left me thinking, "What was she thinking?" I still don’t know. I mean, this makes no sense to me at all.

Please leave your comments below.

One Reader Comment to ASCH vs NGH: Which Gets You More Clients?

  1. Steve R. November 19, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    You don’t mention whether or not this hypnotist is actually a licensed professional and eligible for the ASCH.

    But in any case, I agree with you that it is odd to think that being part of one association vs. another will make a significant difference in the success of a practice.

    I have referred many prospects to ASCH therapists in cases where it was clear that they needed assistance beyond what I could provide via purely hypnotic coaching (ie. when a client describes “hearing voices” or other such obvious indicator).

    So I don’t have a problem with the idea of joining the ASCH — but the idea that being a member of a different organization will make up for lack of marketing success, is puzzling. There are many many licensed professionals who struggle to attract clients, after all.

    Anyway, many clients go to hypnotists because they purposely do not want to go to a “mental health” professional, for various reasons.

    Really, I think this idea that being part of ASCH or NGH or whatever will make a significant difference in the success of a practice (except in the practical benefits of conventions, training, insurance, etc), is a way to avoid having to tackle larger, more fundamental problems of marketing and attracting clients.

    It’s like the practitioner who spends a lot of time “getting ready to get ready” by fiddling with whether or not this logo or that logo looks better on their business card, what color scheme their website should be, says to themselves “maybe if I got another certificate then I’d get me some more clients” or “maybe Twitter can help grow my business”… what’s known as “majoring in minor things”.

    I agree that confidence is a major part of this work, both the client’s trusting the hypnotist, but more importantly the hypnotist trusting the work!

    I think leaning on something like membership in this-or-that organization is either an indication of a lack of confidence on the part of the hypnotist in their work, or an inability to more effectively communicate their value to the market, neither of which will be resolved by membership in whatever organization.

    Of course, this is just off-the-top-of-head reasoning. I would be interested in seeing research, or even hearing anecdotes, which show that a person who switched from one organization to another becomes more successful as a result of that change, all other factors being the same. I doubt it, but could be wrong!

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