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Hypnosis Training Video #357: Tips on Selecting the Right Hypnosis Instructor and School to Learn Hypnosis (Transcription)

Return to Blog Post, Hypnosis Training Video #357: Tips on Selecting the Right Hypnosis Instructor and School to Learn Hypnosis

Cal: Hello everybody! Cal Banyan. Cal Banyan’s Hypnosis etc.; If you are watching this video anywhere else except you ought to go to right now because right below this video is additional content in the form of texts, links, graphics and other stuff that just makes this podcast more valuable for you. Every week, every stinking week, we put out a new video and its information that I wish I would have had my claws into earlier on in my profession. So, we get it out to you. I am so fortunate over the years to have had co-hosts, because back when I had a brown beard and I first started, I was by myself. Then I had Celeste, and then I had Elronn. And now we’ve got, for over a hundred, over a hundred and twenty-one podcasts, Meredith Locher. Let me tell you about Meredith. Meredith has a master’s degree in psychology; she was a talk therapist before she turned to the hypnosis side of life. She has a thriving practice in Los Angeles; she loves creatures with four legs. Not to eat them, but to pet them and care for them and things like that, although she will occasionally have some meat. I guess I’m delving too personally right now, but I’m so glad to have Meredith with us. How are you doing, Meredith?

Meredith: I’m so good, Cal. Yes, I do occasionally eat some meat. Hi everybody, I’m happy to be back. I want to make sure you guys know who Cal is. Cal is the one who trains the best in the profession. He is the one who brought us 5-PATH®. The system for change, for really anything at all that someone might come to you for help with. He also brought to us 7 Path Self-Hypnosis, he is the author of many books, many, many, many articles, and is very involved in the National Guild of Hypnotists. He actually has a master’s in psychology just like I do, and he was a talk therapist before he became one of the best hypnotists in the entire world. He is Cal Banyan.

Cal: Wow. Thank you so much. As you are doing that, I am fumbling with papers over here. I don’t even know why, since you are the one in charge. You are the one who is going to decide what we are doing in each podcast. So, what are we doing today? Oh, wait just one second. Before we do that, a quick announcement. See you guys at Solid Gold, Meredith do you know when Solid Gold is?

Meredith: I don’t.

Cal: OK. Let me look it up on my thing here. Gosh, February? Oh, my gosh. I’ll leave it in the notes, since I don’t remember the exact date. Oh wait, here it is in my notes! Found it! It is February 15th and 16th, 2014 in Las Vegas, Riviera Hotel and Casino, where some of the best of the best of the profession will be speaking and providing hopefully fun and entertaining talks for hypnotherapists to learn and have a good time while they are in Las Vegas. Also, in January, July, and October I have certification courses for you. It’s a ten-day intensive, I hope to see you in class. If you want to know more about our classes there is a link, right over there. On this website, there’s a link, right there.
Alright, in fact, there is another link other there. This is kind of fun, right? Other there, in the navigation bar, I hope I’m pointing in the right direction. I am often getting those mixed up. Alright, let’s roll!

Meredith: Wonderful, well , let me just tell you, I love it when you guys send in your questions, and your feedback, and your comments. I really, I look all over the place for those. Some people just send them straight to me, I love it when you do.

This morning, I actually got an email from a hypnotist who does street hypnosis, actually. Another variation of stage hypnosis, his name is Aaron. He is interested in finding out more about certification, apparently he is self-taught. So, the kind of hypnosis he does on the street, it does not come out of training although he is constantly studying. So he wondered, “I would like to know if there is a genuine certificate in hypnotherapy”. Mind you, in the email he made a differentiation between hypnosis, what he considers what he does, which is, hypnosis done more for entertainment purposes, and hypnotherapy. He is calling that hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. He said, he has been advised by other hypnotists that most of the courses are scams, and that you don’t need a degree in order to become a ‘therapist’. “What is your take on that?” So, let’s talk about that a little bit, do you want to start on that Cal?

Cal: So let’s start. You know, I would not use the word scam. I would say that hypnosis, and hypnotherapy is an unregulated profession in the United States. There might be a little thing here and there, in different states, trying to regulate it. But basically, we are on our own as a profession for regulating ourselves. Which is the best place to be, and we are getting better at it all the time.
There are several organizations out there. The biggest and the one that I am most closely associated with is the National Guild of Hypnotists. They do the most training, I believe, than any other organization. They have continuing education that is required to keep your certification. Not biasing any other certification or organization out there, that is just the one I am most associated with because I believe they do the most for the profession. Dr. Dwight Damon does the most, he really moved this. He is the President of the National Guild of Hypnotists; he really moved this into a full time profession for us folks who are seeing clients. But there’s a lot of variety. There are trainers who shouldn’t be training! That is just the truth. Some of them could be misleading students. But I don’t think that that is the majority. I think that the main problem and challenge to the person who is trying to get training is to get through all the baloney that is out there, and all the hyperbole that is out there.
Most people, they have a trainer, and unfortunately they don’t do a lot of additional training after they have been through the certification course. So, if you have a mediocre trainer, then you have a mediocre hypnotist who doesn’t really do a lot to lift themselves. You just have to ask around. Our course is known as being difficult, it’s hard. We train one percenters; our course is designed to do the best of the best. But, legally, there are no grounds for me to say, “Mine is more ‘credential zed’ than the others.” In Minnesota, we were a state licensed school, but when we moved to California they required state registration. We are currently doing the legal work now to become licensed in California.
Really, even that is misleading because it does not tell you how good of a trainer or a school is, it just means that licensure is there to protect the public. What they are mainly going to do is make sure that some minimum standards are being fulfilled, and make sure that you have insurance, make sure you have a way to back up the records and keep track of records. The state has no idea how to determine which schools are good and which ones are not. You really have to do your homework and talk to people.

Ask yourself, “What is their presence like on the Internet?” But, even presence on the Internet alone doesn’t tell you that a trainer is the best. Let’s say that someone is an Internet guru of some sort and is able to do podcasting and email lists and all of this stuff. Maybe they are great at Internet marketing, but they are not so great at hypnosis. They are going to be all over the Internet and they are going to have great marketing materials, but that doesn’t mean that the trainer or the training is going to be that good. So, you might look for third party validation, for example, are they giving awards or recognition from other sources, like the National Guild of Hypnotists? Or awards for being a trainer, or educator, are they getting presidential awards? Some things like that, where a third-party is saying that this person is really someone who is a recognized trainer. Are they writing books? Are their books selling well? You really have to do your research. What do you want to add to that Meredith?

Meredith: Yes. What I did, I actually talked to some people who had taken your course, in the first place. By the way, I was trained by Cal. I really was primarily trained by you, Cal.

I did take a brief course years ago on Guided Imagery; it was a very simplistic class. I did use it in some groups when I worked in residential treatment; it was basically a script class. It was just a class teaching you how to do a very basic induction and how to present yourself with scripts to clients. It was very, very simplistic and not extremely beneficial. But I did get something out of it. My main training is with you, Cal. And you do, on your website have video testimonials. At that time I don’t think you had video up yet, but you did have lots of testimonials, I didn’t leave it at that. I actually asked if there was anybody who was trained by you whom I could talk to. So, I talked to a couple of people and I’ve talked to other people who wanted to come to your class and explained my experience to them. I’ve been involved in several of your classes, and I’ve experienced the difference between your class and other classes because a lot of students who come to your class have previously been trained elsewhere, so they could compare and contrast. So, there is a lot of information you can gain without spending a whole lot of money. You don’t have to pay anybody for their time, people will volunteer their time either via email or via phone, explain what their experience was and the differences. One of the other things that I wanted to say is that he was asking about a degree. And it is true, there is no degree, right now. It just so happens that you and I, Cal, both have master’s degrees in Psychology and that can lend some legitimacy but it wasn’t necessary, by any means. I, in my practice use so much more of what I got from your class and I hardly ever use any of what I got from my psychology degree. You don’t need to have a degree, but you do need to have good certification. Just because there is a lot of certification that isn’t as good, it doesn’t mean that all certification is bad. We need to not be ‘black and white’, here as we look at this. There are some that are better than others, there are some that are more extensive than others, and there are some that require and allow time for practice during class. There are some that are much more intensive than others and that is the sort of thing that you are going to want to look for. Anything else you want to add, Cal?

Cal: Well, as we’re talking about this, I am writing down some of this stuff because we don’t want to turn this into a commercial for my class, but to give our viewers something where they can go out and do their own homework. Do your own research. Do they have a web presence? Does what they are saying seem knowledgeable? Exactly what you said, talk to those trained by the teacher you are interested in. Does their training get you certified with the National Guild of Hypnotists?

Joe Splatterbust could print himself a card in most states and be a hypnotist. Joe Splatterbust, hypnotist, and in some states he could also say School of Hypnosis. So now Joe Splatterbust has the Joe Splatterbust School of Hypnosis. He has read all of three books on hypnosis, and one of them was a book on self-hypnosis, and now he is going to take your money. So, third party validation is very important. What are other organizations saying about the teacher? What are graduates saying about the teacher? You hit it right on the head. One of the greatest problems with most training courses is that they don’t give you enough time to become a confident and competent hypnotist or hypnotherapist during class. Not enough time is spent in class practicing the techniques that you are learning, so except for the first day, every day in our class we spend an hour practicing before class and an hour after. Now, I think that is what should be done.

If you take a class with someone else, make sure that they are going to offer you that time. When I went through my certification course we had one hour of practice in the whole class, and of course, that is divided by two people because you work together. We didn’t really know what we were doing, so twenty minutes were lost just trying to figure out what we were doing. So twenty minutes of practicing hypnotizing someone and out of the seventeen people in my class only two ever really tried to become hypnotists and only one ever went full-time. The other one quit. I think the big difference is that there has to be a significant amount of practice time during the certification course because you don’t realize you have questions until you actually apply the technique. What do you think about that, Meredith?

Meredith: Yeah, absolutely. So often that is the case. People cannot take what they learned and apply it because they didn’t really get to the point where they knew what they were doing. If that would be a question that you would want to ask a trainer: Is there practice? How much is there? Is there daily practice, that sort of thing. You do want practice, and, if not during classes, is there some sort of venue for after the fact, whether it’s something online, or will they take your calls? Will they respond to emails? Is there a cohort that assembles after the class that can further help the growth and expansion and unfolding of the information that you got from class? What is the bridge between classes to clients? Does your trainer allow for some sort of a flow there, very important?

But another piece of this is. . . Cal, if you have more to say about this. . . . We are actually not doing talk therapy here, so that is one of the reasons why we don’t require a degree. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, but, at least the process that I use 5-PATH®, most of the time it’s the client giving the information to themselves, I am simply a guide. I am actually not telling them what to do, I’m not giving them advice for the most part. I am not trying to help them fix some really complicated problem. They have regular everyday problems that I am helping them to help themselves with.
Anything you want to add to that?

Cal: We are exactly on the same page about this. That is another good question that I want to underline, that you should ask about a trainer. What kind of support will I have after I graduate? They say, “Oh, if you have any questions you can give me a call.” Well, that is good, that is a start. What we do is we provide an online support system where all of our grads are talking to each other, supporting each other. I can get in there and support them, it’s pro-active. Every time someone asks a question, then everybody who is on that online group gets both of the questions, the answers, and the discussion about the question. So, that is really good there, Meredith.

With regards to degrees in hypnosis, there are no real true degrees in hypnosis in the United States. They’re what you would call Alternative Degrees. They are just not the same as a regionally accredited degree. What really drives me crazy, and I’ve talked about this over and over, these Ph.D.s and clinical or doctorate in hypnotherapy. I’ve been in a doctorate’s program and I’ve gone and talked to people who have gone through these hypnotherapy doctoral programs and they are just not the same. They pale in comparison. They are not regionally accredited, which is the normal accreditation service. In fact, some of them even have the gall to set up their own accrediting agency to accredit themselves. So the truth is, right now in the United States, there is no Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree or Ph.D. or DCH that is a true degree similar to other professionals getting a degree. These alternative degrees are flimsy compared to real college degrees.

If you actually amount to something one day, I have known hypnotherapists and hypnotists that have done that and have gotten those easy to get Ph.D.s or Doctorate in hypnotherapy degrees. Then they get on TV, or on the news and they get embarrassed and they wind up, as they become successful, they start renouncing those degrees. So don’t put yourself in that situation, if you want to get a degree, get a degree in Nursing, Counseling, Marriage-Family Therapy, or whatever. It’s cool if you end up in licensure like a Nursing degree or a Counseling degree, but don’t get taken in. Because people who are the real professionals in this profession know that those degrees don’t exist and we know you are just faking it, so don’t do that. If you do have it, I suggest you distance yourself from it.

Now, the word therapist; let’s look at the word therapy. Therapy means something that you do that moves someone towards health or healing. And, so a therapist is someone who helps someone more healthy, or to heal. That is really the domain of psychology and medicine, and physical therapists or occupational therapists, something like that. Sometimes hypnotists are doing therapy, but the vast majority of times we work with normal, everyday people with normal, everyday problems. 5-PATHers learn a system that we can take people through to where they can recognize some things about themselves. We can give them hypnotic suggestions that free them from their normal, everyday problems like drinking too much, smoking too much, eating too much, having fears that are exaggerated; too much anger, too much sadness, all of these kinds of things or to have confidence, improving sports performance, work performance and all of that kind of thing. You are right on.

Meredith: Wonderful. Well, we are out of time.

Cal: Oh, my goodness! How we can go on.

Meredith: Thank you so much Aaron, for your question. We love these questions; I would love for you to get properly and legitimately trained in the profession. I look forward to meeting you at a future NGH event. Definitely thank you for sending that in. Please do send your questions in or post them on, in the feedback boxes, you can post them there. Also go to, the ‘Ask Cal’ group, you can post them there. You can find us on Facebook; we have the Hypnosis ,Etc. fan page there so you can directly send them to me at Thank you so much for everything you are doing to bring hypnosis into the world and to create major change to people’s lives. This is Meredith Locher signing off.

Cal: Thank you Meredith. I sent an email to her yesterday or today and I said that it is so cool because the work we have done together in these videos, once they go up on the Internet they are out there forever. These videos will help hypnotists, and as a result will help their clients for decades to come. So, I greatly appreciate your help with this. I am Cal Banyan, please like us, share us, Google+ us, let’s get the word out. Right above my video, right over there, over there or over there, there are some buttons you can push to tweet, like, share, Google+ us, whatever is happening now. Please help us get the word out so we can help more people. That’s it. See you in class, I hope, if not see you at the Convention. Good luck, I’ll see you at the Solid Gold weekend. You know what, why not do it all. Bye for now.

Copyright 2013 Calvin D. Banyan . All rights reserved.

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