A Comprehensive Guide to a Fulfilling Hypnotherapy Career

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A Beginner's Guide to Embarking on a Hypnotherapy Career

Whether you’re thinking of training as a hypnotherapist or are ready to take your hypnotherapy career to the next stage, our guide covers everything you need to make the best choices.

Salary & Hours

Full time: £69,000 (32 hours)

Part time: £30,000 (16 hours)

Often requires evening or weekend work, especially when starting out.

Hypnotherapist Salary

How to become a hypnotherapist

What are the benefits of choosing a career in hypnotherapy?

Many people feel inspired to become a hypnotherapist simply because they desire a change and a fresh start. They may have had a long career in another area or discovered they no longer enjoy what they’ve been doing.

A rewarding career change

Some people are drawn to hypnotherapy after a career break when they’ve had time to reflect on the fact they want something different. Others have found themselves simply wanting to help people in a more rewarding way.

A hypnotherapy career offers a great sense of fulfilment from helping others overcome obstacles and live happier lives. Knowing you’ve played a role in someone’s journey towards positive change can be incredibly gratifying. It’s one of the few careers where you can get feedback from clients who say, “Thank you for changing my life.”

Flexibility as your own boss

With a hypnotherapy career, you can take charge by becoming your own boss. As a self-employed hypnotherapist, you can choose when you work and don’t need permission to take time off for a break. You can make your own decisions and be more in charge of your own destiny, including how much you earn as a hypnotherapist.

Parents or carers may need a more flexible job, some people want work that will fit around another job, while others can be looking for a career that fits around their lifestyle. A hypnotherapy career offers autonomy that allows you to balance your professional life with personal commitments.

Improve your own wellbeing

Practising as a hypnotherapist enhances your own personal wellbeing. In client sessions, you are mainly discussing positive forward motions, rather than about the past or getting drawn into problems. This means you limit negative transference and feel more upbeat at the end of the working day – a great benefit for a therapist.

Is being a hypnotherapist a good career?

What skills you need

The main ‘skill’ needed for a hypnotherapy career is a desire to help people – as simple as that. A lot of therapists gain the additional skills they need as they train and progress in their hypnotherapy career.

You will need to develop the ability to listen to a client and build a therapeutic rapport with them. As with anything, this usually comes with more experience and greater confidence, which your training should help you build.

Can anyone become a hypnotherapist?

Pretty much anyone can become a hypnotherapist, especially if you have a keenness to help people. Many hypnotherapists come from completely different careers, frequently without any knowledge of hypnotherapy or therapy in general.

The training on a hypnotherapy course will provide all the knowledge you need to become a hypnotherapist. There is then ongoing support so you can continue to grow your knowledge and confidence.

The only thing you may have to consider is if you currently suffer any severe mental health issues. Do you think this would negatively impact your clients? As long as it’s correctly medicated and you feel you can be reliable for your clients, you can still pursue a hypnotherapy career.

What does a typical day look like?

A successful therapist may have clients scheduled every hour throughout the day, as much as they want. Hypnotherapists starting out may have a few scattered appointments throughout the week as they build their businesses. Other therapists choose to have set working hours of, say, 4 or 5 mornings or afternoons, and restrict the number of people they see.

When starting a hypnotherapy practice, you typically need to schedule appointments when clients are free, like evenings or weekends. But there are plenty seeking help who are available for sessions on weekdays. Retired and self-employed people or those who are too ill to work may prefer these daytime appointments.

Sessions usually last 50-60 minutes. They can be face-to-face from a therapist’s home, although some rent a practice room elsewhere, offering a more clinic environment. Most clients prefer face-to-face for talking therapies, but in recent years talking therapies have proven themselves online.

Some therapists now work entirely online. This offers the flexibility to work with people a distance away (even abroad) and keeps overheads down. However, there can be a lonely aspect to working from home, so you should consider whether this is right for you. A clinic environment can offer the opportunity to engage with other therapists.

A typical day is not just about seeing clients. There is business admin, like responding to client messages or new enquiries, and looking after the bookkeeping.

When setting up your hypnotherapy business, you should allow a minimum of half a day a week to focus on marketing to reach new clients. As your business builds, so will word-of-mouth referrals, which means eventually you may not need to spend as much time on marketing. You should always expect to still need an hour or two each week to keep the marketing ball rolling.

Any professional hypnotherapist association will require you to undertake ongoing additional learning, such as continual professional development (CPD). This ensures you are growing your knowledge and keeping up to date as a professional.

You will need to meet with a hypnotherapy supervisor regularly, usually a minimum of 6 hours each year. Supervision encourages hypnotherapists to reflect on their work with their clients. It helps you to explore ways of doing things better and verify what you’re doing to provide the best for your clients. Some new graduates prefer to access their supervisor more often to increase their knowledge and skills.

It’s also good to allow time to meet up with other therapists. You can exchange ideas and consider options with someone who has experienced similar challenges to you. Taking a little time for coffee and a chat can boost your wellbeing and confidence in your work. This is important for supporting your clients, but it’s also useful for focusing on your business.

What types of issues do hypnotherapists help people overcome?

The issues clients can present are extremely varied. The most common are anxiety-related issues, depression, and insomnia. However, the list of what a hypnotherapist can deal with is long. It includes phobias, calm pregnancy and childbirth, PTSD, general confidence building, and business performance to name just a few.

Can I specialise?

Most people have an idea of how they want to help people when they begin training for a hypnotherapy career. This might mean a desire to specialise in women’s health, sports performance or addictions etc. You can specialise in more than one area too. It will depend on what interests you most or the issues you commonly come across in your practice.

You should be able to help with most areas as soon as you graduate. But it’s generally felt that a hypnotherapist is better beginning as a general practitioner to build confidence. Then if you wish to specialise you can, but can also provide support for anything else a client brings with them.

To specialise a therapist simply needs to build experience in the specialism area. This usually starts by reading up on the subject matter and attending CPD events to get further background knowledge. A supervisor can also help expand your knowledge base so you feel more confident.

As sole trading therapists, how do you look after yourselves?

Looking after your own wellbeing is vital: if you feel good, you have ample resources to help others. Hypnotherapists can safeguard their own wellbeing in many ways, including making time for exercise, hobbies and interests.

As a sole trader, you can be on your own a lot at times, so should seek out positive interaction. Meeting up with friends or colleagues helps maintain a good mood. Seeking out other self-employed people is also highly beneficial, even if they’re not in the same industry. Trading ideas and thoughts on being a sole trader is extremely useful and can give you great motivation.

Your relationship with your hypnotherapy supervisor is also an important resource. You should come away from any supervision session feeling inspired.

Is there career progression?

After completing an accredited hypnotherapy course, you will graduate with all the skills needed to begin practising as a certified hypnotherapist.

If you have completed CPHT’s Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma (HPD) course, you can go on to study for the Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma (AHD). This enhances a hypnotherapist’s knowledge across a range of areas.

If you have qualified previously as a hypnotherapist with another diploma course, you can complete CPHT’s Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Conversion Diploma to expand your services with solution focused hypnotherapy. This opens up further training opportunities, such as the AHD and CPHT’s continuing professional development (CPD) courses.

You can also continue to progress your hypnotherapy career by becoming a specialist in a particular area. From there, you may move on to presenting CPDs.

Once you have gained enough experience, you can train to become a hypnotherapy supervisor. You may also choose to become a lecturer, delivering hypnotherapy training courses.

How fast you progress will depend on how many clients you see per week. With fewer clients, it takes longer to build confidence and clinical experience. But the benefit of being self-employed is you get to decide how much you work and therefore the speed with which you progress.

Choosing the right type of hypnotherapy

There are a variety of hypnotherapy styles. Understanding the basic differences between them will help you to choose the best hypnotherapy training course for you.

Analytical hypnotherapy tries to identify why a client may be experiencing a problem. It seeks to work out the causes of the problems, so the client can respond differently.

Behavioural hypnotherapists help clients to modify their current and future behaviours and habits. They then use hypnotherapy techniques and suggestions to embed these behavioural changes.

Cognitive hypnotherapy focuses more on thoughts, beliefs and identifying with behaviours. It can assist clients with changing their beliefs on a subconscious level. This allows the client to think about things differently.

Regression is taking a client back in their mind to past events which may have some bearing on their problem.

Solution focused means working with the client to create a positive future. This type of hypnotherapy works towards solutions rather than focusing on the problems. Neuroscience shows that this is a more effective approach. Many clients find it a relief that they don’t have to constantly discuss their problems.

Sessions tend to be enjoyable and can be more fun. With solution focused work, hypnotherapists believe the client has the answer within them. It’s up to the hypnotherapist to encourage the client to access those answers.

Choosing the right hypnotherapy course

When researching hypnotherapy courses, the content of different schools’ courses might look very similar. However, you should check what sort of qualification you will be awarded upon completion. Is it externally verified and accredited by a government regulated body or a professional hypnotherapy association, like the NCFE, the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) or the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH)?

Find out what the course’s graduates think by reading reviews or chatting with a previous student. Look at websites for successful practising hypnotherapists and see where they trained. This can give you more confidence in making the right decision.

Consider what a course offers beyond its content and whether it’s right for you.

  • What support do they give between training sessions?
  • Are the classes large or small?
  • Do the lecturers have their own active hypnotherapy practices?
  • Is the training practical?
  • How successful are previous graduates?
  • What costs are involved?

Do I need specific qualifications?

You do not need specific qualifications to train as a hypnotherapist.

What's the best way to learn?

A structured step-by-step approach will gradually add additional layers of knowledge as you progress. A classroom-based course will offer greater interaction with your lecturers. You will also collaborate with other students, learning from each other.

In-class practical exercises are a great way to enhance your learning. As much practice as possible is key to learning hypnotherapy. Training courses that also enable you to work with real case studies outside the classroom will help to fast track your learning.

How do I get practical experience?

You can start gaining practical hypnotherapy experience by seeing friends and family from the very first weekend of CPHT’s Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma (HPD) course. By month three you will be providing therapy to members of the public that you don’t necessarily know. This builds your confidence and experience while you have lecturers to support you if you encounter any challenges.

How long does it take to gain a hypnotherapy qualification?

The HPD course takes 10 months to complete. This involves being in the classroom for one weekend per month and seeing case study clients in between. We ask that you see a minimum of 5 case studies per week. You will see them on an ongoing basis, so that doesn’t mean you need 5 new case study clients every week. 

In addition, you need to complete a portfolio of work. This can take weeks or sometimes months to prepare. It will depend on your focus and what time you have available to complete the questions and case studies.

Running a hypnotherapy business

How do you set up a business and start getting customers?

By working with case study clients during your course, you will already be setting up your business. The course will explain how to attract these first case studies and you will soon begin to get word-of-mouth referrals.

You should look for hypnotherapy training courses that offer marketing modules. These can teach you how to gain new clients, including key points about a website. Some courses, including CPHT’s HPD, also explain what you will need to know for accounting, GDPR, client paperwork and how to keep records.

Do I need to register with any governing bodies?

As a practising hypnotherapist, you need to be a member of a professional association and follow their guidelines. There are a number of organisations to choose from, including the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH) and the Complementary & National Healthcare Council (CNHC). Your training course should introduce you to these organisations.

The subscription to these organisations costs between £65 and £70 a year and you will need to renew each year. You only need to be a member of one organisation, but can choose more.

Do I need to have insurance?

You will need Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover you if a client takes action against you. The costs vary considerably, depending on the insurance company.

On the HPD course, CPHT requests that you take out student insurance from the first month. This usually costs between £80 and £100 (depending on discounts available) for £1.5 million cover. Once you graduate, you will need to upgrade your insurance to graduate status.

Are there any legal implications to practising hypnotherapy?

There can be implications of a legal nature if a client suspects malpractice. This is an extremely rare event, but it is why you have Professional Indemnity Insurance. Additionally, as a member of a professional association, that organisation will have a legal team to help you.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses

Continuing to build your knowledge and keeping it up to date with a variety of CPD courses is important. They offer positive interaction with peers and the opportunity to exchange ideas. Many hypnotherapists benefit from continued learning that grows their knowledge and confidence.

Professional hypnotherapy associations usually require you to attend CPDs. For example, the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH) requires all registered members to:

"Engage in at least 21 hours of additional professional development activities per year, including undertaking regular supervision and further training as part of their continuous professional development."

Depending on the professional body, CPDs can consist of 2 days per year. There is an additional requirement for time researching information, such as how the brain works or a particular symptom, like anxiety or insomnia.

CPDs do not necessarily aim to teach you to work in a different way in your client sessions. They expand your knowledge so you can talk knowingly to a client about their issues.

For instance, during the first meeting, a hypnotherapist can gain the trust of a client with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by demonstrating understanding. This is important for the client to feel comfortable, helping them open up to share their concerns and experiences.

Trust in the therapist can lead to better outcomes for the client’s treatment. It builds rapport, which is one of the most important aspects of talking therapies.

CPDs are about more than just developing knowledge for work with clients though. A first aid or bookkeeping course is considered professional development of your business in general. The professional bodies that hypnotherapists belong to will state their CPD requirements and how this should be split between hypnotherapy and non-therapeutic CPDs.

A wide variety of hypnotherapy CPDs[link] are available. CPHT’s range is designed for solution focused hypnotherapists. Examples include:

Fertility – run by Jennifer Dunseath

This covers the physical and psychological factors involved in infertility, with modern fertility treatments as a starting point. It explains the role of hypnotherapy in supporting fertility and reducing the negative effects of infertility. It also discusses the importance of setting goals and how to manage expectations, disappointment and loss.

Psychoneuroimmunology (the immune system’s connection between mind and body) – run by Jane Fox

This gives an insight into how our psychological well being affects physical health. Science increasingly shows evidence of the connection between the body and mind. Jane explains how we can improve our health with positive thoughts. Additionally, this CPD shows how our psychological, neural and immune processes interact to shape our health and behaviour.

Eating Disorders – run by Holly Stone

After becoming a hypnotherapist, Holly studied with The Centre for Eating Disorders, gaining her Master Practitioner Certificate. Her CPD covers how the hypnotherapist can best recognise and support those presenting with eating disorders. It talks about how dieting affects the brain, the importance of food, and how to ensure clients receive appropriate support.

CPHT delivers CPDs online or in-person and all are live with the lecturer present. They vary in length: some can be half a day, others a full day and, occasionally, over two days. To make them accessible to all, sometimes they run on weekends and sometimes on weekdays.

Whilst some CPDs are straightforward, with the lecturer delivering the content, others can involve breakout groups and practical exercises. There’s usually plenty of opportunity for discussion and a Q&A section at the end.

To attend a CPHT CPD, you must have graduated from a solution focused training school so you will understand the language used. If you have qualified previously as a hypnotherapist with another diploma course, you can complete CPHT’s Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Conversion Diploma.

The costs for CPDs range from £75 for a half day, through to £220 for a 2-day event. A discount is available if you are a member of the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH). The cost includes access to the CPD, as well as handouts after the event.

You will receive a certificate of attendance, which notes the CPD points earned. Clients and businesses both view CPDs as an increase in knowledge, so they help to enhance your practice’s reputation.

CPDs are usually standalone, so there’s no ongoing coursework required. However, some CPDs can contribute towards further education. For instance, you need to attend a number of specific CPDs to achieve CPHT’s Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma (AHD).

Interested to start your next CPD course?

Find full details and start dates.

The Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma

The Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma (AHD) is the highest award in hypnotherapy. This advanced training broadens and deepens your knowledge. You will then be able to speak more confidently with clients on a range of subject areas.

The more you learn about a subject, the more confident you will become. This enhances your therapeutic rapport, which is crucial for success with clients.

After achieving the Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma (HPD), many hypnotherapists choose to continue their training. The additional knowledge gained on the AHD enhances their skills and keeps them fresh. They find it a fun, enjoyable way of taking that next step on their hypnotherapy career ladder.

The AHD has been accredited by the NCFE (one of the UK’s largest vocational awarding organisations) as having measurable learning outcomes at Level 5. The course satisfies the general principles of a foundation degree, with both practical and academic learning.

Whilst the HPD provides a good understanding of issues, the AHD deepens your knowledge and covers clients’ symptoms in greater detail. The course also increases your knowledge of other therapies and neuroscience, which is important for the modern hypnotherapist.

Hypnotherapists must attend the following CPHT CPDs and answer questions on them in a portfolio of evidence:

  • Neuroscience
  • Psychoneuroimmunology
  • Fertility
  • Self-Hypnosis for Childbirth
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Working with Children
  • Mindfulness
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
  • Neuroscience & Obesity

The AHD course is flexible as you can complete the CPDs and portfolio over a 4-year period.

The AHD course is entirely online, with questions accessed via an intranet. You upload your portfolio on a piecemeal basis as you attend the CPDs and write up your learning outcomes. A lecturer is available to handle any queries.

Once you’ve attended a CPD, you can fit the written work around your life. The course is designed to be completed within a 4-year period, including submission of the portfolio.

To apply for the AHD you need to have qualified as a solution focused hypnotherapist with the Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma (HPD). If you qualified with a different type of diploma course, you will need to have completed the Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Conversion Diploma.

The current fee for the AHD is £595.00 (check with Alex), plus the fees for attending the CPD modules (ranging from £75 to £220 depending on the length of the CPD).

You can pay the course fee as a lump sum or in instalments. CPD fees are paid at the time of booking each CPD. Discounts are available if you are a member of the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH). 

After completing the course, you will receive the AHD certificate and are entitled to use ‘AHD’ after your name.

Ready to start the Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma?

Explore the full course details and next start dates.

The Supervisor’s Course

Becoming a supervisor is a further step in a hypnotherapist’s career and can be incredibly rewarding. You support other therapists as they build their careers and also help them to better support their clients.

Many of the skills are the same as for hypnotherapy, but some will be completely new. You can use your own experience to help other hypnotherapists do their best for their clients. It also adds another dimension and income stream to your business.

The supervisor’s course covers both Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Solution Focused Hypnotherapy to remind delegates of the differences involved. It covers the tools and techniques used in solution focused supervision and how this differs from other types of supervision. In addition, the course looks at traditional counselling supervision, plus the models and applications of traditional supervision.

This course is online with an opening weekend and a closing day. In between, trainee supervisors will be working with volunteer supervisees, with a lecturer on hand in case of queries. The course is spread over 4 months to allow for case study work.

You upload a portfolio of evidence online alongside feedback from the volunteer supervisees. A course moderator will assess these and give feedback as the course progresses.

The CPHT Hypnotherapy Supervisor’s Course is open to graduates of CPHT. You must have completed the Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma (HPD) or the Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Conversion Diploma.

You must have at least 3 years experience of working as a hypnotherapist. You must also be up-to-date with your own supervision, and have a supervisor who is willing to support your application.

The course fee is £695 and can be paid in a lump sum or via instalments.

As a hypnotherapy supervisor you can vary your working week between working with clients and supporting supervisees.

Becoming a supervisor opens further doors in your hypnotherapy career, such as becoming a lecturer.

You will still need to maintain your own continuous learning and support via CPDs, plus supervision with your own supervisor.

Interested in becoming a hypnotherapy supervisor?

Explore the full supervisor course details and next start dates.

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