The other day I was scanning the emails from an online hypnosis group. One of the members of that group disclosed that he felt insecure about the number of hours he spent training as a hypnotherapist. He mentioned that it took him four years to become trained in his field and to receive his Bachelors degree. He said “How can I tell my clients that I spent only 10 days training to become a hypnotherapist?” I thought to myself, good question!
For those new hypnotherapist who may have the same concern, let me tell you that I have conducted about 4,000 hypnosis sessions, and supervised hypnotherapists at the Banyan Hypnosis Center, who have conducted many more thousands of hypnosis sessions, and I can tell you with a great deal of confidence that your clients, or potential clients will seldom ask you “How many hours of training do you have?” or “How many years of training did it take you to become a Certified Hypnotherapist?” In fact, it has probably happened to me only three or four times in my career.
Most hypnotists and hypnotherapists have been trained by enrolling in an accelerated course of some kind, this is also true for psychologists and doctors. I know of no one who became a hypnotherapist by getting a Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university. The question is, “How do these accelerated courses stack up against the two to four years of schooling in other professions?”
At our center, we train hypnotists and hypnotherapists using an accelerated program, let me make a rough comparison using our course as an example. Each one of those courses consists of over 100 hours of training, consisting of 92 hours of training and practice in class. There are also 593 pages of assigned reading to be completed before and during the course.
I wrote back to the hypnotherapist who felt insecure mentioning the amount of training he had. I asked him to “Think about the number of years spent in college studying to become a nurse. Now think about your first year in college. Now ask yourself, how many actual hours did you spend in class during that first year studying nursing? Now think about how many hours in that first year that you spent studying nursing in which you actually learned something that you regularly used in your nursing duties.” For most of us who have completed four year degrees, we would have to admit that the first year or two consisted mostly of other courses that were not directly related to our chosen profession. And, that some of the courses that we took that were related were of little value in actual practice. For example, you may have taken a couple of courses on statistics, but never actually do any kind of statistical calculations in the course of doing the actual work of your profession.
For example, an average first year student may only get one or two classes in that directly relates to his or her major (or even in some cases none at all). My first year and a half as an undergraduate I took mostly general education classes, and zero courses related to the major I graduated with. This was because during my first year and a half in college, I studied a completely unrelated major Audio Engineering. So I had no courses in my first year and a half that were related to my degree.
As a result during the next year, that first year of studying psychology, I took more classes than most students in my major, three to four. These classes were taken in 20-week long semesters which I attended twice a week for an hour and a half, giving me between 180 to 240 classroom hours that year, my second year. With all that in mind, a first year of college would only include from as little as 0 to 60 hours, to as many as 240 hours related to a major (in special circumstances like mine). Furthermore, I would suggest that perhaps less than half of those hours were spent studying material directly related to what I would actually use in my therapy practice after I graduated, so less than 30 to 120 hours maximum, were directly relevent.
Accelerated courses such as the ones taught and accepted by the NGH are focused on what you will actually use in your practice. For a college to go over that much information related to a particular major, and that you would actually use in a practice, you would have to go for at least a year or two, maybe longer!
I am suggesting this perspective, because it is important that you feel confident in the training that you have received. If you don't feel confident you may be not start in your practice at all. This would be a shame because if you have completed a course that was taught by an NGH Certified Instructor, or by an instructor teaching a fully authorized course of study, then you have the information that you need to help the clients that come to see you.
Are you done with your education? Of course not! As in any profession we need to continue to grow and lean as professionals. This is why the NGH requires that you continue your education to remain certified. So be confident in the training you have received. Go out there and do the work. And, continue to grow in our profession!