This page examines my many hypnotherapy qualifications and how to become a hypnotherapist.
Some therapists focus on pieces of paper and putting lots of letters after their name but I focus on clients getting results!
Here are my qualifications and you can watch me doing hypnotherapy sessions where I explain how it works. There are also consultations and case studies on that page.
This video explains about qualifications for hypnotherapy
You can use these links to skip to parts of the page below:
Something to know about hypnotherapy qualifications
Before we go any further it’s important that you understand there is no official hypnotherapy qualification in the UK.
It’s not like my work as a driving instructor where I had to go through a strict government-run process. You can read more about how to become a driving instructor to see how that works.
Hypnotherapy really is like the Wild West because there is no governing body, no regulation and no official qualification.
This means there is little to no protection from charlatans and cowboys. Some therapists have no training and no hypnotherapy qualifications at all.
Others are out to make big money and couldn’t care less about the mess they leave people in.
There are even online courses where you pay and are instantly awarded a downloadable certificate declaring you a master hypnotist.
Why even bother with a course when you can print a certificate yourself? That’s all some “therapists” do.
It’s not all bad though. Most therapists are hard-working people who only want the best for you.
There’s also one big thing you must understand about why hypnosis and hypnotherapy aren’t, and can’t ever be regulated.
Why hypnotherapy not having regulations is good
You might think it’s bad that there’s no regulation for hypnotherapy but it’s actually a good thing.
What makes hypnosis work is that you can’t really define what it is. It’s not tangible. You can’t put it into a category or tick boxes to show what it’s doing.
Many therapists, doctors and people in general like to have everything all nicely explained. It must all add up. They must be able to tick a box to say they’ve done something.
Clients go to them saying their problem makes no sense and the therapist makes the classic mistake of wanting it to make make sense. They are then just as lost in the problem as their client is.
If the problem makes no sense, why would the solution?
You will never be able to regulate hypnosis because you are removing the very thing that makes it work! It has no boundaries, no set limits and it often doesn’t make sense.
Hypnosis and your mind work in a mysterious way that we will likely never fully understand.
Good luck regulating that.
How to spot a cowboy hypnotherapist
The problem is that no regulation or qualifications being required leaves the door open to the cowboys we mentioned before.
How can you tell if someone really knows what they’re doing or is hiding their lack of skill by just telling you it’s all mysterious and you musn’t understand it?
A good hypnotherapist will be able to explain exactly what they are doing and why.
We won’t know the answer or exactly what’s going on in your head but we can explain what we’re doing in a way that makes perfect sense to you. Even though you won’t know exactly what’s happening, you’ll see why what we’re doing would lead to a solution.
A cowboy would not be able to do that and would get flustered making any attempt to explain what they’re doing. They’ll normally say something like the energy isn’t right today or the moon isn’t in the correct phase. Something that holds no water at all!
This is where I’m so different. You can watch my hundreds of YouTube videos and I’ll explain roughly how I do it before you even come to me. It won’t all make sense as we said above but you’ll start to understand how what I do helps you overcome your fear.
Why I bothered with hypnotherapy qualifications
I knew there were no qualifications from the beginning but I wanted to do all I could to show how serious I was about this.
Let’s have a look at what I did to become a hypnotherapist.
My hypnotherapy qualifications
I did a mixture of both in-person and online training to achieve my hypnotherapy qualifications.
The in-person training had me working in a classroom environment where I was part of a group of around 12 students. We all practised on each other and it was great fun.
My online training involved me working with some of the top hypnotherapists in the world. It was a combination of watching many hours of video, attending online training sessions lasting the course of several days a time and working online in sessions with therapists from around the world.
I also spent over 50 hours as a client in sessions so I know exactly what a client goes through. One nice thing about training to become a hypnotherapist is that you get to work on your own problems during the process!
I spent around three years in total studying and training full-time, thanks partly to the global lockdowns of 2020/21. Compare that to someone that has been on a five-day course!
So as you can see, I have a great mix of experience and skills in all sorts of training.
Let’s have a look at some of my qualifications. I have erased some details on my certificates for privacy.
CBH (Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy)
Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy combines CBT with hypnosis. That makes it work much faster and much more effectively as you’re targeting the subconscious mind where problems live.
This part of the course involved learning how the mind works and forms problems.
I work with many people that say CBT went on for months and months and they got absolutely nowhere with it. It’s not all bad and it has its uses but it isn’t the panacea some people think it is.
Read my page on CBT for driving anxiety to learn more.
NLP and coaching
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
It was created in the 19070s by two men, Richard Bandler and John Grinder. They visited one of the world’s greatest hypnotherapists Dr Milton Erickson and reverse-engineered how he did it.
NLP has a number of presuppositions from which it builds its structure.
One of these presuppositions is “The map is not the territory”. This means that the way people see the world isn’t really the way it is. We all have our own filters which make us perceive things differently. By understanding how we got those filters we can remove them and see things as they truly are.
NLP is fascinating to study if you’re interested in how the mind works but don’t want to get into hypnosis.
Fun fact about John Grinder: therapists argue like crazy about whether you pronounce John Grinder’s surname as “Grine-der” or “Grin-der”. Only he knows.
Fun fact about Richard Bandler: he allegedly came up with the name NLP when he was stopped by a traffic cop and he needed to name his profession.
Ericksonian hypnotherapy is the study of arguably the greatest indirect hypnotherapist of all time Dr Milton Erickson.
He suffered polio at a young age and was given days to live. He refused to accept that and used the power of his mind to not only survive but go on to become one of the most influential therapists ever.
Milton Erickson is best known for talking in mysterious and mind-boggling ways. People would go and visit him with a problem and he’d start talking to them about painting their house. They had no idea what he was talking about but what he was doing was telling a metaphoric story that had great relevance to them without them even knowing.
Some of his clients were said to have left his office confused and thinking he was a sweet old man who was a bit senile but meant well. What they didn’t realise was that their problem had gone and he’d changed their life forever.
He became so famous that people flew to him from all over the world and paid $2,500 USD (around $14,000 USD in today’s money) for a session.
As part of my training for this, I made a video telling my own metaphorical story. It tells the story of a man named George who trained to joust as a knight and was happy with life until one day he decided to venture outside his kingdom where he met a strange old man…
I present to you my YouTube channel Christmas special for 2019 – A Good Knight’s sleep.
The story of a man who thought he wanted more but wasn’t sure when he found it.
Solution-focused hypno-psychotherapy (with one s!) is about looking forward instead of looking back.
It’s possible to solve problems by digging into the past and uncovering old feelings but you can also get to the same thing by looking forward though.
This part of the course also taught me about using hypnosis to help with pain control. That is known as psychoneuroimmunological cellular healing or PNI for short. Try saying psychoneuroimmunological ten times in a row when you’re drunk.
Here’s an interesting story: when covid hit I decided to use this method to boost my immune system. Whether that had anything to do with what happened next I don’t know but it’s a funny coincidence if it wasn’t part of it.
In March 2020 I looked in a mirror to see a huge lump growing in my throat. I saw a doctor who said one of my tonsils was swollen and that can happen as a result of the immune system being overactive. Had I done something to blow up my tonsil? I doubt it but you never know!
If you want to see the full story of that then watch my video about my tonsillectomy but we warned, it’s over three hours long!
Solution-focused counselling skills
Similar to the solution-focused certificate above, this one is more about developing counselling skills.
One of the most vital things a therapist must do is listen. Far too many think it’s all about them and talk too much.
I learnt a great saying when I became a driving instructor which I learnt again when I became a therapist: two ears and one mouth.
We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak–Epicetus (Greek philosopher)
My diploma – the result of my hypnotherapy qualifications
This diploma is the result of my completing all of the courses above.
I remember being proud when I opened the envelope containing this. I’d proven to myself that there was more to life than just being a driving instructor and that I could do other things.
That’s as far as most people went but I wanted to take it further.
My top qualification
I went on to get what’s regarded by some as the most prestigious hypnotherapy qualification in the UK.
It involved me doing a lot of work which included hundreds of hours of practice and writing a 30,000+ word thesis on hypnosis.
That meant I could join a hypnotherapy organisation but I didn’t stay for long.
Why I left
Although this organisation may have a fancy website and it all looks official, it means nothing.
I see it as a group of hypnotherapists who got together and charge others an annual fee to be a member. It’s the same for other hypnotherapy organisations which are voluntary and although they may look like a governing body, they’re not.
This place had some silly rules that I didn’t agree with.
One of the questions they asked me was how I planned on maintaining my standards. My answer was to make YouTube videos showing me doing sessions and helping people then listen to feedback from everyone.
I had a phone call from a board member of this organisation saying that was unacceptable. They insisted I stopped making YouTube videos immediately and remove any I had already posted.
If I’d done that then thousands of people around the world would not have benefited from my dozens of videos on driving anxiety.
The video below shows the difference between when I’d just qualified compared to when I really knew what I was doing.
Watch what is supposed to happen in a hypnotherapy session.
Just as I once worked for a driving school and broke away to work privately, I broke away from this organisation to go private.
It was one of the best things I ever did in business. And that was just the start of my journey…
Beyond hypnotherapy qualifications
Covid-19 hit soon after I got my diploma in December 2019.
During the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, I trained every day and got so much better that I couldn’t believe how far I’d come.
Where I trained and how I learnt to help with driving anxiety is a secret.
All you need to know is I went through a lot to get where I am now and became better at hypnotherapy than some of my past teachers.