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Hypnotherapy for Self-Healing

Hypnotherapy for Mental Illness

 Hypnotherapy utilizes the natural state of hypnosis to facilitate the changes clients want.  Hypnosis is as natural as breathing; most everyone experiences it daily.  It is not sleep, unconsciousness, nor is it therapy in of itself.  It’s better described as a day-dream state during which a competent therapist can assist a client to make the desired changes at the subconscious level.

Navigating the Field of Hypnotherapy: From Mental Illness to Emotional Wellness Naturally

Sometimes the interchange of the terms hypnosis and hypnotherapy, hypnotist and hypnotherapist, consulting hypnotist, hypno-psychologist, doctor of hypnosis and so on, cause confusion for those looking for assistance with a particular issue or goal.

In the USA, UK and Canada, several organizations promote hypnosis and hypnotherapy.  Some are simply membership organizations and anyone can join, but two others – The IMDHA (International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association) and the APHP (Association of Professional Hypnosis and Psychology) have specific requirements around medical, dental and clinical hypnotism training.  Because of these strict requirements, hypnotherapy practitioners are skilled to assist with emotional, spiritual and mental illnesses and imbalances.

The APHP have very strict requirements of their members.  Membership and certification of schools is by application and proof of credentialing and training in the field of medical hypnotism. The IMDHA certifies hypnotherapy schools which teach basic hypnotism techniques first, followed by training in the applications of hypnosis for medical (including mental illness) and dental purposes.  The designation earned is Certified Hypnotherapist. Practitioners are trained to work with allied healthcare (mental/dental) professionals in focus areas of regression, medical , dental and behavioral hypnosis.  As a result, regression hypnotherapists are typically skilled at assisting those suffering from mental illness identify and dissolve the root causes of emotional suffering.

Clinical hypnotherapists are able to provide safe, dignified assistance to those suffering mental illness issues without need for a diagnosis and in all clinical settings.   Hypnotherapy practitioners are required to continue their education in the medical/dental areas and remain up-to-date with the advances in this rapidly expanding field.

The Difference Between a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Hypnotist

Perhaps Dr. Fred H. Janke (University of Alberta Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine) describes a CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPIST best: 

A clinical hypnotherapist is someone who has been trained in using the art of hypnosis together with therapeutic intervention to bring about improvement or healing in a variety clinical conditions and negative behaviours.  This is much more complex than simple deep relaxation and requires sophisticated training in a variety of therapeutic protocols.  A well trained hypnotherapist will be able to apply knowledge and training to establish and manage the subconscious “root cause” of negative behaviours such as fears, phobias, anxieties and addictions.  A well trained hypnotherapist will be trained to identify and contend with resistance to change.  The therapist will be equally able to intervene and benefit a patient in matters of acute and chronic pain as well as assisting in a variety of medical and surgical procedures, including maternity care and childbirth.  The hypnotherapist will be able to affect the over-all well being of a patient including interventions that improve post-operative wound healing and even be able to impact the healing and pain of complicated individuals such as burn patients.  A clinical hypnotherapist therefore needs to have training that is high-level and erudite.  The training should include the opportunity for an adequate amount of hands-on supervised experience and should be followed up with refined and mature mentorship.   Thus a clinical hypnotherapist, trained in clinical intervention, is very much more than a simple hypnotist.

 Some hypnotists have additional medical/dental hypnotherapy training, but it is important to get details as many do not or if they do, it may be substandard.  It would seem that all APHP members and most IMDHA certified hypnotherapists and would automatically meet the requirements noted in Dr. Janke’s definition.

 Individual Practitioners

Some practitioner advertising refers to ‘hypnosis services’, which provides little real information about their qualifications, advanced training and/or places of training.   Others use titles such as Doctor of Hypnosis or Doctorate of Hypnotherapy, which is not attainable at real bricks & mortars accredited universities.  Some use hypnosis as an adjunct to their regular work (psychotherapist using hypnosis), but again, this does not ensure they are trained and qualified hypnotherapy specialists.  In other cases, practitioners refer to themselves as hypnotherapists, but appear to have pursued no training beyond the basics in hypnotism.

The only way to be certain you have the right practitioner specialist for you is to demand particulars of training, including where trained and additional relevant education. Research a number of practitioners and their instructors for comparison and if possible get referrals from clients. Specifically research their experience with your particular issue, especially if it is in the realm of mental illness.

 Insurance Reimbursement for Hypnotherapy for Mental Illness

Canadian Provincial health insurance plans do not cover hypnotherapy or  complimentary or alternative therapies.  In Canada, some private insurers may provide some coverage for alternative therapies.  If you are specifically offered a receipt for insurance reimbursement of hypnotherapy sessions understand it is highly unlikely you will be reimbursed by an insurer.  That having been said, increasingly more unions are insisting Extended Health Benefit group policies cover hypnotherapy and hypnosis.

 Licensing of Clinical Hypnotherapists Working with Mental Illness Issues

Canada does not require licensing of hypnotherapists, primarly because it is a safe modality.   Licensing has nothing to do with competency; it facilitates insurance payments to licensed practitioners for their services.  So while a practitioner may be licensed in another field, such as psychiatry, he/she would not be licensed for hypnotherapy and the licensing would not in any way speak to the competency of that individual in hypnotherapy. Few licensed professionals are experts in hypnotherapy or the applications of hypnosis for good mental health.

Related Reading:

Emotional Freedom Hypnotherapy: Treatment for Anxiety and Emotional Issues
On the Psychiatric Drugging of Children:  Dr. Peter Breggin says “Don’t!”

 Grace Joubarne, CCHt, LAPHP, MH is an Ottawa-based clinical hypnotherapist in full-time practice in Ottawa, with an office in Belleville, Ontario.  She is a member of APHP, IMDHA and a freelance writer of articles on mental health, natural treatments, environmental and nutrition issues. or   Toll-free   1-888-390-3553

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1 comment

  • learn conversational hypnosis audio · May 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Hope this helps! Before I go, this just exemplifies just how much of a holistic, and thereby widely applicable, covert hypnosis is.
    Are there other websites would you suggest for someone learning about hypnosis?

    Here is 1 post I found

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