Hypnosis "Degrees" and Schools
Selecting a hypnosis trainer or school
Are hypnosis degrees real (accredited)?
Are they recognized by employers and/or other colleges?
There are no accredited hypnosis degrees available (yet) anywhere in the United States. If such a degree is available overseas, it is extremely unlikely that it would be considered an accredited degree in America.
You see, in the United States, an accredited institution offering nationwide, accredited degrees, is one that has been thoroughly investigated and then certified as having met certain minimum standards of quality and performance by an accrediting agency approved by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and/or its Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
However, as standards vary widely from state to state, there are schools offering a variety of "accredited" hypnosis/hypnotherapy degrees. Some of these schools have consulted with an attorney and those are the ones who offer an accreditation explanation similar to the following:
"The University of Dee PloMa Mill, is not accredited by one of the seven regional accrediting agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education. The University is not accredited by any accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department or Secretary of Education."
Additionally, because these online "schools" are "non-traditional" (unaccredited) in nature, their programs do not have to meet any particular requirement established by any private association, or "traditional" licensing or other accrediting organization.
But if a school does purport to be accredited, remember that many times, the accrediting agency for these schools is nothing more than a website accrediting organization set up by the school!
If a school claims accreditation, check here to see if the accrediting body is valid: http://www.accreditedschools.org/school-search/#agencies
Here's the bottom line: any school offering hypnosis/hypnotherapy "degrees" cannot make any promise, representation, or guarantee of employment or acceptability of transfer credits to any public or private educational institution.
Now, if a school provides credible evidence that they are legitimately accredited(1), this does not mean that their hypnosis/hypnotherapy training is actually accredited. What it means is that they are offering a diploma or certificate of hypnosis training. Always check the fine print!
Bear in mind that sometime these hypnosis colleges or universities will label their certificates and/or diplomas as "undergraduate" or "post-baccalaureate" or "graduate," but they're still not degrees.
The most common unaccredited hypnosis "degrees" you will see are "BCH" (Bachelor's of Clinical Hypnosis) and "DCH" (Doctor of Clinical Hypnosis). These degrees are regionally(1) unaccredited.
Also keep in mind that schools offering some other kind of traditional sounding degree (associate's or master's) in hypnosis or hypnotherapy are offering degrees that are not properly accredited in the sense that they are recognized by a traditionally (regionally) accredited institution.
Now, if you meet someone with an associates, bachelors, masters or a doctorate (PhD or DCH) in hypnosis and/or hypnotherapy, there is the possibility that the coursework they completed is on par with an accredited college or university.
However, the DCH or Ph.D. hypnosis degree is most likely to be a bogus degree in terms of indicating competence equivalency.
And, if a person calls themselves "doctor" and they only have a DCH, they are committing fraud of an ethical if not also legal kind.
However, a person having a DCH or other hypnosis degree may possess a degree legal in the state where it was issued (but not necessarily where it is being used). Bear in mind that some states are known to be tolerant of diploma/degree mills(2) and this may indicate school quality.
Now, if a person's degree is state sanctioned, then it may be appropriate, as far as the state is concerned, to call the degree holder "Doctor" (if s/he has a PhD or DCH), or to allow him/her to put "MA" or "MS" (or whatever his/her degree is) behind his/her name on a resume, business card or letterhead.
The ultimate point for the consumer is this: do unaccredited degrees indicate any degree of competence? Well, to many, an unaccredited degree is simply unacceptable. For instance, the National Guild of Hypnotists does not recognize hypnosis degrees as equivalent to accredited degrees and discourages its members from using them.
All this being said, it must be noted that there are people who possess unaccredited degrees and they are highly qualified practitioners. So, it would be worth the time to find out what they had to go through to earn their degree.
What if I want hypnotherapy from someone who has a
Because there are so many online schools and many of them are diploma mills, a consumer's only choice is to investigate the school from where a practitioner claims their training and/or degree.
Why A Licensed School Is Best.
Following are some questions you can ask when looking at a school.
(1) How many hypnosis schools are there in the state? The more there are, the more likely it is that setting up a school is very easy and the more probable it is that there is little oversight as to school quality. Be careful.
(2) How many licensed hypnosis schools are there in the state? For example, MIACS is only 1 of 3 Minnesota state licensed hypnosis schools and there are no unlicensed schools because Minnesota does not allow unlicensed schools to operate.
Licensure is very important to consider because obtaining state licensure is often a rigorous and very expensive process and therefore this is one way to distinguish a quality school.
A guideline is that you can tell the states where licensure is difficult to obtain by the number of licensed schools available.
(3) Does the school have a physical address? Or, is it a post office box disguised as a physical address?
In Minnesota, prior to licensure, someone from the Office of Higher Education actually visits the school premises to make sure that the school exists and that it is up to standards. This is done because the state is essentially guaranteeing the quality of the school and so they want to make sure that their investment of faith is safe.
(4) Is the school bonded?
In Minnesota bonding is a must in order to obtain a school license.
And bonding is not given to just anyone. A person's background and credit must be good in order to receive a bond.
Some more questions to think about when considering a school are:
Who are the principals of the school?
Where were they trained?
Are they recognized experts in their field?
Have they published books?
Can you find them on the internet?
Are they published in professional journals or on the web?
Have they been in practice for a long time before opening a school?
These are especially important questions because their answers will tell you a lot about the kind of education you are likely to get.
Here at MIACS, the president has been practicing hypnosis since 1982. As well as being deeply self-taught, he has received certification from 3 of America's best hypnosis schools and has received numerous specialty certifications.
Also, he has published four books and is a regular contributor to a professional hypnosis journal. He has also been published in a leading diabetes journal for his work on applying hypnosis to diabetes.
Additionally, he is a recognized expert and has been a featured instructor at the world's largest international hypnosis convention for almost a decade.
What About Home Study/Correspondence Hypnosis Schools?
The important point to consider here is this: Can you become a competent hypnotist through home study/video training?
And just as importantly, if someone investigated you before deciding to pay you for your professional services, would they want to invest in someone who has only received video training? (If you think someone won't investigate your credentials, think again. It happens more than you know.)
The answer to both questions is no. Would you trust yourself to a surgeon who watched all the right videos but had no practice and no professional supervision?
Home study video education is a great place to start and in many cases can be excellent for earning a diploma, certificate or degree but in the case of learning hypnosis, it is not enough.
You see, nothing else equals expert supervision or ample opportunity to practice newly leaned skills under the supervision of an instructor. You need a skilled instructor available to answer questions as they come up, or to point out problems in your techniques before they become bad habits that could possibly limit your success as a hypnotherapist.
Choosing a school can be difficult and that is why it helps to know what to look for and what questions to ask.
If you have any questions about the Minnesota Institute of Advanced Communication Skills, please feel to contact us by phone or email.
(1) Regional accreditation, for example, is the highest level a school can attain. This means that it has been certified as acceptable by one of the six nationally-recognized accrediting organizations in the country. These include the following:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, for example, "is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States, each [of which is] responsible for a specific geographic area. Within these six associations, there are eight commissions serving postsecondary education.
USEFUL LINKS ABOUT ACCREDITATION