Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy

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The Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy (DCH) degree is an unaccredited degree in the United States.[1] One example is Breyer State University an online unaccredited University that offers a Phd in Hypnotherapy PhD Program. The program at Breyer State University, is composed of, listening to audio tapes, online distance education, a required Dissertation, the practice of actually practicing hypnotizing subjects, interacting with other Hypnotherapy students and class professors. There are also existing hypnotherapy certification programs. Because the majority of hypnotherapy degrees are offered through programs that are unaccredited in nature, they do not have to meet any requirements established by national licensing standards.

The DCH was an unaccredited doctoral degree offered in the United States, which provided in-depth theory and training in applied clinical hypnotherapy. Individual programs offered by institutions in the US vary but generally combine distance learning with local practicum training. Because some hypnotherapy degrees are offered through programs that are unaccredited in nature, they do not have to meet any requirements established by national licensing standards. However, the American Institute of Hypnotherapy (AIH) was approved by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary & Vocational Education[2] but a former FBI consultant, John Bear, has said that there is much difference between having "approval" and "accreditation".[3] The BPPVE do not accredit programs. According to the BPPVE database (as of 25 May 2010), the American Institute of Hypnotherapy is now located in Carmel, California, but indicate that they no longer offer degree training in clinical hypnotherapy.

American Institute of Hypnotherapy (AIH)[edit]

Originally approved by the State of California to grant degrees in early 1980s, the American Institute of Hypnotherapy offered unaccredited bachelors and doctorate degrees in clinical hypnotherapy which served a way point as there were no accredited programs available in the specialization at the time. AIH sought to establish hypnotherapy as a separate field. The program could be completed by distance learning and directed independent study (DIS) but required attendance at seminars, practicals, workshops, studying a range of relevant texts and developing a 20-30 page academic paper on each course/text. These were graded by faculty for content and analysis of the topic. The program modeled a Psy.D program, offering the opportunity to study many diverse authors, researchers and applications in hypnosis including pain control.[4]

Consumer concerns[edit]

Accredited doctorate degrees in mental health, such as M.D., Ph.D., Psy.D., and Ed.D., are tightly controlled by state and federal laws. The D.C.H. degree is largely unregulated. There is a growing concern among these professionals that hypnotists are misleading consumers.[5] Some have illegally attempted to offer psychotherapy under generic titles such as "doctor" or "psychotherapist", without proper training or background.

Hypnotherapy training[edit]

There are several professional membership organizations in the United States that require minimum standards in specialized hypnotherapy education to become members as well as certified as a hypnotherapist (C.Ht.).[6] Most of these organizations certify vocational hypnotherapists, and do not require health care training or experience for certification. Four of these professional membership organizations in the U.S. are The National Guild of Hypnotists, the American Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy, The American Counsel of Hypnotist Examiners (A.C.H.E) and International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA). These are educational membership organizations dedicated to standards and practice efforts in understanding and extending applications in hypnotherapy. In addition, the Hypnosis Society of Pennsylvania has a process of recognition of training programs in conjunction with the Hypnotist Union as a Service Employee Union credential in the USA. Other good organizations with high standards in the field of hypnosis and hypnotherapy include The National Association for Transpersonal Psychology, The International Association of Counselors and Therapists and the American Association of Hypnotic Anesthesiology. All above-mentioned organizations are excellent vocational certifying agencies with high standards for membership to their associations.

However, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) has long claimed to be the "gold-standard" of organizations which train and certify health care professionals in the art of hypnotherapy. Health care professionals (doctors, nurses, psychologists, etc.) with a master's degree or higher can receive certification through a rigorous application process and training.While A.S.C.H, has a high standard of training in clinical applications of hypnosis, it largely accommodates certification for professionals already in other field of the healing and helping professions. The hypnotherapy training itself, in general holds no more requirements than those required by other less "official" certifying bodies. The National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists, also offers a certifications for healthcare professionals with rigorous requirements for such recognition it is another organization that certifies mental health and medical professionals who meet the rigorous qualifications of the board, have advanced degrees from accredited colleges or universities and are licensed to practice in their respective states. But again, these rigorous requirements have less to do with the demand for excellence of education in hypnosis, over other more vocational certifying agencies and more to do with the applicants already obtained past academic achievements. The vocational requirements for hynotherapuetic certifications are set no lower over all in of training in hypnosis standards than those of other well known The ASCH, BCCH or similar certifying boards. Within the community of hypnotherapists, hypnosis and hypnotherapy are seen as a unique and specialized field, a profession in its own right independent to other professions.To the average hypnotherapist, though medical men, psychologists, counselors and others may unitize hypnosis as a part of what they do in their own profession, they only employ hypnosis as one of several tools and are not experts since they do not specialize in clinical hypnosis, but rather uses the modality in conjunction with their field of clinical expertise.[7] Some Doctorate degrees in the past have also been conferred by various certifying bodies and schools based on minimum requirements of 300 hours or more classroom hours, 100 hours externships under the guidance of clinical hypnotherapist's already well established and life experience as a practicing hypnotherapist. Some hypnotherapists who have met these requirements have been conferred doctorate degrees based on years of clinical experience and practice in the field. The College of Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy in the USA is one such school that used to confer a Doctorate in this manner, Though, at present it is no longer offered, its last official conferred degree being in the year 2004.

The Hypnosis Motivation Institute (HMI), based in Tarzana, California, is a nationally, not regionally, accredited college dedicated exclusively to teaching hypnosis and hypnotic techniques.[8][better source needed] HMI offers both local classes on its campus in Tarzana, as well as a comprehensive distance learning based program. HMI is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) (both accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education) and is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), the Dental Board of California (DBC) and the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) to provide continuing education credits for ongoing licensing requirements.

Professional qualifications in other countries[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

Open University Recognition[edit]

The National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (Est 1977) has had its courses recognised by the Open University since 1997.[9] The National College was the first hypnosis/hypno-psychotherapy institute to apply for and receive formal approval for its programmes from a UK University. For a number of years the National College also had a partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University whereby Diploma holders (DHP(NC)) would be eligible to complete an MSc in Practitioner Research through completion of a research methods course and a dissertation.[citation needed] Since 2012 The National College's Advanced Diploma in Hypno-Psychotherapy grants APL for the Bath Spa University master's degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice.[10]

Post Graduate Diploma and MSc in Clinical Hypnosis[edit]

In 2008 the London College of Clinical Hypnosis partnered with Thames Valley University (TVU) (now the University of West London (UWL)) to provide UWL validated Post Graduate Diploma and MSc in Clinical Hypnosis qualifications.[11]

Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (Dip CBH)[edit]

In 2007 The UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy worked with NCFE (a government regulated national examining and awarding body) to develop an externally verified Level 4 qualification also linked to the National Vocational Qualification based on National Qualifications Framework but on an evidence-based, cognitive behavioural approach. The Dip CBH is accepted to be equivalent to the HPD (see above).[12][13]


The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, with its letter no. R.14015/25/96-U&H(R) (Pt.) dated 25 November 2003, has stated that hypnotherapy is a recommended mode of therapy in India to be practiced by registered medical practitioner who appropriately trained .

Maharaja Sayajirao University (M.S. University 4 star) at Vadodara is conducting one-year Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Applied Hypnosis (P.G.D.C.A.H.) from 2000.[citation needed]

Clinical hypnosis is included in the syllabus of Master of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology), a pre-doctorate course conducted by The Rehabilitation Council of India which is followed by all universities in India.

Indian Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy,[14] an independent and non government institution is one of the prominent player spreading awareness and education of hypnotherapy in India.[citation needed]

Hypnotherapy is the part of syllabus in M. Sc./ M.A. Psychology degree course, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, Banaras Hindu University, M. Sc. Yoga degree course of Bharathidasan University, B.A./B.Sc. Degree (Psychology), B.A. Journalism in Bangalore University; and B. Sc. Nursing course syllabus of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik.[citation needed]

The code for commercial advertising on Doordarshan and All India Radio states that "No advertisement should contain any offer to diagnose or treat complaints or conditions by hypnosis"[citation needed]


The traditional and complementary medicine department which under Ministry of Health has stated that hypnotherapy is a recognised complementary medicine modalities. In Malaysia, hypnotherapy practitioner is required to register with Association Of Hypnotherapy Practitioners, Malaysia (AHPM).