How to Become a Hypnotherapist in the UK

Isaac Lomman

Hypnotherapy is a popular complementary treatment that helps to bring positive behavioural changes and improve patient’s lives as a result. Your work as a hypnotherapist would involve helping people to achieve a deep, trancelike state of relaxation in order to help them overcome problems like addictions, chronic pain and psychological conditions like phobias.

If you enjoy helping people, have an interest in alternative therapies and possess good communication skills, this could be a career you might be interested in. The majority of hypnotherapists are self-employed, so it would also be useful if you have some business acumen and experience of basic administration and book-keeping skills.

What do hypnotherapists do?

Your work as a hypnotherapist could entail helping people with conditions such as:

  • panic attacks
  • phobias
  • anxiety
  • sleep problems
  • stress-related illness
  • addictions and habits such as smoking or alcohol misuse
  • pain management

During sessions you would place your clients into a state of deep relaxation. You would then plant suggestions into their subconscious to help change patterns of undesirable behaviour and thought. Most clients would require a course of sessions.

Your routine work would involve:

  • booking initial consultations with clients
  • discussing and recording your client’s previous medical history
  • discussing why they are seeking your help and recommending a course of treatment
  • placing clients in a state of deep relaxation in order to make positive suggestions to their subconscious
  • making notes of sessions and drafting progress reports

Work environment

The majority of hypnotherapists run their own practices on a self-employed basis. You could set your own working hours in order to meet the needs of your clients, including weekend or evening appointments.

You could either work from home, or be based at a private clinic, shared practice or hospital. Some NHS hospitals have a resident hypnotherapist.


Qualified self-employed hypnotherapist£40 to £100 per hour

Source: National Careers Service

Entry requirements

In order to get into this career, you’ll need to gain a recognised qualification from one of the following professional organisations:

  • The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)
  • The National Hypnotherapy Society
  • General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC), through the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR)

These courses comprise a combination of self-study and written assignments together with practical workshops. You don’t need any formal qualifications to get onto most hypnotherapy training courses, but a background in counselling or healthcare would be advantageous.

However, there are some postgraduate level hypnotherapy courses that are aimed at qualified psychologists, or healthcare professionals, and these require a relevant degree or other professional qualification.

Important skills and abilities

To be a good hypnotherapist you’ll need:

  • a desire to help people
  • strong listening and communication skills
  • good rapport-building skills and the ability to put patients at their ease
  • a mature attitude
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • a non-judgemental attitude
  • honesty, integrity and an awareness of data protection laws
  • business acumen

Career progression

You’ll need to join a professional hypnotherapy association to demonstrate to your clients that you’re appropriately trained and qualified to practice as a hypnotherapist. Check out the following links for more information:

  • The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)
  • The General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR)
  • The National Hypnotherapy Society

It’s important that you keep your skills up to date so you should be willing to attend industry courses and conferences from time to time. In order to understand standards for safe practice and to protect yourself and your clients, you should join the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council as a practitioner.

Job opportunities

As a self-employed hypnotherapist, you’ll need to undertake marketing campaigns and form a good network of contacts within the industry. A good reputation is important if you’re to have a steady stream of clients. Once you’re become established, you could take referrals from local GPs, private health service providers and specialist NHS services.

If you have other medical or counselling qualifications, there may be opportunities within the NHS.

If you are a caring person who enjoys helping people, and you have an interest in alternative therapies, a career as a self-employed hypnotherapist could be for you. If you already hold a qualification in counselling, hypnotherapy might be something you’d like to add to your skillset.

Would you consider a career in hypnotherapy? Let us know in the comments section below.