Employment Prospects


Because many professionals use hypnosis as part of another career, it's difficult to list all possible places a hypnotherapist may work. The health fields, of course, are the main arenas for hypnotherapists. A dentist may use hypnosis to help a patient deal with the pain of a root canal, or a psychologist may prescribe hypnotherapy to a client who is having an extended bout of insomnia. Hospitals may have hypnotherapists on call to assist with an emergency room patient, or emergency medical technicians may use hypnosis techniques to help injured people on the scene. A nurse-midwife may use hypnosis to help pregnant women ease the pain of childbirth, or a sports physician may use hypnosis to help a football player ease the pain of an injury.

Hypnotherapists work in all fields of medicine: medicine for the body and medicine for the mind. Hypnotherapists work in hospitals, clinics, medical practices, and social and religious organizations. They work as counselors or advisers. A hypnotherapist may work as a teacher of hypnosis or as a consultant.

Starting Out

Most people who practice hypnotherapy as their primary occupation set up and run their own businesses. After becoming certified and getting a business license, they rent office space or work out of their homes and start advertising for business. Some hypnotherapists rent space in a medical office suite and build a clientele with the office's patients. They may network with doctors, dentists, and psychologists to develop a client base. New hypnotherapists may arrange to speak to community, religious, or professional groups to educate the public and attract clients. They may also advertise in local newspapers, distribute brochures, or set up a Web site to announce their services.

Few professionals rely on hypnotherapy alone; the vast majority of practitioners use hypnotherapy as part of another health-related profession. Therefore, most certified hypnotherapists begin practicing in their primary field first, and then incorporate hypnotherapy into treatments. They may begin by identifying a patient who may be particularly responsive to hypnosis. After suggesting hypnotherapy as a treatment option, the hypnotherapist and the patient work together to deal with the patient's needs through hypnosis. As practitioners become more accomplished using hypnotherapy as part of their practices, they may branch out into using hypnosis for more of their patients, or they may even move toward hypnotherapy as a primary career.

Advancement Prospects

Hypnotherapists with their own businesses can build on their knowledge and skills. Research in the field continues, and hypnotherapists need to make sure they know all the latest techniques. They can learn and become certified in more counseling or healing arts practices. They can also market their services more aggressively to build a larger client base. 

Those in medical or other fields also need to keep their skills up to date. They can study hypnosis techniques at the doctoral or postdoctoral level. Practitioners with advanced study and more credentials can usually command higher salaries. Some professional associations now award advanced credentials and recognition to exceptional hypnotherapists. This may include awards for outstanding contributions to the field.

Accomplished hypnotherapists may also move away from client interaction and more toward the administration of hypnotherapy programs. They may focus their time on research in the field, writing books, or publishing papers in professional hypnotherapy or medical research journals. Hypnotherapists may become instructors of hypnosis, or they may use their training and experience to help them pursue an advanced degree in another medical field that may be enriched by hypnotherapy techniques.

Tips for Entry

Research hypnotherapy to learn about its history and how people use it to benefit their lives.

Call a hypnotherapist in your area and ask if you can set up an appointment to learn more about the profession. Arrange to be hypnotized to familiarize yourself with the experience.

Research accredited hypnotherapy programs for training.