As it stands, there are currently no UK laws in place that indicate the level of training an individual must have in order to perform hypnotherapy to clients on a professional level. However, whilst there is no official regulation in place, there are various professional bodies and societies that hypnotherapists can choose to register with if they wish.
In order to register and become a member, a hypnotherapist will be required to meet certain criteria as set by the organisation, and it is only once their credentials have been assessed and approved that they will be granted membership at the appropriate level.
Whilst not all hypnotherapists are members of a professional body, it can be reassuring for you as the client to know that your practitioner is working to a good standard of practice, and also that they have agreed to abide by both a code of ethics and a complaints procedure.
In terms of specific requirements for membership, criteria will vary from organisation to organisation. Some professional bodies set very strict standards for all their members, whilst others will provide different membership categories to cater for hypnotherapists of all levels (e.g. Affiliate, Licentiate, Member, Registered Member, Accredited Member, Fellow).
Hypnotherapists who are a member of a professional body will make this clear on their profile.
Accreditation with a professional body signifies that a hypnotherapist has achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation. Hypnotherapy practitioners who have been accredited by their professional body will display this stamp at the bottom of their profile page under Member Organisations. To find out more information about accreditation visit the professional bodies’ websites below. Each will have information on their requirements.
Below is a list of professional bodies for hypnotherapists. It is not an exhaustive list, but does feature some of the key organisations.
Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (APHP)
The Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (APHP) is a professional body dedicated to maintaining a high standard of professionalism among its members.
It is only possible to join the Association via an invitation or through training with an accredited hypnotherapy school, meaning that each member is known to have received thorough training in hypnosis and hypnotherapy, is competent and conscientious, and abides by a Code of Ethics.
There are four different membership grades of the APHP: Affiliate (AAPHP), Licentiate (LAPHP), Registered Member (MAPHP) and Accredited Member (MAPHP Acc.), with each category representing a different level of training and experience.
Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH)
The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH) was set up to provide information about a solution focused hypnotherapy and its associated benefits to members of the public.
The main aim of the AfSFH is to spread awareness of the benefits of this form of hypnotherapy; its secondary aim is to support hypnotherapists in their businesses by encouraging good practice and self-care.
British Association of Therapeutic Hypnotists & NLP Practitioners (BAThH)
The British Association of Therapeutic Hypnotists & NLP Practitioners (BAThH) is an association aiming to promote training standards and ethics, and a Code of Ethics and Conduct to all of its members.
The Association was first formed in 1951 and is thought to be one of the first self-regulating professional bodies for professional hypnotists in the UK.
Whilst there are no specific membership levels, all members are professional and qualified hypnotherapists who have trained according to the Associations rigorous training standards.
British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH)
The British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH) is a national professional body whose aim is to promote and assure high standards in the practice of hypnotherapy.
There are various membership categories of the BSCH including Associate Membership, Full Membership, Diplomat Membership and Fellow Membership, each of which encompasses a different level of training and experience.
Corporation of Advanced Hypnotherapy (CAH)
The Corporation of Advanced Hypnotherapy (CAH) is dedicated to maintaining high standards of practice within the hypnotherapy profession.
All members of the Corporation have met the rigorous training standards as a requirement for membership, meaning that they have all demonstrated a solid understanding of theory and practical training in advanced hypnotherapy techniques.
Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)
The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) was set up with government support in 2008 to support and protect the public by providing a UK voluntary register of complementary therapists. The CNHC came about after a House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology reported that there was a growing need for public protection through the regulation of practitioners.
The CNHC has been approved as an accredited voluntary register by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, under the Accredited Voluntary Register (AVR) scheme (you can read more about this here). The CNHC has a register of members, a code of practice, a code of ethics, educational standards and a public procedure, and acts as an ‘Umbrella Organisation’ for varying professions and organisations.
Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT)
The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) is a leading professional association for complementary, beauty and sports therapists operating within the UK and Ireland. The aim of the FHT is to promote the efficacy and benefits of complementary therapy whilst also ensuring that the public are protected from unqualified practitioners.
General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR)
Hypnotherapists may become members of the General Hypnotherapy Register if they satisfy certain criteria with regard to both training and ongoing requirements as determined from time to time by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC). Members are either registered at Affiliate Level, Practitioner Level, Advanced Practitioner Status (ADPR) or Senior Status (SQHP).
Although Affiliate level registrants will have completed a sufficient number of training hours to equip them to commence seeing clients on a limited basis, the GHR does not acknowledge them to have yet been trained to full practitioner level. All GHR Registered Practitioners are required to accept the published Code of Ethics and Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure.
The International Hypnotherapy Association (IHA)
The International Hypnotherapy Association is a leading independent professional body representing approved hypnotherapists in active practice. All members agree to follow a Code of Ethics. There are a number of different membership categories, e.g. Associate Member, Licentiate Member, and Full member, with the different categories standing for different levels of training and experience.
The National Hypnotherapy Society (HS)
The National Hypnotherapy Society is a professional body whose primary purpose is the advancement of the knowledge of hypnotherapy and the fostering of professional hypnotherapy expertise through training, accreditation and continued professional development of their members.
In 2013 the HS register was accredited by the Professional Standards Authority under the Accredited Voluntary Register Scheme. This scheme was set up by the Department of Health (DoH) to provide assurance on the standards of voluntary registers.
National Society of Hypnosis, Psychotherapy and Mindfulness
The National Society of Hypnosis, Psychotherapy and Mindfulness aims to help individuals looking for a hypnotherapist to find ethically trained practitioners.
The Society is made up of various different membership grades including Member MNSHP, Fellow FNSHP and Honorary Fellow FNSHP (Hons), and members must all agree to abide by a Code of Ethics and Clinical Practice established by the Society.
National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)
The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) strives to maintain the highest standards among its members. There are a number of different membership categories with the different categories standing for different levels of training and experience. There is an agreed Code of Conduct, an established Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure and all members are obliged to maintain comprehensive Public Liability & Professional Indemnity Insurance.
British National Register of Advanced Hypnotherapists (NRAH)
The British National Register of Advanced Hypnotherapists (NRAH) is an independent organisation not aligned to any one school of thought. There are three levels of the NRAH: Associate, Member (MNRAH) and Fellow (FNRAH), with the different categories standing for different levels of training and experience.
All members must agree to abide by a Code of Ethics and Complaints Procedure.
National Register of Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists (NRHP)
The National Register of Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists (NRHP) was established in 1985, and is a leading professional body (a not for profit company, owned by its members) representing hypno-psychotherapists who have trained with a UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) accredited training or equivalent.
All practising NRHP members are required to adhere to a Code of Ethics and are regulated in terms of ongoing supervision/peer supervision, CPD and hold professional indemnity insurance. The NRHP is a member of UKCP and the British Association for Counselling and psychotherapy (BACP).
United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is an umbrella organisation, with over 80 training, or accrediting organisations in membership. Registration with UKCP is obtained through one of their Member Organisations and each practitioner must maintain membership of a Member Organisation to maintain their UKCP Registration. Members must adhere to approved Code of Ethics and Practice and be accountable to UKCP Complaints and Appeals Procedures.
This list of professional organisations is not exhaustive, and more can be found on our Useful Resources page.
Here at Hypnotherapy Directory, we recognise the value of being a member of a professional body, and for those of you who are wary about visiting a hypnotherapist, we would suggest choosing a hypnotherapist on our site who is a member of a professional body. This way you know they are part of an organisation that offers a Code of Ethics.