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Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist Which is Correct

Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist Which is Correct

This is a question which comes up with a great deal of frequency. Some practitioners, and indeed some media outlets, refer to people as hypnotists whilst others use hypnotherapist. However, which is correct? The truth is both are technically correct. A practitioner of hypnosis is by all purposes and intent a hypnotist even if they use hypnosis therapeutically. The great Dr Milton Erickson, who was an American Psychiatrist and arguably the father of the modern hypnosis profession, referred to himself as a “Clinical Hypnotist” I believe that this title lead to the erroneous use of the title Clinical Hypnotherapist. As I have written and said before that a hypnotherapist is a person which uses hypnosis therapeutically and therefore clinically so it is redundant to use the phrase Clinical Hypnotherapist.

In some parts of the world, particularly the United States, if you are not a licensed health care provider you can only use the title hypnotist. To use the title therapist of any kind implies a license which means their practice is controlled and legislated by the state. I know that many in the public and the professional world associate the term hypnotist with stage hypnotism. However, this simply is a title nothing more. Indeed, I would hope that the time will come when the field normalises the title used for the clinical practice of hypnosis. However, failing an Act of Parliament or regulation under the HCPC I think that may well be a bridge too far.

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