What is the difference between a Hypnotist and a Hypnotherapist?

Updated: May 8

What is the difference between a Hypnotist and a Hypnotherapist? This is one the most frequently asked questions I get from prospective clients who enquire about Hypnotherapy, Edinburgh.

The main difference is that a Hypnotherapist can also be a Hypnotist, but a Hypnotist cannot call themselves a Hypnotherapist because to become a Hypnotherapist you should have had rigorous training in the therapy and the protocols that are used in helping and treating people with various conditions such anxiety, smoking cessation weight loss and pain management.

On top of that, a Hypnotherapist should possess Insurance that will protect you in the very unlikely event that something does not go to plan. To put this into perspective there has only been one case ever in the UK of someone taking up a case against a Hypnotherapist and that was the world-famous Paul McKenna and he successfully defended the case against him. I think the person who raised the case knew that he is worth millions!

A professional Hypnotherapist also will normally be a member of a professional body where they can access monthly supervision, continual professional development training courses and be kept up to date with the latest "best practice" guidelines.To become a member of one of the governing bodies, the Hypnotherapist has to provide proof of all the training and supervision they have undergone and even demonstrate their proficiency of their hypnotic skills and knowledge of their protocols.

Anybody can call themselves a Hypnotist and I know many people who are fantastic at Hypnotising other people, such as Stage Hypnotists but they would not know how to actually treat someone with a condition or fear. This is the key difference.Look at Hypnosis as the tool and Hypnotherapy as the application of the tool, and there are many different types of applications and just like a Trades person, there are many levels to the skill and quality of the product.

Taking this analogy further, in the world of the Trades, you can go from a Handy man, to a Carpenter and then as you go up the skill ladder and specific application a Cabinet Maker.The same applies to the world of Hypnotherapy.I would advise in looking for a Hypnotherapist who specialises in the treatment that you are looking for. I only work in helping people who are suffering from Addictions and the anxiety and pain that comes with it.If you have a Phobia or are a compulsive nail biter, I am not the Hypnotherapist for you and I would refer you to another Hypnotherapist who actually works daily with the said conditions as obviously they have the hard won experience of knowing what works and just as importantly what doesn't. This could potentially save you a lot of time and money.

A Hypnotist can obviously hypnotise you and make you feel very relaxed and in a stage show maybe convince you to do things you wouldn't ordinarily do, but where the Hypnotherapist is different is that once you are very relaxed and focused then the real work begins.Another key thing to remember is that in a stage show, when the hypnotic state wears off, so does the trick. For example, if the Hypnotist gets you to imagine that your hand is stuck to a table, if they just walked away and left you there, you would very quickly come out of hypnosis and lift your hand off the table! My point is, those tricks don't last and are not meant to.It is just entertainment.With Hypnotherapy, the protocols are designed to last, such as when you go to stop smoking, you hopefully will stop smoking for the rest of your life and not just the hypnosis session!

As long you remember, it's all about what happens once you go into a beautiful hypnotic state. The Hypnotherapist may be trained in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), or some other form of Psychotherapy.The hypnosis takes you there but it's the Therapy that does the work!

So when you are looking for Hypnosis to help with the problem you have, look at the Therapy behind the Hypnotherapy that is being offered to you, as that is what will make all the difference in the outcome you want.Hypnosis is hypnosis and therapy is therapy but when you combine them together, good things can happen as with Hypnotherapy, one and one can make three!

If you live in the Edinburgh area and are looking for Edinburgh hypnotherapy and a hypnotherapist who works in the treatment of Addictions, anxiety and pain, why not reach out to me at...

andy@andymacarthur.com. From there we can arrange an initial phone consult to find out if I am the Hypnotherapist for you.

Andy MacArthur is a Clinical Hypnotherapist based in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, who specialises in the treatment of addictions, anxiety and pain and has been doing so since 2008.


© 2020 by Andy MacArthur, Clinical Therapist.