The National Society of Hypnosis, Psychotherapy & Mindfulness

previous arrow
next arrow

About Hypnosis and Psychotherapy


Useful information for anyone considering having hypno-psychotherapy. Click on the questions below for further information.

If you have a question which is not in this section, please contact us.


What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is therapy that utilises hypnosis: as simple as that!

Therefore it is important that a hypnotherapist is properly trained, as our members are, in therapy as well as being competent in hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy is mostly used in cases where a client is wanting to make a change, or to achieve a goal. Examples include:

• Smoking cessation
• Weight Control
• Career Goals
• Performance Enhancement:
• Sports
• Anxiety and panic attacks
• Fears and phobias
• Medical issues
• Study skills
• Confidence issues
• Sleep

Sometimes clients are unsure of why they have a particular problem or cannot achieve a goal. It can then be useful to use analytical age regression techniques to have a look back and discover what occurred in the past that has lead to the current situation. There are a few critical factors in analytical hypnotherapy:

• Causes are often in childhood, and re-examining them with your adult mind can help resolution
• You may or may not already be aware of the cause; even if you are you may not realise all the factors involved and analysis can help you get a clearer more complete picture
• There is no need to “re-experience” bad times: it can be as though you are simply observing

Hypnotherapy is completely natural and safe. There are no harmful side-effects. When administered by a professionally trained and skilled Hypnotherapist the benefits are long lasting and often permanent.

The British Medical Association approved hypnotherapy as a valid medical treatment in 1955 and the American Medical Association followed in 1958.

What is hypnosis?

Demo Content

What is hypno-psychotherapy?

Hypno-psychotherapy is an extension of hypnotherapy into the realms of psychotherapy, based on integrative theories.

It is utilised for deeper problems than would be addressed by someone purely qualified in hypnotherapy. Examples include depression and dealing with trauma or abuse.

A brief history

Unlike most comparable therapies, hypnotherapy measures its history not in years or decades but in centuries. The usually acknowledged forerunner of modem hypnotherapy, Franz Mesmer (1734- 1815), believed in the existence of a universal fluid, an imbalance of which caused illness. However, Mesmer’s contemporaries attributed his undoubted successes to his manipulation of a patient’s imagination. During the 19th century, this theme was followed by several doctors who used hypnosis successfully, not only to treat psychological illness but also as an anaesthetic for surgical operations.

Hypno-psychotherapy and hypnotherapy

Although the development of chemical anaesthetics displaced the use of hypnosis in surgery, and Freud’s use of psycho-analysis began to displace it in psychotherapy, the benefits and uses of hypnotherapy are such that it remains a popular and adaptive form of therapy. Hypnotherapy may be used on its own, as simple relaxation therapy, or it may be integrated with any of the great schools of psychological thought. This integrative approach, termed hypno-psychotherapy, has very wide therapeutic applications. If only simple relaxation therapy is required, then someone with a basic hypnotherapy training should be able to help. However, more complex emotional, psychological or physical problems require the help of a fully qualified hypno- psychotherapist who will have the skills to recognise and treat a wide range of disorders and conditions. Please note that on completion of the NCHP course you will be entitled to refer to yourself both as a hypnotherapist (to attract a certain market, e.g. those wishing to stop smoking), and a hypno-psychotherapist (to attract more complex cases)

The uses of hypno-psychotherapy

In addition to treating disorders of mood, thought or feeling, hypno-psychotherapy can help with a wide range of psychological problems including habit disorders, social difficulties such as lack of confidence, exam/driving test nerves, phobias, panic attacks and depression. It is also widely used for enhancing sporting performance, creativity, memory and concentration. Hypno-psychotherapy also has other clinical and medical applications including pre/post-operative treatments, anaesthesia and pain relief strategies. Many stress-related physical problems such as skin disorders, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome, also respond well to hypno-psychotherapy. Only a small selection of the many problems posed by our society and the way we live are mentioned here. There are many others which may be alleviated by hypnotherapy and they can be discussed with a qualified hypno-psychotherapy tutor.

A safe form of therapy

In the right hands, hypnotherapy is a safe and beneficial therapy. The NCHP will teach students how to take a client’s full medical, emotional and social history before deciding on a treatment strategy. There are some instances where the use of hypnosis is not recommended, or where it should only be used with care. A competent hypno- psychotherapist will be aware of such contra-indications and may recommend an alternative form of psychotherapy or modify their technique.

What the public are looking for

These days, the general public is ever more aware of what should be expected from a complementary medicine or psychotherapy practitioner. When they are looking for a reputable hypno-psychotherapist people will, increasingly, need to be assured that the practitioner has completed an accredited training and belongs to a recognised professional association which requires members to adhere to a Code of Ethics and carry appropriate insurance. The informed potential client will know that a well-regulated professional body should have a complaints procedure and will require members to be in ongoing supervision/peer supervision.

The trainings available

There is, currently, a wide range of hypnotherapy trainings available. These vary from correspondence courses, at one end of the continuum, through hypnotherapy trainings (of varying standards) through to thorough, integrated trainings in hypno-psychotherapy, with comprehensive coverage of the fundamentals of hypnotherapeutic techniques and various types of psychological approach such as Adlerian, Behaviourism, Ericksonian, Freudian, Gestalt, Rogerian and their modern equivalents. A good quality training will be externally accredited and recognised by one of the major independent bodies. The NCHP provides training which falls within this latter category and was, also, the first such college to be externally accredited by the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education. Other accreditations include the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the Institute for Complementary Medicine and the European Association for Hypno Psychotherapy.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is the provision, by qualified practitioners, of a formal and professional relationship within which patient(s)/ client(s) can profitably explore difficult, and often painful, emotions and experiences.

These may include feelings of anxiety, depression, trauma, or perhaps the loss of meaning in one’s life. It is a process which seeks to help the person gain an increased capacity for choice, through which the individual becomes more autonomous and self determined. Psychotherapy may be provided for individuals or children, couples, families and groups.

It should be noted that additional training in psychotherapy or counselling should assist a hypnotherapist in helping you to achieve your goals more effectively. Not all hypnotherapists have this additional training, potential clients should always ask this of any hypnotherapist you are considering consulting.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy?

This model uses theories from both cognitive and behavioural psychology to address issues of thought and behaviour. Cognitive behavioual therapy is the treatment of choice for many issues within the NHS. We offer this, with the added power of hypnosis making this a very effective process for a wide range of issues including:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Fears and phobias
  • Depression
  • Medical issues
  • Study skills
  • Confidence issues
  • Sleep
What is Analytical Hypnotherapy?

Demo Content

Can anyone be hypnotised?

Generally speaking, all people with at least average intelligence, who are not suffering from any mental health issue (eg. psychosis) and can concentrate will be able to achieve a hypnotic trance state.

No one can be hypnotised against their will and you are always in control when you are in hypnosis.

What training is required?

The National College (NCHP) offers training to suitable, mature individuals who wish to become hypnotherapists/hypno-psychotherapists.

The training meets the detailed criteria laid down by UKCP and is at Master’s degree level. However, despite having a thorough academic base, the emphasis is always on the practical application of the knowledge to ensure that students become highly competent, ethical practitioners.


NSHP members will normally have been trained by NCHP or N-SHAP. However, affiliate members may have obtained the HPD at a variety of schools, all of which are accredited by the National Council for Hypnotherapy. The HPD is externally accredited and validated through the NCFE. The HPD is a level 4 NVQ equivalent training.

Who is the National College?

Demo Content

What are Membership Grades?

Members of NSHP have different grades according to their experience and qualifications.  Read on for full details of the training required:

Honorary Fellow

This is the highest grade and is awarded to those who have achieved the National College’s Advanced Diploma in Hypno-Psychotherapy and are thus eligible to be registered with the UKCP. This training is at masters degree level and takes a minimum of four years. Fellows are entitled to the post nominal letters FNSHP(Hon) and to designate themselves as a “Registered Hypnotherapist” and a “Registered Hypno-Psychotherapist”. Additionally, these practitioners have been recognised for significant contributions to the profession as a whole and/or the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy.


This is grade and is awarded to those who have achieved the National College’s Advanced Diploma in Hypno-Psychotherapy and are thus eligible to be registered with the UKCP. This training is at masters degree level and takes a minimum of four years. Fellows are entitled to the post nominal letters FNSHP and to designate themselves as a “Registered Hypnotherapist” and a “Registered Hypno-Psychotherapist”


This grade is awarded to those who have achieved the National College’s Certificate and/or Diploma in Hypno-Psychotherapy. This training is at masters degree level and takes a minimum of fifteen months. Additionally Membership is open to hypnotherapists who hold a qualification which is based on the National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy. Members are entitled to the post-nominal letters MNSHP and to designate themselves as a “Registered Hypnotherapist”. Holders of the National College’s Diploma are also entitled to use the designation “Registered Hypno-Psychotherapist”.


Students of the National College are granted student membership and may work with certain issues under the guidance of their tutors. The fact that they are students must be made clear to all potential clients.


Demo Content

Code of Ethics and Clinical Practice

Demo Content

How can I make a complaint?

Demo Content


Leave a Reply