Which hypnotherapy school is the best / most reputable / most respectable?

This is difficult to answer because there are so many different groups of theory and practice, and so many ways of ranking success for a school. To put it in college terms, is Cal Tech better than an Ivy League school? Well, 'better how?' is the question. It depends on many personal factors, many of which are outside the school's actual training content.

For example, some of the ways a hypnotherapy school's success can be ranked include:

  • Most students graduated in the last 20 years
  • Most recommendations by grads
  • Most recognized by professional organizations like AAPH and NGH
  • Most famous teacher / director inside the industry (although some can become well-known by being notorious or controversial)
  • Most famous instructors outside the industry
  • Best marketing online and offline - means the name is better known, at least by those that have checked into such
  • Best match for Combinational / Specialty / Modality
  • Individual judgement of content and instructional quality
  • Best match of instructors / philosophy with your own personality and philosophy

Each is a valid way to rank, depending on your own needs and what it important to you.

Some of the above data has not been collected (by anyone) in one place for all the major schools in the US, so doing a spreadsheet-numbers top-ten list (at least, for the quantitative columns) isn't presently possible. To be fair, the quality of instruction and course content isn't necessarily related to big numbers in any category, especially in this time of breakthrough methods happening every few years throughout the industry. Hypnotherapy is advancing rapidly these days just as many other industries are advancing with new computers, research, connections of people and learning through the Internet, and cross-fertilization from breakthroughs in medical, brain research and more.

Most people are limited by travel costs when considering a school. Finding a good local school is often preferable to flying to the biggest-name school in the country for a semester, for example. Factors I use to check out a school include:

  • Length of time it has been in operation
  • Number of instructors on staff
  • Minimum hours of classroom time required for a certification (50 is bare minimum in my book)
  • Books written by instructors (read these to get a sense of their style, expertise and philosophy)
  • Web site presentation, materials, videos
  • State approved / medical association approved for issuing CEUs to nurses, therapists and doctors?
  • offers / availability of testimonials
  • Distance learning options offered with responsible competency testing?

Investigate the schools you are considering attending, and go visit the school at an open house evening or ask to audit a class. Meet the instructors. Look over the materials. Make sure you like the teachers, style, materials and feel of the school, since you will be making a significant investment of time and money there.

In general, your clients won't have heard of any hypnotherapy schools at all, so alma mater name matters little for impressing your clients. If a client wants to background check your credentials, they may lookup your alma mater online. This is becoming very common, so you may want to make sure your chosen school has a decent online presence.

In the end, what matters most is that the school meets your needs, provides you with quality instruction and materials, has good support during training and after, and is in good standing with key associations.

AAPH list of schools in the US and worldwide.