Training Certificate in Clinical Hypnosis

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Training Certificate Directors: Eric K. Willmarth, Ph.D. and David Paul Smith, Ph.D.

This Training Certificate is available to students in any Saybrook degree program as well as to non-matriculated students. The Training Certificate program is designed to prepare individuals to be able to use clinical hypnosis as an adjunct to enhance existing clinical skills or to use hypnosis as a research tool to explore a number of areas of interest. The courses in the Training Certificate are designed not only to meet the requirements set forth by the Standards of Training published by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and those acceptable by the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH), but to far exceed these requirements by adding substantial reading and discussion of the academic research underlying the use of hypnosis. By the completion of this Training Certificate, individuals who would like to pursue ASCH and/or SCEH Certification will already have completed all required didactic education and most of the hours of required supervision.

This is a 10-credit Training Certificate that consists of the following courses:
CSIH 4101: Basic Training and Education in Hypnosis (3 credits)
CSIH 4102: Intermediate Training and Education in Hypnosis (3 credits)
CSIH 4103: Advanced Hypnosis Practicum and Capstone Paper (4 credits)

Corresponding courses from the Department of Mind-Body Medicine may be substituted for any one (1) of the above courses.

Basic Training and Education in Hypnosis: This course provides students with a basic skill-set to conduct simple hypnotic interventions, along with knowledge about hypnotic concepts and approaches, and a familiarity with research-based applications of hypnosis to common medical and behavioral disorders. This course provides students with an introductory level of understanding helpful for engaging in hypnosis-based clinical practice and hypnosis-oriented research in integrative health. This course introduces simple trance induction protocols, trance deepening techniques, the use of post-hypnotic suggestion, and techniques to re-alert the subject and close the trance phase. Students complete a two-day residential training, and continue with 16 weeks of online learning, reading and research on hypnosis, and supervised practice with volunteers.

Intermediate Training and Education in Hypnosis: This course provides students with a skill-set to conduct more advanced hypnotic techniques and interventions. The student develops an ability to learn and assess new applications of hypnosis for common medical and behavioral disorders. This course provides an intermediate level of understanding for hypnosis-based clinical practice and hypnosis-oriented research in integrative health. The student learns approaches and techniques for a number of advanced application areas. Students complete a two-day training, and continue with 16 weeks of online learning, reading classic books and articles in the field, a research paper, and supervised practice with volunteers.

Advanced Hypnosis Practicum and Capstone Paper: This course includes online contact with faculty and fellow students, directed readings and research in a specialty area, as well as applied practice of hypnosis and related techniques with regular group-based supervision. Students will complete a capstone Integrative Essay/Poster during this class, summarizing their learning in this course sequence.


Saybrook Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology faculty contributing to the courses and instruction involved with this Training Certificate include:

Eric K. Willmarth, Ph.D.
Ian Wickramasekera, Psy.D.
David Paul Smith, Ph.D.
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.
Claire Frederick, M.D.
Marina Smirnova, Ph.D.
Kevin Willmarth, Psy.D.

In addition, a number of experts in the field of hypnosis contribute to the hypnosis courses via video interviews and webinars.

Learning Objectives
1.   To understand ethical standards and best practices for professional hypnosis practice, and implement these standards in clinical practice or research.
2.   To gain proficiency in the use of multiple hypnosis inductions, thorough frequent practice with supervision.
3.   To gain proficiency in the use of self-hypnosis procedures, through frequent practice and supervision.
4.   To gain proficiency in the use of multiple hypnotic suggestion techniques, and develop sequences of suggestive and therapeutic interventions for specific presenting problems.
5.   To develop a well-informed approach for orienting the subject to hypnosis and self-hypnosis training, and providing feedback to the subject on the training process.
6.   To integrate the learning from the entire hypnosis Training Certificate sequence into personal self-care, career plans, and academic understanding.

Learning/Teaching Approach

Students in both CSIH 4101 and CSIH 4102 will begin each course at a Saybrook Residential Conference participating in a hands-on workshop learning and practicing hypnotic induction, deepening techniques and the use of therapeutic suggestion. During the following 15 weeks students will read from required textbooks and articles, participate in video conferences with classmates and instructors, and post responses to discussion questions presented on the course shell. The Advanced Practicum course involves weekly practice of hypnosis with volunteers or clients while keeping training logs, watching video presentations, and participating in video conferences. The capstone paper or poster is designed to summarize the student’s learning in the field of hypnosis.

What's Next

For more information on this or other Certificate programs, please complete the form on the right. You may check multiple options.

To enroll in this Certificate as a non-degree student, go to Apply Online and select the desired certificate option. This Certificate is available to current Saybrook degree students in certain programs as part of, or in addition to, degree classes. Please contact Admissions or your faculty advisor/mentor about enrolling or call 800.825.4480.