One of the top questions I get is, “What are the laws about practicing hypnosis in my state?” In the United States, no state has licensing for hypnotists or hypnotherapists, and only three states require registration. What is most important is that this is unlikely to change.
There are two reasons hypnosis licensing will not occur in any state in the foreseeable future. First, there are relatively few complaints and problems arising from the non-regulation of hypnotists. In light of this, no state has the budget or will to create a huge regulatory bureaucracy for any new professional license.
Who regulates Skype or phone sessions between two different states? Watch the video above and find out here!
The one state that did have licensing, Indiana, sunsetted the regulatory law over a decade ago, simply because it was unneeded. As I understand it, there never were any complaints to the now defunct Indiana board.
That being said, there are some states that do have certain provisions related to the practice of hypnosis, even if not licensing. One state, Alabama, has a law that does not allow school personnel to use hypnosis with students in a school. Other states regulate the term “therapist” thus reserving “hypnotherapist” only to those with a mental health or medical license of some sort. There are of course business license regulations, some relates specifically to the practice of hypnosis (Clark County, NV).
The situation in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom is similar – there are few regulations and requirements governing the practice of hypnosis. You do need to know the law in your geographic area, but many new hypnotists are surprised to learn that there is literally no governing agency that recognizes hypnosis certification, regulates or supervises practitioners, or takes consumer complaints.
Unfortunately, every profession does has some bad apples, and every state has laws against murder, rape, theft, exploitation, abuse, and other crimes. Over the past several decades, just like any other profession, there have been a handful of people who have made the national news for violating laws while seeing hypnosis clients. But these cases have been handled as criminal matters, not regulatory issues, just as they are in professions that are governed by a professional license.
Do you want a state by state guide to the laws in all 50 states and in other countries? The ICBCH has published a newly updated state law guide you can access here!