Hypnosis is safe and effective if done by properly trained and licensed individuals

The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) is an interdisciplinary organization of medical, dental and mental health professionals interested in the clinical use of hypnosis. ASCH promotes the understanding and use of hypnosis as a clinical tool with broad applications in medicine, dentistry and mental health. ASCH offers training and certification programs and provides practitioners with ethical treatment guidelines for the clinical use of hypnosis by trained and licensed professionals.

ASCH believes that hypnosis will be optimally effective when the patient is highly motivated to overcome a problem and when the practitioner is well trained in both hypnosis and in the general considerations relating to the treatment of the particular problem.

It is important to keep in mind that hypnosis is like any other therapeutic tool: it is of major benefit to some patients with some problems, and it is helpful with many other patients, but it may not always be effective , just like any other clinical method. For this reason, we emphasize that we are not “hypnotists”, but health care professionals who use hypnosis along with other tools of our professions. ASCH members strive to attain the highest levels of professional competence and only use hypnosis within the bounds of their training, expertise and license.

ASCH does not support the practice of hypnosis by individuals who lack professional education and clinical training in a health care discipline. Many practitioners claim to offer hypnosis to the public for a variety of purposes such as: losing weight, managing pain, or stopping smoking, etc. Frequently, extravagant statements and guarantees are presented in a sensational way, and it can be confusing for those wishing to use hypnosis to know where to turn. One way to reduce that confusion is to ask yourself , “Is this practitioner able to help me without using hypnosis?" Or to say it another way, ‘How do I know I can trust this person to solve my problem safely?’

ASCH recommends that when selecting a practitioner to assist with a particular symptom or goal, you choose a health care professional who is properly trained, licensed and credentialed. ASCH encourages you to inquire in advance about the training and experience of any practitioner of hypnosis you intend to consult. Ask about their training, current license, professional affiliations and background.

ASCH Membership
To be eligible for Full Membership in ASCH, applicants must hold a masters or doctoral degree in a health care discipline deemed appropriate by the Society. The degree must be awarded from a college or university accredited by its appropriate regional accrediting body. In addition, applicants must be licensed or certified in the state in which they practice. The applicant must also be eligible for, or a member of, a professional society consistent with their degree, such as the: AMA, APA or ADA, have a stated interest in the clinical use of hypnosis, and have successfully completed a minimum of twenty hours of ASCH approved clinical hypnosis training.

ASCH Training
ASCH offers three levels of workshop training (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced) four to six times per year. In addition, ASCH holds an annual scientific meeting and workshops on clinical hypnosis. All workshops conform to ASCH’s Standards of Training, which ensures that participants receive quality, comprehensive training. ASCH workshops are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the American Psychological Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the National Association of Social Workers, and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

ASCH Certification
ASCH also administers a program that offers non-statutory voluntary credentialing in clinical hypnosis. Certification provides recognition of the advanced clinician who has met fundamental educational training requirements in clinical hypnosis. While certification does not automatically imply competence, it does indicate that the practitioner has undergone advanced training in his/her profession and has obtained a legitimate advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher learning; is licensed or certified to practice in his/her state or province; has had his/her education and training in clinical hypnosis peer-reviewed, and such training has met the minimum requirements set forth in the Standards of Training; and has been determined to have received the minimum educational training that ASCH considers necessary for utilizing hypnosis.

For More Information
Contact the ASCH Central Office (410) 940-6585 for more information on ASCH or to arrange an interview with ASCH Leadership.