How to Become an NGH Board Certified Hypnotist

In 2014 I completed all requirements for Board Certification at the NGH Convention, and will share in this post how you can do the same. In general, if you have an ethical and legitimate practice there is nothing to worry about. You have to be an NGH member for a year and be in practice either full or part time for a year before you can apply. There's a fair amount of work involved in getting all the paperwork together and studying, but it's worth it. I highly recommend that everyone put this on their calendar.

So how do you become a certified hypnotherapist? The official requirements are outlined on the NGH website here: On that page you'll find the application which you can download and the preparation booklet.

Erika Flint, Board Certified Hypnotist

Out of 14,000 NGH members only 500 are board certified. When I asked about this the answer was that many people don't take the time to do it, and it's only offered a few times a year, once for sure at the convention each year and maybe at Solid Gold if there are enough people interested. If there's enough people interested and wanting to do it at Solid Gold, I recommend you submit your information and application early to ensure it will be offered in February, otherwise you can do it at the convention next year.

Requirements to become a certified Hypnotherapist

Here are most of the requirements, annotated with my personal experience on each. I'd love to get input from other BCH'ers on their experience:

  • Be in the NGH for a full year and be in practice full or part time for one full year as well.
  • Submit 2 non-family written character references:  for this I asked a colleague and a previous client. I submitted them before the convention, but many people decide to do BCH while they're at the convention, so there's no requirement to have all the information in before you take your tests.
  • Written exam : there are 2 parts and this must be done at the convention or solid gold:
    • Question / Answer : (multiple choice, short answer, t/f) :  I was a bit worried about the exam because I didn't know exactly what to study. They tell you just to study your certification material. Keep in mind that not all hypnotists go through the NGH certification courses so the questions are not specific to something NGH teaches. I found the written exam asked legitimate questions that hypnotists should know - no trick questions, and studying my certification (the level I book was sufficient).
    • Case Study : this was the hardest part for me because you're given 5 minutes to provide a treatment plan for a case. The case is read out loud to you twice and you can take notes as it's read out loud. Then you get 5 minutes to write down a treatment plan. It was challenging to capture this in 5 minutes, but I doubt they're looking for perfection. The know they've only given you 5 minutes. I don't know what they look for on this, but I would imagine they want to get a sense of whether or not you have an understanding of how to use hypnosis with your clients.
    • Oral interview : The oral interview was not difficult, but be prepared to be asked questions about your practice and do some role playing. It's about 20  minutes in length. We were also asked to provide materials (like brochures / business cards) that we offer to clients if we have any. This is not required but I believe they want to get a sense of how you run your practice and if you have an understanding of the ethical components as outlined in NGH (see below) .
    • Write a minimum of a 1000 word essay for possible publication in hypno-gram or journal of hypnotism : This essay must be something that could appear in either of NGH's regular publications. It does not mean it will appear. What you submit may not have been published anywhere else before. If you want your essay published, take a look at what types of things are in these publications now to get a sense of what they'd be looking for. It's up to the editors discretion whether to publish yours or not.
    • Must be of good ethical character : This goes without saying, but make sure you read and study NGH Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice & NGH Recommended Terminology because it comes in the oral interview, and written exams.

I'd be happy to answer any questions and really hope those of you that aren't board certified yet will consider it for next year.

For more information, click here for my 5-part video series on how to become a certified hypnotherapist. If you want to get a feel for hypnotherapy before committing, reserve a seat in my free online hypnotherapy master class