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Q: Hypnosis Training (South Florida area) ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Hypnosis Training (South Florida area)
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: luckysevens-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 13 Nov 2003 14:03 PST
Expires: 13 Dec 2003 14:03 PST
Question ID: 275570
The main question is, can I practice hypnosis without a certification?

If no, the follow-up is, can I get a certification without training
(ie, taking and passing tests)?  

If no, can I get training in South Florida for under $500?

Since this is a 3-parter, I'll up the ante a bit.
Subject: Re: Hypnosis Training (South Florida area)
Answered By: byrd-ga on 14 Nov 2003 11:17 PST
Hello Luckysevens,

I can certainly understand why you?ve asked your question.  Wow, the
situation in Florida regarding the practice of hypnosis is not only in
an apparent state of some flux, but it's also very confusing to sort
out.  So let me give you the bad news right away.  The short answer to
your first question is no, it would seem that in Florida you can?t
practice hypnosis without certification, although there is still some
question about that (see below). Furthermore, while hypnosis or
hypnotherapy is not currently an occupation requiring licensing in and
of itself, the law says that hypnosis can only be practiced at the
direction of and under the supervision of a licensed healthcare

Here?s a link to the webpage containing links to the 2003 Florida
State laws:
, including Title XXXII ?Regulation of Professions and Occupations.? 
Scroll down to Chapter 485 and you will see that Hypnosis is included
in such regulation.  Basically, it says that no one except a licensed
healthcare professional (as defined in the law) is allowed to practice
hypnosis, except a person acting on the direction of and under the
direct supervision of that professional, who assumes all liability for
such practice.   Click on this link:
 to read the law for yourself.

There are quite a few interpretations of this law by persons
knowledgeable in the field, as either hypnosis practitioners, licensed
healthcare providers familiar with therapeutic uses of hypnotherapy,
and others, that support the conclusion that any practice of hypnosis
for any type of therapeutic reason by anyone other than a licensed
healthcare professional or a person duly authorized and supervised by
them is in violation of Florida law:

James E. Hord, Jr., Ph.D. of ?Psychological Services of South Florida?
says, ?Hypnosis in the state of Florida and most other states is
regulated as a practice. However, it's very common to find that those
laws are not strongly inforced. Florida does not license hypnotists,
in spite of advertisements I have seen locally that imply the
contrary. A hypnotist who is not a licensed health professional who
practices therapeutically in Florida, is in violation of Florida law. 
( )

On the website for Key West Hypnosis, it is stated that ?Florida law
requires that all therapeutic applications for hypnotherapy be done
under the supervision, direction, and prescription of a member of the
healing arts (Chapter 485: Hypnosis).? ( )

And here?s yet another, by Jillian R. LaVelle, a clinical
hynotherapist currently practicing in South Florida, who says, ?Some
local city/county laws require: 1) a referral letter from a medical
practitioner or a mental health practitioner, or 2) you to present
yourself before the board of commissioners, or 3) the signing of an
affidavit pledging that you will not do stage hypnosis.?  She goes on
to say that while she is not an attorney and cannot offer legal
advice, she does have a 90-minute cassette tape on professional
standards and Florida law.  On her website, she lists a phone number
with an invitation to call her:

I also sent a few emails to different parties inquiring about
specifics of this law.  So far I?ve received one reply, from Dr.
Brady? of ?The National Board of Professional and Ethical Standards,?
( ), who wrote:

?The state passed a law in 1971 that they have now decided to enforce.
 They started last May by arresting people mostly in So. Florida.
These people were members of an organization in NH that does not
properly train their people. We have had NO problems with Florida, in
fact they have said we are in complete compliance with the rules as
defined.  Other organizations do not comply and are not approved to
provide hypnosis education in Florida.  Hypnotherapy is a different
subject and herein lies the problem.  It is much too complex a subject
to explain in an email. Please have [this person ] call 888-357-8400
and we can explain it all to them.?

BUT.  You knew there was a ?but,? right?  This reply points up an
apparent gap in the law, i.e. the fact that the law does not stipulate
the exact qualifications of the person to whom a healthcare
professional may delegate the practice of hypnosis, except for saying
they must be ?qualified individuals.?  Nor does it exactly define what
sorts of activities are being regulated, though it?s implied that it
is clinical hypnosis in a clinical setting, such as for pain
management, etc.  Specifically excluded from the examples given in the
text of law is the practice of hypnosis for ?non-therapeutic?
purposes, such as weight loss, smoking cessation, stress reduction and
the like.

Therefore, it was very interesting to find the website of a Florida
attorney, who says,  ?I handled the first two test cases involving the
Florida Hypnosis Law, Chapter 456. The case was important to my
clients, all hypnotists in Florida, and hypnotists throughout America
who helped on the case. I won the case and hypnotists were allowed to
continue hypnosis for "non-therapeutic" purposes. I have probably
become the only expert in this esoteric area of law.?  This is,
however, a campaign website, as this attorney is currently running for
public office.  But I was able to find him in a listing of
Jacksonville attorneys, with this information: Wilensky, Daniel F -
1916 Atlantic Blvd Jacksonville, FL (904) 398-9889 (
).  Notice that he doesn't reference the current section of the law,
i.e. "Chapter 485," so his precedent may no longer apply.

I?m sure you?re aware that, as a Researcher, I can provide only
general information, which is not intended to be a substitute for
legal or any other professional advice. (Please see the disclaimer
below.)  So I would strongly encourage you to follow up on this
information further by telephoning Mr. Wilensky?s office especially,
and perhaps also Dr. Brady, to see if they can offer you some explicit
professional advice as to certification requirements for whatever it
is you have in mind. However, it is my conclusion, based on the
information available, that you will definitely need to have some kind
of certification in order to practice hypnosis of any kind in the
State of Florida with some assurance that you will not be ordered to
?cease and desist? by zealous enforcers of the law.


So then, going on to your second question, the answer to that is also
no.  I was unable to locate any organization, online or off, that
would issue a certification via internet, mail or in person, without
your having to enroll in a training course and pass tests.

The only place I found that offered certification alone without
requiring you to purchase a particular course of study was "The
American Society of Clinical Hypnosis," which offers certification for
healthcare professionals who currently hold an advanced degree in a
healthcare field and can demonstrate that they currently possess a
minimum defined level of additional training in hypnosis:  For those who need the
training, however, they do offer regional workshops in various parts
of the country, including South Florida:

The closest I found to being able to get certification with a minimum
of effort was a correspondence course offered by ?The Trance Zone,?
 They say their course takes 50 hours, it includes a number of written
tests, and also a requirement to submit testimonials from subjects. 
However, once you pay for the course and they send you the materials,
it seems that you can work at your own pace and the tests appear to be
of the ?open-book? type.  Certification is by the ?American Board of
Hypnotherapy,? and you will receive a certificate upon completion. 
The downside of this course is the cost at $850.00, which is higher
than $500.00 maximum you were looking for. And of course, since the
school is located in New York, and there is currently no national or
international standard on hypnosis certification, there is no
guarantee this certification would be acceptable in Florida.  Again, I
would encourage you to check on that with an attorney or other
knowledgeable professional before paying for such a course.


Also before you commit to any school or course of training, it would
be good to understand clearly, as I?ve inferred above, that THERE IS
STANDARDS FOR CERTIFICATION.  None.  This is partly why the practice
of hypnosis falls under such scrutiny in places like Florida.  Here?s
a report on a lawsuit brought against a hypnosis school that claimed
to be ?nationally accredited:?"hypnosis+motivation+institute"+fraud&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&


All right then, as to training in South Florida, leading to
certification, for under $500.00, it would seem that ?The National
Board of Professional and Ethical Standards,? mentioned above, (which
also goes by several other names) is your best bet. Though they're
located in Central, rather than Southern Florida, being in Deland,
which is between Orlando and Daytona Beach, this might not be a
concern as they offer distance learning. See their website, here,
which lists the courses they offer, including Basic Hypnotist for
 The course is a correspondence course, although there are hands-on
workshops for those students who desire them, as well as an open
invitation to visit their International Headquarters, which is at the
Deland location.

Then there is the ?Hypnoway International School for Hypnosis
Training,? run by Audrey Cotter, a hypnotherapist and R.N. who has
been practicing since 1967.  She offers ?The National Guild of
Hypnotist?s Certification Course,? but gives no price or ordering
capability on her website.  Rather she invites prospective students to
call or email for further information.  From the description on her
site, it sounds like it might be another distance learning course,
though perhaps there are also onsite classes. Running a check on the
area code and exchange of the p hone number listed places the school
in Hollywood, FL between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.  I did send an
email, but have so far not received a reply. The website is here:   Should I receive a
reply to my inquiry after posting this answer, I?ll post it in a

The ?International Association for Regression Research and Therapies?
is offering a 5-day (40 hour) hypnotherapy certification course in
Orlando in early 2004: taught by
Ron deVasto, Ph.D. from the ?Hypnotic Research Society? of Orlando. 
The price is not listed, but they provide an email and a phone number
for more information.

Dr. DeVasto also offers another course, a three-day workshop entitled
?Hypnotist Training Course,? at his facility in Orlando in February
2004  at a cost of $395.00, although it does not specifically state
that it leads to certification.  See here:

And finally, I found this listing for a person in West Palm Beach: ORA
SEARS SCHURTZ, C.M.Ht.  Private Sessions. Hypnosis Certification
Training.  561-627-6900.  but there was no website or other
information, so you?d to call to find out more.  (Link where found: )

Although you can easily locate other sources of correspondence and
online hypnosis or hypnotherapy certification training by simply using
those as search terms, I would again recommend against studying with a
school or organization unless it is based in Florida, or the workshop,
seminar or class is actually offered in Florida, due to the legal
concerns as outlined above.  However, that is certainly up to you and
should you wish you pursue other sources, here are some links you
might like to look at:  (Full distance course $499)  (Total cost approx. $490) 


I hope this information and these links have give you a good
understanding of the practice of and availability of training in
hypnosis or hypnotherapy in Florida, as well as resources that will
prove helpful to you.  Please use the ?Request Clarification? feature
to ask if anything isn?t clear, before rating and closing the
question, so I can be sure you?re happy with the information provided.
 This has been an interesting challenge; thank you for the opportunity
to help.

Best regards,

Search terms used:

florida law hypnosis OR hypnotherapy 
florida hypnosis requirements OR certification
?south florida? hypnotherapy training
florida "hypnosis certification training" OR "hypnotherapy training"
OR "hypnotherapy certification" OR "hypnosis certification" OR
"hypnotherapy training"
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