Is Clinical Hypnotherapy Safe?

There is much misinformation circulating around the net and within society about hypnosis.  What it is as well as if its safe are two big question.  Hypnosis is not stage smoke and mirrors acts, but hypnotherapy itself is a subconscious discussion to help one face phobias, trauma, depression, and bad habits.  It is not about becoming brain washed or controlled but instead is a gentle awakening of the subconscious to help heal and fix issues within life.  In addition, hypnotherapy is not dangerous for most individuals with a clean slate of mental health.  Hypnosis’ power of suggesting does not harm the brain, or make the subconscious immune to past moral convictions.  It does not push one to do things the subconscious would forbid.

Hypnosis is safe for mentally healthy individuals. It does not entail brainwashing or incur any mental harm to the individual


Those with mental health issues that deal with schizophrenia, hallucinations, drug abuse or various delusions should not be treated but instead referred to a licensed mental healthcare professionals. In these cases, hypnosis could increase the risk of a state of psychosis since the brain is already suffering from a serious mental malady.  But, for those with no adverse mental health conditions, hypnosis provides a safe and alternative way to face issues within the subconscious without any damage or brain washing effects.

The article from WebMed. “Hypnosis Risks and Side Effects” by Alexandra Benisek looks closely at hypnosis and any possible side effects.  The overall conclusion is that it is very safe and void of any past hypnosis myths.  She states,

“Hypnosis is usually safe as long as a trained professional does it. Not all states require people to have certification in hypnotherapy in order to practice it. As you do your research, make sure that anyone you consider has a license in hypnotherapy or that they’re a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.”

“Hypnosis Risks and Side Effects”. Benisek, A. (2022). WebMed

If you would like to read the entire article, please click here

One of the things that can possibly make hypnosis not safe, or at least non productive is when one allows uncertified individuals to work oneself.  Hence, individuals looking for hypnosis for whatever reason should be mindful of credentials.  One should at least have a certification from a reputable organization and also have other mental health and healthcare backgrounds.  It can be extremely dangerous for just anyone to follow an outline and discuss deep and dark trauma of the past.  Some states for this reason have more restrictions than others.  Regardless, if conducted via a trained and credible professional, hypnosis will not harm an individual.  Instead, it will help a person connect with their inner self conscious and better be able to deal with whatever is bothering them.  It could be the past, a phobia or bad habit, dealing with pain, or dealing with a loss or traumatic event but hypnotherapy can help one find peace and better coping abilities without fear of damage.

Hypnotherapy utilizes relaxation to help one find a safe place to open the mind.  It then offers suggestions to the person regarding the issue while the person is relaxed.  During this period, different affirmations are exclaimed, as well new and better coping strategies to deal with whatever is plaguing the person.  Through revisiting the past and comparing the feeling then and re-exploring it in the future, it also serves as a behavioral therapy to find reframe and better respond to stress, fears, emotions, habits and pain.

This type of alternative and non evasive therapy can help individuals find peace and calm from anxiety, worries, fears and pain and allow one to better cope.  Maybe an individual is struggling with certain medications, or not seeing benefits from it and turn to hypnosis as a supplement.  Without side effects, or damage to self, one can begin to heal mentally and emotionally and help the body heal itself.  This in no way suggests to stop medication prescribed by a doctor, but it does suggest one can utilize supplemental therapies to help find healing and peace.  Hypnotherapy offers this type of healing and peace without harm to self, side effects, or evasive procedures.

When utilizing hypnosis, choose a credible professional with a certification such as from the College of Clinical Hypnotherapy


Once considered a stage show, the medical world is now accepting this type of alternative therapy on a much wider scale.  While it may not be main stream completely, it is considered a holistic and viable option for those facing numerous issues regarding pain or stress or any type of phobias.  Main stream medical professionals have less concerns regarding it and many are becoming certified to help provide this service.  Many who work in healthcare as counselors may also look to employ this method.  In addition, those with certifications and backgrounds in Stress Management, Anger Management, Grief Counseling, EFT, or Meditation Instruction also see a great value in hypnotherapy as a tool to utilize and apply with their patients or clients.

If considering learning more about hypnosis, then please carefully find a certified and reputable practitioner in your area and see if it works for you.  If on the other hand, you are looking to supply hypnosis within your practice, then consider becoming certified and following your states guidelines.  There are many reputable hypnotherapy organizations that offer certification.  The American College of Hypnotherapy under AIHCP offers a four year certification for qualified professionals.  The program is online and independent study with a practicum event concluding the program where the healthcare professional demonstrates proficiency in the techniques and abilities required to utilize hypnosis in treatment.   Please review AIHCP’s Clinical Hypnotherapy Program and see if it matches and meets your academic and professional goals.

Hypnotherapy has little to no risk and is an alternative therapy. Review AIHCP’s Hypnotherapy Certification


In conclusion, it is important to dismiss past myths regarding hypnosis.  While some individuals should never utilize hypnotherapy due to mental state, mentally healthy individuals with pain issues, fears, anxiety, bad habits, or high levels of stress can without fear of manipulation or damage to self to explore the healing and natural benefits of clinical hypnotherapy.

Additional Resources

“Hypnotherapy: How You Can Benefit From Hypnosis With Therapy”. Fritscher, L. (2023). VeryWellMind. Access here

“Hypnosis”. Cleveland Clinic. (2022). Access here

“Is hypnosis safe?”.  Access here

“IS HYPNOSIS SAFE?”. Young, G. (2018). Institute of Applied Psychology.  Access here