How to Become a Hypnotherapist Like Bianca

How many of you grew up watching Cyberchase on PBS? [*Me!*] Well, then you remember that each Cyberchase episode is followed by “Cyberchase for Real,” a live-action educational supplement linking concepts learned in the show to real life experiences, hosted by Matthew A. Wilson (“Harry”) and Bianca DeGroat (“Bianca”). Bianca and Harry act amusingly childlike, despite being in their thirties.Bianca Marie DeGroat was born on October 31, 1976, in the rural town of Lanesborough, in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Although she has appeared in commercials as recently as May 2016, she is still best known for her role in Cyberchase. What I bet you didn’t know is that in real life she is a Hypnotherapist!

That doesn’t mean she’s a hypnotist who performs on stage for entertainment, but rather a licensed therapist. (Way to go, Bianca, we always knew you were smart!) A 2016 graduate of the esteemed Hypnotherapy Academy of America in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bianca is a board-certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with additional certifications in medical support and regression therapy. Her practice in Los Angeles, California, is called Silvian Hypnotherapy.

Here’s her story:

“In 2012, I was a commercial actress veteran who had been a smoker for 16 years, and I had finally decided it was time to stop for good. Fatefully led to hypnotherapy, I was able to transition with ease into a lifestyle as a nonsmoker after just a few sessions. I was very surprised at how drama free it was! I was also fascinated by the fact that I did it with the power of my mind.

Cut to a couple years later, when I realized that although shooting a few commercials every year was fruitful and fun, I needed to find a way to contribute to somehow making the world better. Remembering the huge effect that hypnotherapy had on me, making me so much happier, healthier and in control of my life, I realized that I would love it if I could help other people do that for themselves. So, I went to Albuquerque to get the best training I could.

Having only lived in New York City and Los Angeles in my adult life, New Mexico was quite a change from what I had been accustomed to for the past 20 years. But it was there that I really came to understand the power of the subconscious mind, and all the different ways that using the strength of your mind can absolutely change your life for the better. And the more people that find their way to happiness, the better the world becomes.”

Would you like to be a Hypnotherapist?

Hypnotherapy education is classified under the category of human services by the United States Department of Education. Educators believe that brief and superficial training or correspondence or online courses are inappropriate for initial or foundational training for professional practice. Therefore, prospective Hypnotherapy students will need to attend school in person. After receiving a diploma, graduates must be certified in order to practice. For persons to legally call themselves a Hypnotherapist or therapist of any kind, they have to possess a license to perform treatment and conduct sessions with clients for a fee.

There are several certifying organizations and levels of certification with varying titles. Usually, fewer training hours (approximately 100) earns the professional title of “Hypnotist.” More training hours (200-300), and the title of “Hypnotherapist” is granted. Some organizations award the title of “Clinical Hypnotherapist” at 300 hours, but in 2010 new standards were established by the International Board of Hypnotherapy (IBH) which require a minimum of 400 training hours for the title of Medical Support Clinical Hypnotherapist.

Hypnotherapy Academy of America

The Hypnotherapy Academy of America in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a state-licensed Hypnotherapy school since 1988, offers 500 hours of Accelerated Integral Hypnotherapy Training for Certification in Clinical Hypnotherapy. Their curriculum is taught from an “experiential education model,” meaning it was designed to provide students with ample supervised hands-on practice.

Hypnotherapy Training – Modules 1 through 3 
By completing the first three modules and successfully passing the certification exam, you are eligible for certification as a “Hypnotherapist.”

Clinical Hypnotherapy Training – Module 4
By also completing the fourth module you are eligible for certification as a “Medical Support Clinical Hypnotherapist.”

Hypnotherapy Training Elective Topics – Module 5
Module 5 provides training in specialized elective topics.

The Next Class begins June 5, 2017. Click here to download class schedule, tuition options, and catalog.

Graduate Success

Hypnotherapy Academy of America graduates are eligible for certification with the International Board of Hypnotherapy (IBH) and the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. The school itself recommends certification with the IBH because it has the most rigorous standards for certification in clinical hypnotherapy.

The Hypnotherapy Academy of America has the prestige of being the only hypnotherapy training school whose methodology is scientifically validated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In fact, in conjunction with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the NIH has funded a 3-year study in which Academy techniques will exclusively be utilized at hospitals in the U.S. for scientific research purposes.

In Spring of 2014, a Veteran’s Administration Medical Facility hired a Hypnotherapy Academy of America graduate to help military personnel in their pain and rehabilitation clinic. This was an important milestone because the VA had never hired a hypnotherapist before!

The International Board of Hypnotherapy

The International Board of Hypnotherapy was established to facilitate hypnotherapists with access to quality post-graduate support, mentoring, and monthly continuing education. The IBH requires that its members have 400 hours of hypnotherapy education from a school licensed by its state department of higher education and whose curriculum complies with the United State Department of Education requirements for hypnotherapy training programs. IBH also requires members to successfully complete both written and practical skills examination with an 80% or better, provide an actual clinical case history for peer review, and because clinical hypnotherapists are classified as members of the humans services field, give proof of identity verification.

Hypnotherapy Careers

One of the most exciting aspects of being a hypnotherapist is applying it to specialty applications like sports performance, pain control, or any other special interest you may have. Some common areas of specialization include addictions, anxiety, athletic enhancement, bedwetting, cancer-related pain, depression, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, grief support, holistic healing, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, labor and delivery, memory and recall, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep issues, smoking cessation, tension headaches, tinnitus, and weight control. Bianca found a unique niche in catering her hypnotherapy services to actors.

Professional opportunities increase for those who are trained and certified in another health specialty, or who hold bachelor’s degrees in social work, psychology, counseling, nursing, or a similar discipline. Hypnotherapists may be licensed substance abuse counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers who have received additional training in hypnotherapy. Medical practitioners and mental health professionals such as medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or registered nurses may also use hypnosis as an adjunct to another kind of therapy or treatment that they do. For example, dentists may use hypnotherapy to reduce gagging and anxiety in patients.

For more information about how hypnotherapy works, see the hypnotherapy article in the University of Maryland’s guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

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