Decode hypnosis credentials

Certification is a confusing affair in hypnotherapy, with some acronym overlap, and experts sharply divided on what's most meaningful, or whether you need it at all. A spoonful of the alphabet soup:

CCHT, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist — The nonprofit American Council of Hypnotist Examiners insists on 300 hours of instruction for this certification.

ASCH, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis — Sixty hours of ASCH-approved hypnosis education is needed to qualify for full certification. Most members aren't board certified in hypnosis, but all are required to be licensed health care professionals.

CHT, Certified HypnotherapistEarned through the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association, this requires a minimum of 120 hours of training and proficiency in performing and explaining basic hypnotic procedures. No health care licensure is needed to get this type of certification.

SCEH-ACE, Active Commitment to Excellence This certification from the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis requires at least 40 hours of training in approved workshops, a minimum of two years using hypnosis and a commitment to excellence based on a written plan. All members must be licensed health care professionals.

CH, Certified Consulting Hypnotist The National Guild of Hypnotists Inc. — the country's oldest and largest certifying body — requires a minimum of 100 hours of hypnosis training to be a certified member.

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