What’s the Difference Between a Hypnotist and a Hypnotherapist?

Filed under: Hypnosis Training

What’s The Difference Between A Hypnotist And A Hypnotherapist

Should you call yourself a hypnotist or a hypnotherapist? What's the difference, anyway?

We’ll answer these questions and many more in this blog post. 

We’ll talk about:

  • The terms “hypnotist” and “hypnotherapist”; how to define them, and how they differ.
  • The various uses of hypnosis in a therapeutic setting and everyday communication.
  • Who can be called a Hypnotherapist, and what that title really means.
  • How to learn hypnosis easily and masterfully with the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy.

For starters, all hypnotherapists are also hypnotists. That’s because a hypnotist is, by definition, any person who intentionally does or uses hypnosis.

In that sense, hypnotherapy is a smaller category contained in the larger field that is hypnosis or hypnotism. A field that, of course, includes therapy, but encompasses many other things, too. To use the words “hypnotist” and “hypnotherapist” synonymously would be limiting the scope of all the things hypnosis can be used for.

When used therapeutically, hypnosis has a huge positive impact on a person’s life. But that’s not every hypnotist’s ultimate goal, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

We mentioned before how a hypnotist is defined as a person who does or uses hypnosis intentionally. That’s because hypnosis is pretty much everywhere. We define it as a very special and intricate form of communication. It’s a way of gaining access to unconscious reactions and resources that normally wouldn’t be accessible.

We say it is everywhere because there are hypnotic aspects to every communication. That’s not to say every kind of communication is hypnosis, but they all incorporate hypnotic principles. Because most people aren’t aware of them, they aren’t used effectively most of the time, but they’re always present.

A hypnotist is, therefore, a person who is aware of the hypnotic principles present in all or some types of communication, and who purposefully uses them to achieve a certain goal.

That’s for everyone’s benefit, even outside of a therapy session. Hypnosis isn’t something you do to another person, but a psychodynamic loop of communication between your unconscious mind and theirs. In a way, when you’re hypnotizing someone, you’re in hypnosis, too.

What Is Hypnosis Used For?

The following is a summary of some of the various uses of hypnosis outside of a therapeutic setting. As you read through, you may notice how hypnosis is a distinctive and valuable tool for several purposes and professionals.

Entertainment Hypnosis

Stage hypnosis is very popular, and the most notable example of hypnosis being used in places other than a therapy office. Our flagship hypnosis trainer, Mike Mandel, was a successful and notorious stage hypnotist back in the day. Now retired, Mike teaches all kinds of hypnosis to students all over the world at our online hypnosis academy.

But one doesn’t need to get on a stage to be an entertainment hypnotist. A hypnotist who knows what he’s doing can easily become the center of attention at any party or social gathering. Impromptu hypnosis is always exciting and fun when the hypnotist takes care of everyone’s safety and ecology.

Forensic Hypnosis

If you watch a lot of detective movies and television shows, it’s possible you’ve seen hypnosis being used to help solve difficult cases. Not all of that is fiction. Mike himself, again, has helped the authorities in police investigations multiple times.

Forensic hypnosis is a subject of much debate. It’s not as easy and straightforward as you might think. Both legal and practical constraints limit how and where can be used in forensic investigations. Nonetheless, it’s helped witnesses remember things that were key to solving even the most difficult cases.

Hypnosis is definitely a tool all police authorities should have at their disposal.

Conversational Hypnosis

If hypnosis is a very special and intricate form of communication, it’s no surprise hypnotists have figured out how to use it in seemingly ordinary conversations. 

This doesn’t mean the other person doesn’t know she’s being hypnotized. As unlikely as it may seem, many hypnotherapists obtain outstanding results just with a conversational approach, without using any of the formal rituals and hypnosis inductions. This was the style of the great Milton H. Erickson, who was arguably the greatest hypnotist of all time. Need we say more?

A subcategory of conversational hypnosis is called covert hypnosis, where conversational hypnosis techniques are used without the other person’s knowledge. 

This sounds unethical. We admit: sometimes, it is. But not all the time. It all comes down to the hypnotist’s intention. 

If we exclude the word hypnosis, we’re just talking about influence and manipulation, because the principles don’t change, and the techniques are the same. There is nothing particularly special about hypnosis techniques that sets them apart from those used by marketing agencies and remarkably persuasive people.

If you’re wondering whether you’re being malicious and manipulative, just ask yourself: “Do I really believe this stuff I’m saying?”, “Am I trying to take advantage of this person, or do I actually think I’m selling them on the right idea?. The honesty of one’s intentions is what draws the line between persuasion and manipulation.

Read: Hypnosis – Influence is Everywhere (Robert Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion)

Helping People

Who said you need to be a therapist to see hypnosis clients?

Many people who go to see hypnotists hoping to improve their lives aren’t exactly looking for therapy.

For instance, hypnosis is hugely popular among athletes who just want to improve their sports performance. Likewise, it’s invaluable for executives and other leaders who want to be better at public speaking. Pretty much anyone who wants generative change can benefit immensely from the power of hypnosis.

Before we wrap up, there’s an important question to address:

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Who Can Be Called a Hypnotherapist?

It really depends on the law in your area.

In some places, titles such as “therapist” are legally restricted to certain certified professionals. Sadly, a hypnosis certificate doesn’t guarantee you that right.

As we discussed in The Truth About Hypnosis Certification You Must Know, there are no standards for hypnosis and hypnotherapy certification. As with any unregulated profession, a certificate declaring you’ve completed a hypnosis course has no legal meaning, and it won’t grant you any privileges with respect to titles and the kinds of services you’re allowed to offer.

If you specialize in helping people fix problems, “hypnotherapist” might really be the best title, but you must consider the law. So do your homework. Research and figure out how you can present yourself and what you’re allowed to do with hypnosis in your area.

As general advice, calling yourself a “Consulting Hypnotist” may actually be preferable for a couple of reasons. That’s because it’s a broad-based title that can include doing pretty much anything with hypnosis. 

Additionally, more people search for “hypnotist” on Google than “hypnotherapist”. That means there is a good reason to use the title “hypnotist” from a marketing standpoint, in addition to it being a much safer choice, legally speaking.

Learn Hypnosis With the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy

When you are ready to continue your journey toward becoming a world-class hypnotist, we'd recommend getting started at Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy (MMHA).

At MMHA, you can go from absolute beginner to confident hypnotist FAST. 

With bite-sized, easy-to-understand videos, you’ll learn foundational principles and skills of hypnosis, meaning you’ll NEVER need a script. You’ll interact directly with us, guest trainers, and students worldwide. 

In addition to building and reinforcing a solid foundation in hypnosis, MMHA contains tons of advanced techniques which you’ll learn quickly and effortlessly, making it the perfect training for beginner and experienced hypnotists alike.

You get the first few lessons free for 14 days without ever needing to put in your credit card details. It's the easiest way to start learning hypnosis today.

Click here to get started at the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy.

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"I absolutely love the online course. It completely changed my life and consulting career. The information is the best I've ever seen. You guys are incredible at what you do. I love the course so much."

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Connecticut, USA

World Class Video Training and Certification


"I absolutely love the online course. It completely changed my life and consulting career. The information is the best I've ever seen. You guys are incredible at what you do. I love the course so much."

Jason Cyrus