Frequently Asked Questions

This section is to answer some of the frequently asked questions received by the Board and all attempts are made to give as clear an answer in as unbiased way as possible.

Just click on each question to view the reply. In some instances, you will find a link which enquirers are referred to.

I have made an appointment with a hypnotherapist and I want to check if he/she is registered. I cannot find them listed on your website.

This is the most common form of enquiry received by the Board. While some people may call before making an appointment to check if a hypnotherapist they wish to consult is a registered member, most calls received but the Board are from people who have already scheduled for an appointment with a professional.

Understandably, members of the public may feel more confident working with registered hypnotherapists because these individuals have invested professionally to be part of a credible body of registration in their
field of practice.

However it is important to know that at this point in time, there is no compulsory legal obligation for hypnotherapists to be registered to operate as a hypnotherapist in New Zealand. Therefore, there may be
many practising hypnotherapists who may have had the relevant training, skills and experience to work with the issues you wish to address, but have not yet registered.

The Board is currently actively approaching professional hypnotherapists throughout New Zealand to become registered with the Board. So in time, just like most other professional Registration Boards, it is the aim of the Board that all practising professional hypnotherapists are also registered hypnotherapists.

The role of the Board is to provide for the public a list of hypnotherapists who have met the Board’s entrance criteria for registration. This means that the registered members have been assessed to have the relevant training, skills, knowledge and experience to effectively offer a professional service.

Every registered member of the Board has agreed to abide by the NZHRB Inc Constitution and Code of Ethics for the duration of their registration with the Board. Registered members are required to continue to keep up with and/or upgrade their profession knowledge in order for their registration practising certificate to be renewed each year.

The Board wishes to stress how import it is for you to discuss any questions you may have about the services offered before you proceed into a session, whether a hypnotherapist is registered yet or not. You may find it appropriate to discuss your needs and expectations with the hypnotherapist you are looking to work with to attain a better understanding of whether the service they offer matches with your needs and expectations.

What do I do? I have concerns about a hypnotherapist I or someone I know went to.

The Board does from time to time receive reports of concerns. However, the Board suggests that you approach the hypnotherapist you consulted directly in the first instance to clear up any misunderstandings that may have arisen during your contact or consultation. The concerns are often quickly alleviated with a productive outcome for all parties involved.

If your concerns are still not resolved then, please ‘Contact Us’ to discuss you next course of action.

The Board understands that in some instances, one may wish to contact the Board first to discuss their thoughts or situation.

The Board has a clear structure and process to address any queries or concerns received by the public and/or professional about a specific practice or persons, however the Board is only able to do so for
registered members of the Board.

The Board aims to assist you as best as it can either by addressing your contact immediately or by referring you to the proper channels to ensure that your interests are provided for.

I have been searching for a registered hypnotherapist but there are several websites with a register of hypnotherapists. This is very confusing. How do I know which is which?

The New Zealand Hypnotherapists Registration Board Incorporated is an independent body for the registration of professional hypnotherapists and has been in existence since 2003.

There is a significant difference between a ‘Registered Hypnotherapist’ of the Board and a register of hypnotherapists.

The Registration Board holds a responsibility to the public to uphold its objectives in its Constitution and only registers practising hypnotherapists who have met the Board’s entrance criteria for registration.

Every registered member of the Board has agreed to abide by the NZHRB Inc Constitution and Code of Ethics for the duration of their registration with the Board. Registered members are required to continue to keep up with and/or upgrade their profession knowledge in order for their registration practising certificate to be renewed each year.

In comparison, a register of hypnotherapists is solely that – a list of hypnotherapists who offer their services to the public. The Yellow Pages is one such service. However, there are several other directories on the internet and in printed format.

When a directory service refers to a ‘register’ instead of a ‘directory’ or ‘listing’, this may unintentionally mislead or cause confusion for the public. The Board hopes that this clarification can address any
confusion that may have arisen from this natural linguistic interpretation.

Being on a register of hypnotherapists does not mean that the listed persons are registered members of the Board. Another way for the public to distinguish a Board registered hypnotherapist is the credentials MNZHRB Inc included in their promotion and correspondence materials or at the end of their name.

In 2005, the Board received several public enquiries about the confusion of having another Hypnotherapists Registration Board advertising adjacent to that of The New Zealand Hypnotherapists Registration Board Inc.

The Board took immediate action to address this by consulting with the Advertising Standards Authority and proceeded to send in a list of concerns for consideration. The decision was upheld in favour of The
New Zealand Hypnotherapists Registration Board Inc.

Full details of this can be attained from the Advertising Standards Authority public domain website links below:

Advertising Standards Authority Decisions in 2005 for a full list of ASA decisions made in the year 2005.

ASA Decision upheld in favour of The New Zealand Hypnotherapists Registration Board Inc.

This incident emphasizes the importance for the Board to maintain its standing as an independent professional body for the registration of professional hypnotherapists according to the Board’s objectives and responsibilities to the public and its members.

The Board is grateful to the members of the public who brought this to its attention. It is very clear that the public also plays a very important role in communicating with the Board any concerns or thoughts
one may have. Please do ‘Contact Us’ if you feel inclined to do so. The Board will do its best to respond in the best way possible.

What does being an ‘independent’ Registration Board mean?

This means that the Board is run independent of any other organisation, training establishment or individual hypnotherapists. Not being aligned to any other organisations or persons allows the Board to truly stand for the profession as a whole while focusing on the best interests of the total community; the registered professionals and the wider public.

The Board therefore does not advertise or accept payment for any service or persons. The Board cannot recommend or provide advice for the services of any organisation, training establishment, individual
hypnotherapist or types of therapy.

The list of registered hypnotherapists found on the NZHRB Inc website provides for the public a list of professionals who have met the registration criteria of the Board who also through their registration commitments and obligations are bound to abide by the rules of the Constitution and Code of Ethics of the NZHRB Inc. It is still the responsibility of each person to consult with the professional to determine if the services offered are in line with their expectations and intentions.

What types of training would a hypnotherapist have received?

There are many hypnotherapy training establishments i.e. schools and institutes in NZ and overseas who offer hypnosis training. Some may be specific to hypnosis and others to hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is only one part of the training module in the study of hypnotherapy.

It is important to discuss with the professional you are looking to consult, any questions you may have before proceeding into a session.

The two most common types of hypnotherapy that you will encounter are
1. Suggestive Hypnotherapy – Simplistically, this means that a person is hypnotised and the subconscious is given straightforward effective suggestions for change.
2. Analytical Hypnotherapy – Simplistically, this may involve many other aspects of therapy techniques. This is usually utilised to address deeper issues and may include some clinical or counselling knowledge, regression techniques and more in-depth client intervention.

As a member of the public, it is difficult to ascertain if the training they have received is sufficient to practice as an effective hypnotherapist. It is therefore the role of the Board to assess each candidate based on the Board’s entrance criteria before they are accepted for registration. The assessment process takes into account their training history, ability, knowledge and practical skills in the field of hypnotherapy, client care etc; and not solely on the training school they graduated from or the organisation they belong to.

All registered members of the Board have satisfied the Board that they have a level of competency to be assigned the designation of ‘Registered Hypnotherapist’.

The Board has many registered members who are very skilled in many areas of therapy. So, it is important that you discuss any questions you may have about services offered before you proceed into a session, whether they are registered yet or not.

I have heard people say that anyone who can set themselves up as a hypnotherapist. Is this true?

Let us consider this for a moment. How often do we hear of someone completing a week long course in computers starting a business in programming? I’d expect … this does not happen very often, if at all. A graduate may begin by working as as apprentice to gain experience through the additional hours spent on research, thought, study and mentored practical experience. This applies to all professions in life. Similarly, not all business students end up owning a business. Although one’s commitment to complete the study of their choice may lend a higher likelihood for them to enter and continue into the field in which they were trained.

It is common for people to initially attend a course in hypnosis for their personal interests. Then, if this ignites within themselves a true desire in this field, they often then upgrade onto further hypnotherapy training that includes many more hours of in-depth training in therapeutic skills e.g. client focused techniques, human development, physiology and anatomy knowledge etc.

Once they complete their training and assessments with their training provider, it is common for the graduates to join a professional association that can provide support, mentoring and continued
professional development opportunities to assist them towards setting themselves up as a proficient hypnotherapist.

In considering this claim, it is important to look at what is theoretically probable and compare it to what is realistically practical. While it is in theory quite probable that someone can set themself up as a hypnotherapist after a short course, when we look at this claim realistically, this is quite unlikely because it takes a lot more than just theoretical knowledge to achieve confidence, let alone competency in the practice of hypnotherapy.

If you ask any practising hypnotherapist, they may express that they continue to learn and develop no matter how long they have been in practice for. Hypnotherapy is an ever evolving and developing modality. It is the nature of this profession. There are so many new discoveries happening throughout the world and each hypnotherapist has a moral and ethical responsibility to themselves, their profession and
the clients they work with to continue to be at their optimal best in knowledge, wellbeing, competency and professionalism.

This is similar to a scientist, social worker, computer technician or programmer, builder, mechanic and more. Each professional has to keep up with the new developments in his/her field in order to continue to be at the helm of one’s profession.

There is another perspective from which this claim may be true. In some instances, practising psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, doctors, nurses, dentists etc may attend these basic hypnotherapy courses, after which they may incorporate their learnings into their existing modes of practice because they already have the required foundations in understand human development, social impact etc for them to utilise the therapeutic tools within the practice of hypnosis. This is a very probable occurrence and happens worldwide.

Members of the public are very astute and well informed these days. So, if someone was operating unprofessionally or unethically, very quickly this would be illuminated and brought to the attention of our
professional bodies and this will be kept on record. It is important in any therapeutic relationship that you feel a sense of connection, understanding and trust before you begin to address your issues with any given individual. That is why the Board recommends that you contact a few professionals before making the final decision of who you wish to work with.

Hypnotherapy students often take into consideration many aspects of the courses they choose to train in. Instead of looking solely at the duration in which a training course is run, it is more effective and
meaningful to value the contents of the course. Each person will make their course choices based on their personal plans for utilising hypnotherapy as a profession upon graduation.

Often hypnotherapy courses are subject specific to hypnotherapy knowledge. In reality, one needs to consider the total number of lecture and study times required during the course of study. Additional hours
spent outside of class are also an important part of the training. This time is spent on external study, homework, research and reading, case study investigations and actual practice hours. Each course often
assesses its student to ensure the module requirements are fulfilled before graduation/certification.

It is therefore also important to consider that there are many courses available within NZ and globally, to learn about hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

Some courses require compulsory attendance, client intervention case studies, or through correspondence and more. Some courses focus on teaching hypnosis, while some on clinical and advanced hypnotherapy plus counselling skills.

Arguably, someone who is really keen and astute may even be able to learn elements of hypnosis from books. Therefore it is very important for the public to realise that there is a distinct difference between
knowing how to hypnotise and the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool. This is where the NZHRB Inc stands to fulfill its obligations and role as a professional registration board, by ensuring that registered
members of the Board have all meet the required criteria to allow them to practice hypnotherapy professionally and responsibly.

I have found several organisations, associations or societies representing hypnotherapy as a profession in New Zealand. Is there a structure for hypnotherapy in New Zealand? What does each organisation do? Why is there a need for so many?

The Board recognises the confusion that may arise especially if they come across several professional hypnotherapy associations.

With the evolution and development of hypnotherapy, arising from the different needs based on professional practices, strategic demographic placements, geographical influences and training backgrounds, the Board recognises that each association was set up with the best interests of its members. Each may have a specific focus or foundation in its operation e.g. psychoanalytical tools, technical focus, spiritual inclination or academic drive.

The New Zealand Hypnotherapy Federation Inc (NZHF) was established in 1994 as the umbrella organisation to maintain closer ties within the different groups of dedicated and committed hypnotherapists in New Zealand, no matter what their foundational focus. The NZHF membership began with the four main hypnotherapy associations as its member organisations.

The four different organisations that arose out of this structure were:

  1. International Hypnotherapy Practitioners Society Inc. (IHPS)
  2. New Zealand Association of Professional Hypnotherapists Inc. (NZAPH)
  3. New Zealand Society of Clinical Applied Hypnosis Inc. (NZSCAH)
  4. Psychoanalysis and Hypnotherapy Institute of New Zealand Inc (PHINZ) – formerly the Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy Institute of New Zealand Inc.

Note: Organisations above are listed in alphabetical order.

All the above organisations, as listed above, and the main hypnotherapy training schools at that time were included as members of the New Zealand Hypnotherapy Federation Inc (NZHF) and therefore members of each organisation were eligible to be members of the Federation.

The New Zealand Hypnotherapists Registration Board Inc (NZHRB) was set up at this time with the focus of being an independent registration board for all hypnotherapists trained in New Zealand or abroad, wanting to practice as professional hypnotherapists in New Zealand.

To ensure that the profession could become and maintain a strong self-regulated profession for the long-term future, the New Zealand Hypnotherapists Registration Board Inc (NZHRB) has its responsibility to assess and determine the competencies of registered hypnotherapists based on a minimum professional level as determined by the Board.

Since its inception, the demands for hypnosis or hypnotherapy training in certain areas of New Zealand has increased, resulting in the hypnotherapy profession growing with the development of additional training establishments and new professional opportunities.

Due to geographical limitations, hypnotherapists operating in regions outside of the main centres, where the organisations were based, could not access all the benefits of membership to the NZHF, NZHRB or
organisations. As a result of this, small groups were set up through the initiative of the professionals involved to support hypnotherapists operating outside of the main centres.

The Board wishes to recognise the wonderful work that has been achieved to date in response to the independent needs for each region. The Board acknowledges the diverse differences in the needs of hypnotherapists from each region. We invite you to join us as the Board continues with its aim to unify and strengthen the profession of hypnotherapy in New Zealand.

For more information on the Federation please go to the NZHF website.


I only practice hypnotherapy part time. I completed the full training in all areas to operate as a hypnotherapist. Why do I need to register?

The Board understands that different graduates of hypnotherapy have different needs and life plans. For some this reservation may be due to the financial outlay, for others it may be a lack of clarity in the role of the Registration Board.

You may be in the midst of changing your career path and one can be understood to think that registration is for full-time professionals. However, if we compare being a hypnotherapist to a doctor … it would be unimaginable for a doctor to practice even an hour a week without becoming registered.

On a different perspective, if someone owns a car, does he get his license only for the days he drives? Obviously not.

That is why, in order for you to achieve in your chosen new field or professional career, belonging to a professional body will assist you towards attaining your goals much quicker and more efficiently.

I have just moved into NZ or I am planning to move to NZ. How do I become registered so that I can confidently practice in New Zealand as a registered hypnotherapist?

To become registered, you will need to download the full NZHRB APPLICATION FORM and CONSTITUTION AND CODE OF ETHICS.

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to receiving your application.

I am practising as a hypnotherapist. How do I go about getting insurance cover for my professional practice?

The Board offers comprehensive Professional Indemnity and Public Liability cover at special discounted rates through

The Board is aware that some hypnotherapists are practising without professional insurance and wishes to encourage all practising hypnotherapists to recognise the importance for this in any practice, whether as a full-time or part-time hypnotherapist.

I already have my name on a few directories and registers of hypnotherapists. I am getting sufficient clients for my practice / business. I do not see the need to be on the NZHRB website register. I have been operating for years without being registered, why should I consider registering now?

That is wonderful. Becoming a registered hypnotherapist is not about advertising. It is about recognising a standard in our profession in which we can be proud to be part of.

The Board is a professional body that one can belong to for the purpose of professional recognition that has a flow on effect of encouraging public confidence. While you as a hypnotherapist may be experienced in the field of hypnotherapy alone or alongside other modalities, through your registration process, you can then be assured that you have met the minimum standards of practice for New Zealand, as set by the Board.

The standards may continue to be reviewed by the Board and its assessors working alongside other modalities of therapy and this is dependent on new developments arising from international research, social evolution and changing environmental influences. The Board recognises hypnotherapists who have met the entrance criteria by taking into account many important aspects of being a professional and effective registered hypnotherapist.

While it is recognised that there is no legislation at the moment for hypnotherapists to be registered, inevitably the goal is to become a strong body of registration for all professional hypnotherapists.

Over the last few years, more and more medical professionals have found it useful to refer their patients to work with fellow hypnotherapists as clients to provide a different perspective to healthy living and duty
of care. As this shift in consciousness and awareness brings a better understanding for what hypnotherapy is capable of, hypnotherapy can now continue towards becoming a publicly accepted modality for better balanced living.

By joining now, you can become part of the development that is leading us into the next stage of helping ‘hypnotherapy’ become a fully recognised modality and profession. This will then allow for the practice of hypnotherapy to become affiliated with other organisations like ACC, insurance providers etc.

Not so very long ago, chiropractors were not fully recognised as a therapeutic modality by many health organisations. Now they are. This is the change that the field of hypnotherapy is moving into. So, by becoming registered you will move from being a practitioner of hypnotherapy to becoming a recognised professional registered hypnotherapist.

I already have my name on a few directories and registers of hypnotherapists. I am getting sufficient clients for my practice / business. I do not see the need to be on the NZHRB website register. I have been operating for years without being registered, why should I consider registering now?Do I need to join a professional organisation? What are the benefits?

By ‘the organisation’ you may mean a hypnotherapy association / society.

While it is not compulsory to join a New Zealand hypnotherapy association, the Board wishes to acknowledge the value of being a member of a hypnotherapy association simultaneous to your registration.

The Board provides for your registration needs as a registered hypnotherapist, while the associations provide for other profesional needs as member, e.g. professional contact and support with other colleagues, continued education through meetings and conferences (often with national and international presenters). Some associations may also provide for mentoring and supervision services as required.

Each association is different and it is recommended that you discuss with each association its membership benefits and future vision with its independent process and requirements for membership.

In accordance with what your needs may be, you can then better decide which association can serve you best.

Thank you for sending in your enquiry. The Board wishes you well.