Is learning to be a hypnotherapist using an online course a good idea?
The definition of 'online' is somewhat confusing these days for most people interested in studying hypnotherapy.
When we're talking about online training there are two types of courses, the price, and investment required of your time and energy, are very likely guides to the quality of the course you will be receiving and what you are able to do with it afterward.
Online courses such as those promoted on Udemy which can be purchased for free or as little as a few dollars are not quality and supervised courses that will allow you to join a reputable professional association and enjoy all the benefits that come with that such as being a professional hypnotherapist.
This kind of course will be something you can learn from, watch and digest the basics but your skills and understanding won't be assessed by anyone so feedback isn't given and people are not equipped to use these skills with anyone but themselves.
The other type of online course is one which provides face-to-face live feedback, guidance, teaching, supervision, and assessment by a qualified teacher, practitioner, and supervisor in the field. This kind, of course, will also have whole chunks of live-on/offline face-to-face training days and offer substantial content not found anywhere else. The higher price will clearly reflect this which will be in the thousands not even hundreds!
Online attended face-to-face courses will be approved by reputable professional hypnotherapy associations and allow hypnotherapy training providers to take what they would do offline into the online space. Each training session is bespoke to the people attending.
Professional association recognition is generally not available for people graduating from an online course without substantial face-to-face elements and course hours. This means graduates of online learning won’t get listed as full members in their public listings, and the member will typically have no voting rights or voice.
The value of a no-contact online course in real-world practice is low unless the new hypnotherapist is also an excellent marketer and can counterbalance the general lower confidence the public may have where there is no full membership.
It is very doubtful whether any online course can prepare a hypnotherapist properly to be a professional without some additional supervised practice where they record live sessions with real clients and the supervisor provides feedback.
Just as offline classroom-based learning allows a tutor to move around many students, keeping an eye on all, this is now easily possible using the likes of Zoom where break-out areas make it possible for people to practice in confidential spaces and tutors can pop/sit in each room and assess what's happening in their practice with each other and provide instant feedback on their performance.
Likewise, individual attention, supervision, observing, and assisting students, one by one, will be built into the course and reflect the price students will have to pay for such bespoke training. This doesn't compare to just online, with all students watching the same material with no individual attention, feedback, assessment, or tailoring to their individual learning styles.
The quality of learning is usually low in an online course. Hypnotherapy is a practical set of skills that can only be truly learned and implemented by ‘doing’, rather than simply ‘knowing’ because eventually, the therapist must ‘do’. A student needs live, supervised practice with an experienced tutor and peers so they can get feedback before taking their skills into a real-world situation with clients. This is also only right and ethical for the general public who is receiving such a service.
Face-to-face training online gives students the best of both worlds. They can get the quality 1:1 service they need to learn how to do hypnotherapy by first being supervised practicing with their peers and then being closely supervised to practice with the public, and applying their study and learning into practice, whilst still being able to learn from the comfort of their own home, living in potentially remote areas, with no/poor public transport links.
Distance online-only learning is more suited to people wanting to learn just for interest or to work on themselves using self-hypnosis, which they can do without risk to the paying public. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that cheap or free online hypnotherapy learning can be excellent, but it is improbable, given these issues.
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