Can I legally use the term “Hypnotherapist?”

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Can I legally use the term “Hypnotherapist?” 

 This week’s blog starts the New Year with the importance of understanding our profession and the legal side of it.  We recently had a Licensed Social Worker leave a voice message for one our graduates saying that she would be reported for using the term “Hypnotherapist”.

We weighed in right away to protect our graduate, IAIH member, and our profession as a whole.  Please read industry leader Matthew Brownstein’s response to this person in this blog to better understand our profession and your right to practice it. 

Our next Hypnotherapy Training begins January 28th in Florida, California and Utah.  Our next Basic NLP Training is February 6th to the 9th

Continue on to read more about the legal use of the term Hypnotherapist…

From: Matthew Brownstein
Sent: Thursday, January 2, 2020 6:03 PM
To: [Name Removed – Licensed Social Worker]
Subject: Update about the Occupational Title Hypnotherapist

Dear ,

I am respectfully writing you because of a voicemail that one of our graduates received from you about her Hypnotherapy practice.  I wish to politely let you know that you are incorrectly informed about the use of our occupational title and I will kindly ask for you to update yourself on the most modern use of the term “Hypnotherapist.”  The information below should clear things up, so that we can all get back to helping people within the legal scope of our credentials.

Ms. ____ is a graduate from the Institute of Interpersonal Hypnotherapy (IIH).  IIH is the first and currently only Hypnotherapy school licensed by the Florida Department of Education (License #3448) to offer legitimate career diplomas as a Hypnotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Transpersonal Hypnotherapist.  We have been licensed in good-standing to offer these diplomas since 2007.

We are also licensed by the Florida Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to offer the credential of Hypnotherapist to people who are working to get back into the job market (License #VF202535784001).

Hypnotherapy/Hypnotherapist is a Federally acknowledged occupation. The United States Department of Education, Bureau of Labor Statistics Instructional Program Data catalogs Hypnotherapist as “513603: Hypnotherapy/Hypnotherapist”, along with other such occupations as Acupuncture, Homeopathic Medicine, Massage Therapy, Yoga Teacher, and Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences.

Please reference:  It is also worth noting that because of this acknowledgement of our profession that the use of the occupational title of Hypnotherapist is legally accepted in all 50 US states.

We have also worked extensively with many of the Florida cities and counties Business Tax Receipt departments to have them accept the occupational title of Hypnotherapist as a legitimate credential.  To the best of our knowledge, every single city and county in Florida allows for the legal use of Hypnotherapist as an occupational title for those with appropriate credentials.

For more information, please visit:

Please specifically look at Dade and Broward Counties and their interpretation of the use of the occupational title Hypnotherapist as you appear to be in the South Florida area.

We have many attorneys, psychiatrists, social workers, psyd’s. psychotherapists, social workers, mental health counselors, and physicians who are graduates of our school.  They all support the use of this occupational title.  We also have had graduates work out of the Florida Department of Health and this organization has inspected our graduate’s offices and have found them to be perfectly within the law to legally use the occupational title of Hypnotherapist.

I fully understand that in the State of Florida that there are laws against the therapeutic use of hypnosis without one being a “licensed practitioner of the healing arts.”  The Florida Hypnosis Statutes do not restrict anyone from using the occupational title of Hypnotherapist.  The law makes it very clear that a prescription, referral, supervision or direction is required for non-licensed practitioners to perform therapeutic hypnosis, yet it does not restrict what they call themselves.  Please see

I am also the Florida representative of the Hypnotherapists Union Local 472, an AFL-CIO backed organization.  To further my point, you can visit:

Our attorney through the union can support everything that I have written here as well.

All of our graduates, who become members of our association, are bound by HIPAA and sign a very carefully constructed Code of Ethics to ensure they are operating within the law and within the scope of their credentials. and

If you feel the need to try to stop people from using the term Hypnotherapist, then please only do so from graduates of unlicensed schools or trainings who do not have the legitimate credentials that Ms. _____ does.  There are plenty of people out there who did not attend a State-Licensed school and I agree that they should not be using this occupational title.

I have bcc’d one of our attorneys as well as our Admissions and Student Services Department and will kindly ask you to cease and desist threatening graduates of State-Licensed Hypnotherapy Schools due to a lack of being properly informed about our profession.

I am more than open to talking this out with you if you do not agree with our interpretation of the use of this occupational title and we have many attorneys, physicians, and licensed mental health practitioners who have graduated from our State-Licensed Hypnotherapy School who would be happy to speak with you as well.

Very Respectfully,

Matthew J. Brownstein, CIHt

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