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Hypnosis Law & Regulations: State Laws Regarding Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy & Hypnotism

Updated July 24, 2018

 

*Readers are encouraged to follow links directly to their source in the event that laws have changed before we have had time to change this page accordingly.  Webpages and laws may change before we get to update them.  Please do your own research before making any decisions regarding the practice of hypnosis or hypnotherapy in your area.

 

*Always remember that the use of hypnosis is legal in all 50 of the United States, however every State will still have laws regarding the practice of medicine, psychology or dentistry.  Please ensure to follow the IAIH Code of Ethics, utilize our Professional Disclosure Forms and always operate within the scope of your credentials and training.

 

Overview:  This synopsis of hypnosis law is meant to serve as a summary of the regulation that exists over the practice of hypnosis or hypnotherapy here in the United States.  Certain laws may directly affect your right to practice hypnosis depending on where you are practicing. Along with our emphasis on you practicing within the law, we at the International Association of Interpersonal Hypnotherapists (IAIH) have also created and enforce our IAIH Code of Ethics and insist upon truth in advertising and high standards of professional practice.  As a member-driven organization should you become aware of any new legislation, infractions against law or ethics, or anything regarding related matters please email us at support@interpersonalhypnotherapy.com.

 

The majority of the States within the United States exert little or no direct regulation over the practice of Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy. Below you will find the most up-to-date information as gathered by the IAIH Legal Department. Although robust, the information below is meant only as an overview and it is essential that you understand and abide by the most recent regulations and laws within your city, county, state, and country.  

 

States Requiring Mandatory Licensure or Registration:

 

Colorado

http://cdn.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/DORA-Reg/CBON/DORA/1251632394750

 

Connecticut

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/ACT/PA/2006PA-00187-R00HB-05846-PA.htm

https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/License-Services-Division/All-License-Applications/Hypnotist-Registration-Information

 

Washington

http://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/Hypnotherapist

 

Licensure Exemption States with Laws (See Below):

 

California

Florida

Illinois

New Jersey

Texas

Utah

 

States With Hypnosis Laws:

 

There are some States that have laws regarding the practice of hypnosis and or hypnotherapy. It is our consideration that these laws are not intended to stop the practice but to protect the consumer. Practicing with a high-ethical standard and within the laws and scope of your practice we believe to always be your best protection. Below is a list of States that have some law on the books usually regarding advertising. As an Interpersonal Hypnotherapist our ethical standards do not endorse the use of the words counseling, psychology, psychiatry or mental health counselor in any advertising. Laws are ever changing please check back often for updates or visit the appropriate website for direct information.

 

Regulated States USA:

 

Colorado

Summary of Law & Definition

12-43-303. Practice of psychology defined (1) For the purposes of this part 3, the "practice of psychology" means the observation, description, evaluation, interpretation, or modification of human behavior by the application of psychological principles, methods, or procedures, for the purpose of: (a) Preventing, eliminating, evaluating, assessing, or predicting symptomatic, maladaptive, or undesired behavior; (b) Evaluating, assessing, or facilitating the enhancement of individual, group, or organizational effectiveness, including personal effectiveness, adaptive behavior, interpersonal relationships, work and life adjustment, health, and individual, group, or organizational performance; or (c) Providing clinical information to be utilized in legal proceedings. (2) The practice of psychology includes: (a) Psychological testing and the evaluation or assessment of personal characteristics such as intelligence; personality; cognitive, physical, or emotional abilities; skills; interests; aptitudes; and neuropsychological functioning; (b) Counseling, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, hypnosis, biofeedback, and behavior analysis and therapy; (c) Diagnosis, treatment, and management of mental and emotional disorder or disability, substance use disorders, disorders of habit or conduct, as well as of the psychological aspects of physical illness, accident, injury, or disability; (d) Psychoeducational evaluation, therapy, and remediation; (e) Consultation with physicians, other health care professionals, and patients regarding all available treatment options with respect to provision of care for a specific patient or client; (f) The provision of direct services to individuals or groups for the purpose of enhancing individual and thereby organizational effectiveness, using psychological principles, methods, or procedures to assess and evaluate individuals on personal characteristics for individual development or behavior change or for making decisions about the individual, such as selection; and (g) The supervision of any of the practices described in this subsection (2). (h) to (l) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2011, (SB 11-187), ch. 285, p. 1311, § 41, effective July 1, 2011.) (3) Psychological services may be rendered to individuals, families, groups, organizations, institutions, the public, and the courts. (4) The practice of psychology shall be construed within the meaning of this definition without regard to whether payment is received for services rendered. 12-43-3

Hypnotherapist may practice in Colorado by registering with the State of Colorado’s Unlicensed Psychotherapists Database.

Learn More Here

http://cdn.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/DORA-Reg/CBON/DORA/1251632394750

 

Connecticut

Persons who practice hypnosis must obtain a registration from the Department of Consumer Protection before engaging in business in Connecticut.

Definitions:

“Hypnotist” means any person who performs hypnosis, but does not include those individuals licensed by this State to perform medical, dental, nursing, counseling or other health care, substance abuse or mental health services.


“Hypnosis” means an artificially induced altered state of consciousness, characterized by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction.

Exemptions:

This registration does not include those individuals licensed by this State to perform medical,dental, nursing, counseling or other health care, substance abuse or mental health services.

https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/License-Services-Division/All-License-Applications/Hypnotist-Registration-Information

For specific information on Connecticut Hypnosis Law, visit https://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/ACT/PA/2006PA-00187-R00HB-05846-PA.htm

 

Washington

Summary of Law & Definition

 “Hypnotherapists” and “Counselors” are required to register with the State.

Apply Here

http://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/Hypnotherapist

Special Considerations

Hypnotherapists must follow additional guidelines such as reporting suspected abuse or neglect of a child, dependent adult, or a developmentally disable person. For a full understanding of Washington Laws please visit the State Website.

 

Non-Licensure Guidelines States:

 

There are certain states that still require registration or a special certification to practice hypnotism or hypnotherapy.  These non-licensure guidelines are meant to protect the consumer and allow for the free and open practice of hypnotism.

 

California

Summary of Law & Definition

California’s Business and Professions Code 2908 exemptions

“persons using hypnotic techniques” from the psychology licensing act to do “vocational or avocational self-improvement” as long as they “do not treat emotional or mental disorders’, “persons using hypnotic techniques” or if they are working under referral “of persons licensed to practice psychology, dentistry or medicine.”

Using a proper intake form, setting proper expectations and utilizing the IAIH Client Bill of Rights with all your clients will provide protection to practice.  There are more considerations when practicing in California. Please review People v. Cantor, a 1961 Superior Court case, in which the court held that the practice of hypnotism as a curative measure or mode of procedure in helping patients to lose weight, relax tension and improve nerves and bad habits by one not licensed to practice medicine amounts to the unlawful practice of medicine. It is also adviseable you review the California Business and Professions Code § 2052 (a) to ensure you are practicing within the scope of your practice.

We recommend you have clear advertising materials and include disclaimers to the practice of medicine. Especially in regards to the fact that you do not diagnose, prescribe, or treat any medical condition.

You are considered a Complimentary and Alternative Health Care Provider in California and as such are required to make certain disclosures with clients.  Disclose to the client in a written statement specific statements such as you are not a licensed physician, your education and written acknowledgment that all required information has been provided. For a complete up to date list visit California’s regulartory site.

Learn More Here

https://govt.westlaw.com/calregs/Index?transitionType=Default&contextData=%28sc.Default%29

 

Florida

Summary of Law & Definition

Florida Hypnosis Statutes were written in 1961 as an attempt to limit the practice of hypnosis to proper "licensed practitioners of the healing arts."  The law did not ban anyone from doing hypnosis, it only worked to regulate what hypnosis can be used for depending on who is using it.  For instance, a dentist can use hypnosis for dentistry, but not psychology and a psychologist can use hypnosis for psychology, but not dentistry.  For someone to use hypnosis for a purpose in which they do not have the appropriate credentials then that person needs the prescription, referral, supervision or direction from the proper "licensed practitioner of the healing arts."(32 Florida Statutes §485.000 et. seq.)

For those who are practicing hypnotherapy without being one of the listed "licensed practitioners of the healing arts", then that person needs to be aware of scope of practice assessment to ensure that he or she is not practicing medical or therapeutic hypnosis without a prescription, referral, supervision or direction.  When hypnosis is used for non-therapeutic and non-medical purposes, such as in motivation or test performance, then no prescription, referral, direction or supervision is needed.

Florida Hypnosis Law is not clear about what is therapeutic and what is not. As in Interpersonal Hypnotherapist you have been educated as to the difference and it is included with our code of ethics.

Learn More Here

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0485/0485.html

Illinois

Summary of Law & Definition

 ”Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent a person from practicing hypnosis without a license issued under this Act provided that the person (1) does not otherwise engage in the practice of clinical psychology including, but not limited to, the independent evaluation, classification, and treatment of mental, emotional, behavioral, or nervous disorders or conditions, developmental disabilities, alcoholism and substance abuse, disorders of habit or conduct, the psychological aspects of physical illness, (2) does not otherwise engage in the practice of medicine including, but not limited to, the diagnosis or treatment of physical or mental ailments or conditions, and (3) does not hold himself or herself out to the public by a title or description stating or implying that the individual is a clinical psychologist or is licensed to practice clinical psychology.” (225 Illinois Compiled Statutes 15/3(h).

Learn More Here

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/99/HB/09900HB3547ham002.htm

 

New Jersey

Summary of Law & Definition

No license is required in New Jersey for certain hypnosis practices such as,  altering habits such as smoking and weight management, increasing client motivation in employment, the workplace and in sports activities and enhancing creative, artistic and scholastic endeavors. Hypnoconselor and hypnotconseling are definitions to be aware of and detail specific services such as teaching self hypnosis, inducing the hypnotic state and applying hypnotic techniques among others. (New Jersey Administrative Code § 13:42-1.2)

Learn More Here

http://www.nj.gov/oag/ge/regulations.html

 

Texas

Summary of Law & Definition

Texas law has past legal cases to be aware of and rules and regulations regarding the practice of hypnosis. 

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy when performed by a licensed psychologist are subject to Board Rules. 22 Texas Administrative Code § 465.5

The practice of psychology includes hypnosis for health care purposes and hypnotherapy. Texas Occupations Code § 501.003

Office of the Attorney General, State of Texas Opinion No. DM-321 February 8, 1995: A person who, for compensation, practices psychotherapy, hypnosis for health care purposes, hypnotherapy, or biofeedback without a license under the Psychologists' Certification and Licensing Act, V.T.C.S. article 4512c, violates that act unless such practice falls within one of the exceptions set out in the act. The act authorizes the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists to take action to enjoin such violations, as well as other actions against violators authorized by law.

Certification is required for “investigative hypnosis proficiency.” 37 Texas Administrative Code § 221.7

The use of specific methods, techniques, or modalities within the practice of professional counseling is limited to professional counselors appropriately trained and competent in the use of such methods. Authorized counseling methods and modalities may include, but are not restricted to: (13) Hypnotherapy which utilizes the principles of hypnosis and post-hypnotic suggestion in the treatment of mental and emotional disorders and addictions. 22 Texas Administrative Code § 681.31.

Hypnotherapy may be provided by a marriage and family therapist. 22 Texas Administrative Code § 801.42

The court upheld that a hypnotist was not exempt from obtaining a medical license when he advertised hypnosis as a means of curing certain mental and physical disorders. Masters v. State, 170 Tex. Crim. 471 (1960)

Learn More Here

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/

 

Utah

Summary of Law & Definition

Exemptions from licensure: Utah Code § 58-60-107.. Unless one is licensed (e.g., as a psychologist), the title “clinical hypnotist” may not be used. An individual engaged in performing hypnosis who is not licensed under this title in a profession which includes hypnosis in its scope of practice, and who..

As used in this chapter, “unlawful conduct” includes:...

Utah Code 58-60-109 Unless one is licensed (e.g., as a psychologist, psychiatrist etc.), the title “clinical hypnotist” may not be used

May Not:

Engage in the practice of mental health therapy;

Represent himself using the title of a license classification in Subsection 58-60-102(5)

Use hypnosis with or to treat a medical, psychological, or dental condition defined in generally recognized diagnostic and statistical manuals of medical, psychological, or dental disorders.

Learn More Here

http://le.utah.gov/code/TITLE58/htm/58_60_010700.htm

 

US Unregulated & Minimally Regulated States:

 

Alabama

The State Board of Education in Alabama, specifically prohibits the use of hypnosis. School personnel are prohibited from using any techniques that involve the induction of hypnotic states.

Learn More Here

Alabama Administrative Code Regulation 290-040-0400.02

http://www.alabamaadministrativecode.state.al.us/docs/ed/

 

Alaska *

 

Arizona

A physician may not delegate the following procedures to an unlicensed person: Psycho-therapeutic procedures, including individual and group psychotherapy, clinical hypnosis, or other behavioral health interventions subject to independent regulation in Arizona.

Learn More Here

Arizona Administrative Code § R4-38-306

http://www.azhomeopathbd.az.gov/rules.html

 

Arkansas

 

Delaware

 

District of Columbia

 

Georgia

Hypnotists are listed as a profession that may be subject to regulatory fees.

Learn More Here

Code of Georgia § 48-13-9 (b)(24)

http://www.legis.ga.gov/en-US/default.aspx

 

Hawaii

Hawaii remains unregulated and honors that the occupation of Hypnotherapist and Hypnotist is independent of psychiatry or psychology. Although attempts have been made to regulate the profession in Hawaii. Please be sure to check the most current laws and proposed laws here.

Learn More

2005 Bill Text HI H.B. 1695

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2007/bills/SB1749_.htm

 

Idaho

 

Indiana

Indiana passed Senate Bill 0356,  which repealed hypnotist and hypnotherapist licensing laws in Indiana as of July 1, 2010. Previously there where licensing laws in place that made it very difficult to become a licensed hypnotist or hypnotherapist.

Learn More Here

http://iga.in.gov/results/

 

Iowa

 

Kansas

 

Kentucky

 

Louisiana

 

Maine

 

Maryland

 

Massachusetts

 

Michigan

 

Minnesota

 

Mississippi

 

Missouri

 

Montana

 

Nebraska

 

Nevada

The City of Las Vegas has specific rules for granting a "Business License" for Hypnotherapists:


Except as otherwise provided in LVMC 6.12.090 as it relates to the payment of business license fees, this Chapter shall not apply to the following:
(A)
Doctors, dentists and other medical practitioners licensed by the appropriate board under the Nevada Revised Statutes;
(B)
Hypnotherapy practitioners who do not qualify under Subsection (A) but who have a current certification from a qualified professional hypnotherapy organization. For purposes of the preceding sentence, "qualified professional hypnotherapy organization" means a nationally recognized organization that is dedicated to providing training, continuing education, and performance testing in hypnotherapy and that:
(1)
Has a current membership of at least one thousand members; or
(2)
Requires for certification purposes a minimum of three hundred hours of training initially and thirty hours of continuing education training every two years.
(C)
Persons employed by such practitioners and acting under their direction and control, who use hypnotism as an aid in treatment or as a supplementary form of treatment in the course of their profession.

 

https://library.municode.com/nv/las_vegas/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT6BUTALIRE_CH6.12THPSAR
 
New Hampshire

 

New Mexico

 

New York

 

North Carolina

 

North Dakota

 

Ohio

 

Oklahoma

 

Oregon

 

Pennsylvania

 

Rhode Island

 

South Carolina

Historically there is a case on the books in South Carolina in which the SC Board of Examiners took the position that anyone advertising "hypnotherapy" or "counseling" is indeed practicing psychology without a license.

 

South Dakota

 

Tennessee

 

Vermont

 

Virginia

 

West Virginia

 

Wisconsin

 

Wyoming