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    Saybrook University
  Apr 03, 2020
2016-2017 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
2016-2017 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Clinical Hypnosis Certificate

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Certificate Program Leads: Eric K. Willmarth, Ph.D. and David Paul Smith, Ph.D.

This Certificate is available to students in any Saybrook degree program as well as to non-matriculated students. The Certificate program is designed to prepare individuals to be able to use clinical hypnosis as an adjunct to enhance existing clinical skills or to use hypnosis as a research tool to explore a number of areas of interest. The courses in the Certificate are designed not only to meet the requirements set forth by the Standards of Training published by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and those acceptable by the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH), but to far exceed these requirements by adding substantial reading and discussion of the academic research underlying the use of hypnosis. By the completion of this Certificate, individuals who would like to pursue ASCH and/or SCEH Certification will already have completed all required didactic education and most of the hours of required supervision.

Curriculum: This is a 10-credit Certificate that consists of the following courses:

CSIH 4101 - Basic Training and Education in Applied Hypnosis 3 Credits 
CSIH 4102 - Intermediate Training and Education in Hypnosis 3 Credits 
CSIH 4103 - Advanced Hypnosis Practicum and Capstone Paper 4 Credits  

Corresponding courses from the College of IMHS may be substituted for any one (1) of the above courses.

Basic Training and Education in Hypnosis: This course provides students with a basic skill-set to conduct simple hypnotic interventions, along with knowledge about hypnotic concepts and approaches, and a familiarity with research-based applications of hypnosis to common medical and behavioral disorders. This course provides students with an introductory level of understanding helpful for engaging in hypnosis-based clinical practice and hypnosis-oriented research in integrative health. This course introduces simple trance induction protocols, trance deepening techniques, the use of post-hypnotic suggestion, and techniques to re-alert the subject and close the trance phase. Students complete a two-day residential training, and continue with sixteen weeks of online learning, reading and research on hypnosis, and supervised practice with volunteers.

Intermediate Training and Education in Hypnosis: This course provides students with a skill-set to conduct more advanced hypnotic techniques and interventions. The student develops an ability to learn and assess new applications of hypnosis for common medical and behavioral disorders. This course provides an intermediate level of understanding for hypnosis-based clinical practice and hypnosis-oriented research in integrative health. The student learns approaches and techniques for a number of advanced application areas. Students complete a two-day training, and continue with sixteen weeks of online learning, reading classic books and articles in the field, a research paper, and supervised practice with volunteers.

Advanced Hypnosis: Practicum and Capstone Paper: This course includes online contact with faculty and fellow students, directed readings and research in a specialty area, as well as applied practice of hypnosis and related techniques with regular group-based supervision. Students will complete a capstone Integrative Essay/Poster during their Advanced Practicum class, summarizing their learning in this course sequence.

Faculty: Saybrook faculty contributing to the courses and instruction involved with this Certificate include:

Eric K. Willmarth, Ph.D.
Ian Wickramasekera, Psy.D.
David Paul Smith, Ph.D.
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.
Claire Frederick, M.D.
Marina Smirnova, Ph.D.
Kevin Willmarth, Psy.D.

In addition, a number of experts in the field of hypnosis contribute to the hypnosis courses via video interviews and webinars.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand ethical standards and best practices for professional hypnosis practice, and implement these standards in clinical practice or research.
  2. Master use of multiple hypnosis inductions, thorough frequent practice with supervision.
  3. Master use of self-hypnosis procedures, through frequent practice and supervision.
  4. Master use of multiple hypnotic suggestion techniques, and develop sequences of suggestive and therapeutic interventions for specific presenting problems.
  5. Develop a well-informed approach for orienting the subject to hypnosis and self-hypnosis training, and providing feedback to the subject on the training process.
  6. Integrate the learning from the entire hypnosis certificate sequence into personal self-care, career plans, and academic understanding.

Learning/Teaching Approach: Students in both CSIH 4101  and CSIH 4102  will begin each course at a Saybrook Residential Conference participating in a hands-on workshop learning and practicing hypnotic induction, deepening techniques and the use of therapeutic suggestion. During the following 15 weeks students will read from required textbooks and articles, participate in videoconferences with classmates and instructors, and post responses to discussion questions presented on the Course Shell. The Advanced Practicum involves weekly practice of hypnosis with volunteers or clients while keeping training logs, watching video presentations and participating in video conferences. The Capstone paper or poster is designed to summarize the students learning in the field of hypnosis.

College of Social Sciences Certificate Programs

Saybrook University’s College of Social Sciences offers a number of exciting certificate programs intended for non-matriculating students who want to expand or deepen their knowledge and skills pertaining to specific foci.  Our certificate programs offer a variety of topics relevant in today’s world. From existential psychology to integrative healthcare, the College of Social Sciences certificates offer students the humanistic and interdisciplinary education students desire in a convenient certificate program.

Delivery Model

All entering students will begin their program in consultation with the Certificate Lead Faculty in order to clarify requirements and ensure that their interests are integrating within their learning experience. Students can change their study plan later, but need to make an initial plan at the outset, including a tentative plan for a one-year enrollment for those individuals not enrolled in a Saybrook degree program. Typically, certificate requirements can be completed within one to two years (see Certificate Lead Faculty for more details). Students progress through certificate requirements through a combination of on-line cohort courses and either face-to-face experientials during a Saybrook Residential Conference and/or at-a-distance platforms such as video-conference or conference calls. Additionally, students participate in online Graduate Colloquia shells, which are virtual classrooms utilized to foster community among all enrolled in specializations that sponsor the certificates; deepening the learning environment and broadening the application of theory and practice.

These certificates are available to degree and non-degree students alike. Non-degree students who subsequently pursue a degree at Saybrook may be able to transfer credits toward degree requirements.  Students formally enrolled in one of Saybrook’s degree programs may be able to integrate the certificate into their program as the certificate course requirement may satisfy either specialization requirements and/or degree electives.  In the event that a doctoral student wishes to complete more than one Certificate program, only one course (3 credits) may be counted toward a second Certificate. No course overlap may occur for fulfillment of a third (or more) Certificate. In addition, fulfillment of each Certificate requires completion of a unique practicum (CSIH/CS/EHTP 8151: 3 credits) as well as a unique final paper (CSIH/CS/EHTP 8950: 1 credit). No overlap of required Certificate coursework will be permitted for M.A. students who wish to declare more than one Certificate.

Core Components

Though each certificate is specific to the area of focus, there are general Core Components or expectations.

  • Required course(s) (3 credits each)
  • Choice of Electives (3 credits each) to be determined in consultation with the Certificate Lead Faculty
  • Practicum/Project (3 credits) which is individually designed by the student in consultation with Practicum Instructor based on his or her interests and goals. This may involve related theory, research, and/or practical application. Several Certificates require the presentation of the Practicum/Project during a Saybrook Residential Conference and/or at-a-distance presentation through video conference platforms such as Go To Meeting or Skype (see Certificate Lead Faculty for more details).
  • Integrative Paper/Seminar (1 credit) which can be a capstone paper, professional poster presentation, or mini-project designed to allow reflection, assessment of progress, integration of experience and academic learning, and forward projection into how one will use these learnings and skills. It also invites a look into other competencies one might still wish to add.


  • Applied Consciousness Studies
  • Arts and Self-Expression for Health and Wellbeing
  • Community Health & Development
  • Complex Trauma & The Health Process
  • Creativity Studies
  • Death, Loss, and Meaning
  • Dream Studies
  • Foundations in Existential-Humanistic Practice
  • International Psychology
  • Multicultural Psychology
  • Organizational Leadership & Transformation
  • Peace & Conflict Resolution
  • Professional Studies in Psychophysiology
  • Socially Engaged Spirituality
  • Stress Management Education
  • Transpersonal Psychology

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