Florida Laws Regarding the Practice of Hypnotherapy

Florida Statute, governing and the practice of Therapeutic Hypnosis (Hypnotherapy):

  1. The state of Florida does not govern the study of hypnotherapy, this is an unregulated field
  2. The execution or practice of Therapeutic hypnosis, otherwise known as Hypnotherapy, is governed by the state.

FL Statutes -485.004: When the practice of hypnosis is prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the practice of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes unless such person is a practitioner of one of the healing arts, as herein defined, or acts under the supervision, direction, or prescription, and responsibility of such a person.

Protecting the Practice of Hypnotherapy in Florida – Collier County

As Director of Advanced Hypnotherapy of Naples, and Naples Hypnotherapy Academy, I’m pleased to announce a big victory in the free and open practice of Hypnotherapy.

It was brought to my attention in July of 2012 that Collier County, Florida, has for years had a misinterpretation of Florida law regarding the practice of Therapeutic Hypnosis. They were claiming that hypnotherapy (therapeutic hypnosis) could not be practice unless you were a healing arts practitioner (Physician, Dentist, psychologist, Psychiatrist, etc). Also requiring Hypnotherapists to have a physician sign a sworn affidavit to be responsible for all the Hypnotherapists’ clients, or be responsible to supervise this Hypnotherapist who are in practice.

This is unreasonable to expect a physician to accept this additional liability. This was, however, a misunderstanding of the Florida Hypnosis Statutes that they were enforcing quite diligently. I refused to accept this limitation, on our legal right to practice our occupation and I especially could not allow a trained Hypnotherapist who graduated from a legitimate institution to be refused the right to practice the profession that they were legally trained in.

I contacted the County and explained the statutes governing the practice of hypnosis in Florida. Through multiple talks with the Tax Collector’s Office, I ultimately was able to arrange a meeting with Ms. Carolyn Francis, County Business Office Manager, and Mr. Rob Stonburner, Deputy Tax Collector, I was able to convince them of a new proposal that would satisfy the County’s need to follow the guidelines of the Statute, while satisfying our position that all trained Hypnotist/Hypnotherapist should be free to practice Hypnosis and or Hypnotherapy within the scope of their training within the guidelines stipulated by Florida’s Statute. This was to be brought before the County Attorney and the Department of Health. On Wednesday, September 19th, 2012, I again contacted the Collier County office for a verdict on this matter, which was in the affirmative.

I would like to thank the offices of Collier County for being willing to hear our case, allowing the county attorneys to create and adopt a new form (based on our suggestions), removing the physician’s affidavit requirement, sending it to Tallahassee (state capital) for approval, and taking this matter to a place of resolution.

I have fought hard for the free and open practice of Hypnotherapy based upon the new, accurate and fair interpretation of the Florida Hypnosis Law. I would like to invite every Hypnotherapy practitioner out there to recognize injustice/ misinterpretation in your local law regarding the practice of hypnotherapy and seek to find resolution.

I want to thank Ms. Francis and Mr. Stonburner for their courtesy in hosting this meeting and their professionalism, open-mindedness, and time.

The Florida Hypnosis Statutes require that qualified Hypnotherapists who intend to practice “therapeutic hypnosis” are required to have the prescription, referral, supervision, or direction from the appropriate licensed practitioner of the healing arts. This does not mean that said practitioner must be a physician and that this physician must sign a sworn affidavit saying that he or she will supervise the Hypnotherapist. The new change acknowledges that a Hypnotherapist who is qualified to practice therapeutic hypnosis will sign an affidavit that reads:

“Certify that applicant, requesting a business tax receipt to practice Hypnosis, has knowledge of and will fully comply with applicable law.

The undersigned, _________________________ (Applicant), hereby requests a business tax receipt for the practice

of hypnosis: _________________________ and certified that:

1.Applicant has read and understands Chapter 485, Florida Statutes, also known as the “Hypnosis Law”.

2. Applicant intends to engage in the practice of therapeutic hypnosis.

3.Applicant will not engage in the practice of Hypnosis for therapeutic purposes unless, under the direction, supervision or prescription of practitioners of the healing arts and is trained and qualified in therapeutic Hypnosis “qualified person” (as defined in Chapter 485, Florida Statutes).

4.Applicant will, under penalty of law, abide by Chapter 485, Florida Statutes.

Date__________ Signature of Applicant_______________________”

We here at Advanced Hypnotherapy of Naples and Naples Hypnotherapy Academy are working hard to protect the free practice of hypnotherapy in Collier County. This resolution through hard work will undoubtedly resonate throughout Florida’s cities and counties and may also affect the practice of Hypnotherapy throughout the state and the country. We’d also like to thank Collier County Tax Collector’s Office for allowing practitioners of our occupation to practice Hypnotherapy to the full extent of their training and credentials.