There are many ways to get information from a witness or victim, but what do you do if a witness or victim has buried their experiences in their subconscious? Hypnotism is one method used in courtrooms across the country to discover reliable testimony from witnesses. If you want to go into forensic hypnotism, you should be ready to delve into criminal justice law and master many different hypnosis techniques.
If you would like to apply hypnosis to help solve crimes, contact the schools in our directory to learn more about this interesting area of criminal justice!
Forensic Hypnotist Job Description
Generally, forensic hypnosis is used to recover memories or specific details of events. When a crime happens, people around take in all sorts of information: sights, sounds, smells, and more. However, minor details may often be forgotten as the brain tries to process an overwhelming amount of information. Those minor details can be the key to solving a crime, especially if a victim can remember a license plate number, a suspect's tattoo, or another identifying characteristic.
You may need quite a bit of training if you want to get involved in this field. Forensic hypnotism is still a relatively new field that isn't utilized in all parts of the country, so you may have to travel a bit to find a school that gives you training in this area. In addition, job openings may be limited to large or progressive police departments.
How to Become a Forensic Hypnotist
If you want to use hypnosis to help solve crimes and bring peace to victims, you'll need quite a bit of extensive training. To start, you may want to get a degree in criminal justice. Even if you only want to work in hypnosis, it's likely that you'll be hired as a police officer, investigator, or crime scene technician first. From there, you can use your forensic hypnotism skills to begin making a name for yourself and prove your skills to your employer. As courts find more uses for forensic hypnotism, you may be able to spend more and more of your time on hypnosis cases.
Before you can study hypnotism techniques as they relate to forensic cases, you need a basic grasp of hypnotism. You can look into taking basic hypnotism courses through a local community college or a training seminar.
Once you have perfected your basic hypnosis abilities, you need to find a specialized forensic hypnosis course. There are some courses that you can take via video training, as well as those that have an in-person component. Your curriculum may cover a huge variety of hypnosis skills. You may start with basic subjects like the background of forensic hypnosis, the steps you must take during a forensic hypnosis session, and how sessions must be recorded for legal usage.
More advanced courses in your forensic hypnosis program may include Forensic Discovery for Therapy, Information Retrieval Techniques, Post-Hypnotic Suggestions, Legal Precedents of Forensic Hypnosis, and Composite Drawing in Forensic Hypnosis.
Though there are no certification requirements for forensic hypnotists, you may need to complete courses that are approved by your employer. That's why it can be helpful to get started in criminal justice before studying hypnosis. Getting employed by a law enforcement agency may allow you to get your education paid for and ensure that you choose an approved course of study.
Forensic Hypnotist Salary and Career Outlook
Due to the highly specialized nature of this job, there is little information available on how many forensic hypnotists there are, how much money they earn, and what the job outlook is like. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that forensic science technicians earn an average salary of $57,850 as of May 2017.
In certain parts of the country, forensic science technicians may earn higher salaries. In New York, forensic science technicians earn an average of $68,510 per year. California forensic science technicians claim an average income of $82,650. In other areas, salaries are lower; in Texas, the average salary is $52,420 per year.
The BLS indicates that job growth for this field is high and, forensic hypnosis is gaining credibility and popularity throughout the country. As more courts and law enforcement agencies begin using forensic hypnosis to improve crime solving rates, the job outlook for forensic hypnotists should continue to improve.
Paul Kincade, a forensic hypnotist that works in Nevada, notes that forensic hypnosis is a field that can really contribute to the field of criminal justice. As a deputy sheriff, he used his hypnosis skills to solve dozens of cases. Hypnosis allowed people to pick attackers out of a lineup, remember a vehicle's license plate, and identify an arson suspect. The testimony and evidence you collect may be used in conjunction with physical evidence.
You can plan on spending lots of time with crime victims and witnesses. You may work in court rooms, police departments, or other law enforcement agencies. It's crucial to have a calming presence, since much of your work day may be spent with people who are traumatized as the result of violent crime. In addition, you must feel comfortable with law enforcement standards and laws. Unintentionally guiding a person's testimony or placing images in their mind may lead their entire testimony to be discounted.
Since forensic hypnosis is not used in every case or even at every police department, you may have to travel to other agencies in the area. This may mean working with lots of different people and becoming familiar with different laws and regulations. This way, you can put your skills to use to help as many people as possible.
If you want to learn how you can work as a forensic hypnotist, contact the criminal justice schools in our complete directory to learn more today!
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