Society of Experiential Trance

~ Society of Experiential Trance ~

the Exclusive Society of Exceptionally Competent Practitioners in the Arts of

Altered States of Consciousness
Focused Trance Thoughtforms

Guided Imagery, Meditation, and
Genuine Experiential Trancework

Qualifications for Becoming
Mentoring Instructors

The Society of Experiential Trance maintains a list of Membership Mentors (Certified Membership Instructors) who are qualified to offer Membership Certification Courses for certain topics and who are qualified to review and examine Live Examinations and Video Examinations for specific topics related to membership qualification for basic membership through Hypnotist Membership Certification and for Specialization Certification.

Currently, Mentors are appointed by the Society based upon demonstrated skill excellence, professional stature, and peer recognition. Since the Society operates as an exclusive community honors society based upon exceptional skill competence, there is no need for a standard Certified Membership Instructor Training program comparable to other organizations which are focused more aggressively upon membership growth rather than community building or competence enhancement so Society mentors are limited in number and are selected from individuals with a proven track record of competence and excellence.

In most cases, Mentors will have been members of the Society for some time and will generally be considered respected members of the hypnosis community and in most cases will have special competence or recognition and experience in their specializations. Exceptions are periodically made in the case of persons of outstanding merit. A few exceptions to this previous membership certification condition are made for individuals who are previously established trainers of renown that the President and the Executive Board consider to be of high caliber and quality who are invited to join the Society directly in the mentor capacity.

Mentors may teach courses on appropriate topics and are authorized by the Society of Experiential Trance to hold Live Examinations as well as to grade Video Examinations for particular subjects. Membership Mentors or Certified Membership Instructors are limited to individuals who are invited by the President or the Executive Board to perform this duty.

Feel free to contact the Society for contact information of a Membership Mentor near you. If there are no mentors near you, then those with previous training and/or experience may wish to take the Video Examination option for membership qualification. Some mentors provide distance education or online training opportunities as well. Check an individual mentor's webpages for more detailed information.

Orientation to Process

The following is a revised for relevance excerpt from a relevant post on the founder's blog (

I received a question via email . . . one that I have received a few times so I thought I'd pass the answer here as well.

In a nutshell, YES, you can become a Mentor or Certified Instructor for the Society of Experiential Trance . . . here's how.

"Dr. Phillips, how can I get the training and Certification to become a Mentor or Certified Instructor for the Society of Experiential Trance. I see you add people sometimes but I can't find requirements on how I can train to be teacher for SET on the webpage or how much it costs."
The reason you can't find the requirements is because there is no formal trainer's training program for the Society of Experiential Trance.

The reason you cannot find the instructor's fees is because we do NOT charge for Mentorships and their membership in the Society is gratis as long as they maintain an active status within the Society which means they fulfill certain training and community-building obligations each review period.

We don't have a train-the-trainer program either as our mentorships are typically granted by peer nomination or by special vetting invitation for certain persons who are considered to have contributed significantly to the community at large and who are considered to have generally respected reputation.

We do wish instructors to do their part in building the membership and in enhancing the Community at large.

I know most professional societies, particularly those specializing in hypnosis, do charge their instructors and most have aggressive instructor recruitment programs. However, we are less concerned about pyramid growth schemes or accelerated membership increases than we are in building a competence-based community and engaging in generally worthwhile community-building programs (most of which are fairly non-partisan in their make up - the Community at and the Hypnosis Technique Exchange at are examples of these sort of efforts as is our peer-reviewed Journal of Experiential Trance at

We have opted for the invitation and gratis mentorship model as part of our open-community model. This is the same model that has led us to make an effort to keep membership fees down so that persons facing economic duress are still able to afford to be part of a formal hypnosis organization without skimping on competence or skill development. At least this is the model we work by at this time..

To maintain a Mentorship, one is required to certify a minimum number of persons per year (either basic Hypnotist Certification or Specialist Certifications are acceptable) with provisions toward conducting certain community-building activities such as contributing to the Journal or conducting a session of the Trance Society Community's free webinar series or other activities.

Here's a Helpful Hint from Hypnotic Heloise . . . before even considering pursuing appointment as a Membership Mentor for the Society of Experiential Trance, it's a very good idea to determine if you're actually qualified and whether or not you are competent in the skillsets required of members . . . so . . . run, don't walk, to the webpages at and check the lists of skillsets required for basic member hypnotist certification as well as the lists for any of the specialties you are interested in teaching. If there is something on the list you are unfamiliar with, then you had best GET FAMILIAR and most importantly GET VERY COMPETENT in those skillsets as that's what you would be expected to teach and vette your own applicants on . . . that means an ability to explain the techniques thoroughly with demonstrations all performed with a high degree of competence from memory (sorry, but if you are unable to work without notes in order to remember an induction or process then you are not what we are looking for) as well as an ability to vette demonstrational skillset examinations by others. This is a very important point . . . most of the required skillsets are pretty straightforward if you have general competence and a solid hypnosis education background. However, there are a few of the skillsets in the basic as well as a number of the specialties that are SET-specific.

As stated earlier, we do not conduct a train-the-trainer type program nor do we seek out new instructors based upon a fee payment. Rather, we do not have an aggressive program of recruitment as we treat the Society more like an honors society devoted to exceptional competence recognition and development than a commercial entity. We do periodically invite new instructors to join us who we know to be competent and who we feel add particular specializations or insights to the mix to strengthen both the general competence and knowledge of members but also add variety to the Society.

New mentorships are typically granted via vetted nomination or are based upon honors invitation. The SET President (that's me, Brian David Phillips), acting with the authority of the private honors advisory board infrequently invites persons of particular standing and competence to join the SET as a Certified Mentor. Additionally, persons who are already Certified Mentors may nominate new mentors. Ideally a nominee will have the endorsement of at least two current instructors before moving forward with vetting. We would rarely take petitions form persons who do not have nominations and in such unusual cases we would be very unlikely to consider someone who did not carry a recognized stellar reputation of some sort with them. Certainly petitioners would be expected to already have qualified for membership and two to three specialization certifications before applying for such consideration (it is rare, but certainly not impossible). Candidates for mentorship should ideally already be members of the SET for at least one year prior to nomination (although this is not a requirement for the exceptional cases) and should be considered highly competent. Along with one's petition, a candidate should normally have the endorsement of at least two current Certified Mentors who are willing to place their reputation behind the candidate's nomination (please do NOT assume folks will vouche for you, get permission and fair indication first as they will be contacted and asked to speak frankly), and the candidate must submit a professional biography of their hypnosis experience along with videos that demonstrate their competence in hypnosis and their competence as a hypnosis trainer. Typically, the video component of the petition would be a submission of material typically in the minimum range of four to eight hours of video of sessions and/or classroom instruction, usually at least twice that for persons who are submitting a petition without invitation or nomination. If you have particular specializations you are interested in offering, it is wise to include video footage related to those specialties as well. No, a single Youtube video is not sufficient. Seriously, if you don't have or won't submit video records of competence or excellence in full session work (complete unedited footage) or instructorship, it is extremely unlikely your petition would be given any reasonable weight or consideration. Please bear in mind that all video submissions for performance or qualification vetting are not returned so never submit your only copy. All submissions are kept in confidence.

Of course, there are a number of factors that go into the advisory board's final decision as to whether or not to accept a petition or nomination for Membership Mentor (Certified Instructorship). Most are based upon competence and specialization and the like in terms of what the board feels the candidate brings to the table with them that would benefit the Society and the community at large along with their competence and instructor experience or aptitude. There are other factors that also come into play such as geographic location and the like. Since the SET does not certify folks merely because they pay a fee and prefers to strive towards a demonstrational competence model for membership and certification, it is important that we accept folks who fit into the inherent assumptions of that model.

So, you see it is very very possible for folks to become Certified Mentors with the Society of Experiential Trance.

Honestly, for competent and experienced candidates, the SET approach to granting new Mentorships is very straightforward and typically very positive in outcome . . . for those who are genuinely qualified. Honestly, we're more than happy to welcome qualified competent instructors into the SET family. The advisory board has leeway in decisions but that's the general process spelled out for you. For persons who are highly skilled and experienced, there are usually no great roadblocks. For those who are less experienced or who have not yet mastered all of the required skillsets, they would be very unlikely to pass the vetting process. Of course, for inexperienced folks or those who have some competence or knowledge issues, we would strongly suggest they work on those issues by going through certification vetting for basic and a few specializations as well before attempting anything like and instructorship petition.

Society of Experiential Trance : Certified Mentors
Society of Experiential Trance
Certified Mentors