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About Us


Mission and Vision

The National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute (NPHTI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational corporation with a VISION that children will develop skills to regulate and control their emotions, behavior, and mind-body reactions, and be confident in their capacities.

NPHTI’s MISSION is to be an educational and communication resource for health professionals and parents regarding therapeutic hypnosis to maximize children’s and teens’ resilience and overall well-being.

To accomplish this mission, NPHTI provides a:

  1. Training program in ongoing clinical hypnosis skill development for advanced practice pediatric clinicians to assist children and teens in developing self-regulation, optimizing resilience related to medical and mental health issues and stressful experiences, and maximizing well-being and peak performance.

  2. Resource center for parents and professionals to locate NPHTI-trained clinicians in their area, and to access literature and media resources regarding the most pertinent and current clinical and research information in the field of pediatric hypnosis.

  3. Community for bringing together hypnosis-trained child health clinicians around the globe who share a vision of empowering healthy and ill children through the use of self-hypnosis to foster self-regulation and resilience.

Our History

NPHTI’s Roots

With respect to the history of teaching child hypnosis in the US, the first three-day workshop devoted solely to children was conducted by Gail Gardner, PhD and Karen Olness, MD in Philadelphia in 1976, followed by workshops at annual meetings of the Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH), at meetings of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and the 1979 meeting of the International Society of Hypnosis (ISH) meeting in Melbourne, Australia. Franz Baumann, MD and Josephine Hilgard, PhD joined them in some of the early workshops. Gardner and Olness published the first edition of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy with Children in 1981 (go to Hypnosis Resources for later editions of this seminal text).


The origins of annual 3-day teaching of introductory pediatric hypnosis skills in the United States began in 1987 at the annual meeting of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (SDBP) with a groundbreaking cadre of clinicians-teachers-researchers specializing in developmental-behavioral pediatrics. These trail-blazing experts, Drs. Karen Olness, Daniel Kohen, Candace Erickson, Leora Kuttner, Jud Reaney, and Lonnie Zeltzer, (adding Rev. James Warnke in 1993) taught workshops at various venues for 25 years. During this period, a few more faculty joined (Drs. Melanie Gold, Laurence Sugarman, Pamela Kaiser, and Bob Deutsch) joined later. Intermediate and Advanced workshops were added by 1988 and 1989 respectively to meet the growing needs expressed by pediatric professionals.

NPHTI’s Early Years 

In 2009 the trainings under the auspices of SDBP ceased, as this core faculty decided to formalize our endeavors and launch an educational organization called the National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute (NPHTI = nifty!). Drs. Pamela Kaiser and Dan Kohen stepped forward as co-founders and co-directors of education to build upon a pediatric-specific hypnosis training program.

NPHTI’s #1 goal was to become the premier pediatric-specific hypnosis training organization in North America. Using a three-pronged strategic plan, we designed a cutting-edge curriculum and personalized training for clinicians, while retaining the highly successful format (didactic-demonstration-small group skills practice). To maximize our learners’ learning, memory, and confidence, we turned to current research about social- and adult-learning methods and state-of-the-art techniques for visual presentation. We drew heavily from this knowledge to develop nuanced, precise, child-focused learning beyond what was offered by the four existing professional hypnosis organizations which had a minimal focus on pediatric hypnosis.

Our top priority became experiential learning: over half the training now focusing on hypnosis skills practice. To achieve this goal, our second strategy is a focus on faculty development. Faculty embraced these standards of excellence. Their presentations now feature video clips of hypnosis sessions, large group discussion and exercises, and principles of visual design taught at Stanford University. Across the training levels, content emphasizes developmental differences and weaves in perspectives of self-regulation, Erickson (utilization) and Yapko (discernment) in order to teach learners how to individualize hypnosis goals and strategies.

Marketing is our third strategy to achieve NPHTI’s goal. Given our budget limitations, our faculty contributes time to annually target many professional organizations by sending announcements to listservs, writing newsletter articles, and representing and promoting NPHTI training during their other professional hypnosis teaching endeavors.


NPHTI’s Growth and Impact

The impact of pediatric hypnosis for the world’s children is profound, yet hard to quantify. To date, more than 1000 pediatric clinicians from 15 countries, representing all health professions, have taken their new skill—therapeutic hypnosis—back to their work settings. It is likely that those integrating hypnosis into their daily clinical practice have taught hundreds of thousands of children and teens an exciting and fun new method—using mental imagery—to help themselves strengthen their resilience and well-being.

Enrollment growth is evidence of NPHTI’s rising reputation as the premier educational organization for professionals seeking pediatric-specific hypnosis training.

  • To date, clinicians from over 100 pediatric medical institutions (plus other pediatric settings) around the globe have taken NPHTI’s training back to their patients

  • Total enrollment in NPHTI’s 1st year (102) almost doubled from the previous year (52) under the auspices of a different organization

  • Average registration for the three levels of workshops rose over 10 years

  • Fundamentals Workshop (Introductory) = 83

  • Utilization & Expanded Clinical Applications Workshop (Intermediate) = 31

  • Individualized Consultation Workshop (Advanced) = 4 (This intensive training, limited to 3-6 clinicians with strong skills in pediatric hypnosis, is not taught every year.)

Faculty expansion was essential to meet this flourishing demand. We recruited sixteen additional talented, experienced pediatric clinicians for intensive training in 2012 and 2014, and eight more in 2023, with the intention to supplement our Senior faculty team’s diverse expertise. From six countries (Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Uruguay, and U.S.), these volunteer clinicians demonstrate professional and personal qualities that blend with our philosophy and offer new perspectives and fresh ideas toward ongoing NPHTI’s ongoing evolution.

Ongoing faculty development occurs through collaboration and consultation, as well as by cultivation of leadership and opportunities for broadened teaching expertise. Recognition and appreciation of their individual and collective contributions remains important: our faculty are the heart of our organization. Building on NPHTI’s niche—the only pediatric-specific professional hypnosis training organization in North America—is ongoing. Curricular refinement, as well as updating forms and other materials, is accomplished annually, based in part upon learners’ and faculty feedback.

Other growth projects that address NPHTI’s Vision and Mission include:

  • Growing out of the mandated cancellation/postponement of in-person workshop training in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, NPHTI has developed a monthly webinar training program for clinicians with a training background in Pediatric Hypnosis (or general clinical hypnosis with an interest in Pediatric Hypnosis). Begun in August 2020, and taught by NPHTI Faculty, this program has been very well received and successful.

  • Training expansion: frequency, locations, and formats:

    • Regional workshops: U.S. Children’s hospitals 2016, 2018, and [2020 postponed to 2021 and 2022 due to COVID-19]

    • International workshops: 2020 in Australia (postponed to 2021, 2022, due to COVID-19, and finally presented in 2023)

    • Online monthly webinar series: open to the global community of hypnosis

    • Broadened services for attendees (e.g. free materials, participation certificates)

    • Branding efforts: global visibility, communication, target audience and marketing

    • Clinicians from 15 countries (so far) have completed NPHTI training

  • NPHTI Listserv expansion: over 900 participants

  • Website redesign with emphasis on Communication Hub

  • Plans to add database of clinicians trained in pediatric hypnosis

  • Expanded social media channels

  • Expanded hypnosis resources for professionals and parents

  • Links between websites of professional hypnosis training organizations

Faculty contributions:

  • Leadership roles on various professional organizations

  • Presentations at annual meetings of professional organizations and all hypnosis training organizations

  • Publications in referred journals and textbooks

  • Search for Board member with fundraising expertise

  • Creation of master marketing plan

Organizational improvements and accountability:

  • Diversity, Inclusion, Equity policies & practices

  • Telehealth webinar connections

Our Training Leadership

In 2009, NPHTI’s Co-Founders, Dr. Daniel Kohen, MD, FAAP, ABMH and Dr. Pamela Kaiser, PhD, CPNP, CNS, began the journey to create the only pediatric-specific hypnosis training program in North America. As Co-Directors, Drs. Kaiser and Kohen solicited expert input toward forming NPHTI’s program development and curricular content and format. These Senior Faculty contributed greatly: Karen Olness, MD, FAAP, ABMH; Candace Erickson, MD, MPH, FAAP; Leora Kuttner, PhD; Laurence Sugarman, MD, ABMH, FAAP; Jud Reaney, MD, FAAP, BCB; and Bob Deutsch, PhD.

Additional inaugural faculty invited to join this endeavor included Howard Hall, PhD, PsyD, BCB; Melanie Gold, DO, DABMA, DMQ; Andy Barnes, MD, MPH, FAAP; Tim Culbert MD, FAAP, ABMH, BCB; Rebecca Kajander, MPH, PNP, BSB, CPMHS, Rev. James Warnke, MA, LCSW, MSW and Harriet Kohen, M.A., M.S.W., LICSW, CPT.


In 2016, Drs. Kohen and Kaiser welcomed Bonnie Boucher, HMCC, CMP, with Conference Direct, to join us as the administrative manager and conference coordinator for implementing our annual tri-level training program and our webinar series. In 2019 Ms. Boucher was invited to join the NPHTI Board of Directors.

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