Saturday, 29 October 2011

So now you know there is no regulation...

So now that you know that there is no regulation of hypnotherapy, where do you go from here?  Let's clarify the situation a little more:

The medical profession, in general, does not recognise hypnotherapy.  This is because the medical profession take the view (correctly, in my opinion), that no-one should treat certain medical or psychological conditions using hypnosis unless they are otherwise qualified to treat.  In other words, a psychiatrist, who is qualified to treat psychoses, may elect to use hypnosis as part of his treatment of a patient - but he won't be referring that patient to a hypnotherapist.  He will either be treating the patient himself, or be referring the patient to another doctor, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist to treat the patient.

Hypnotherapy is a generic term for a lay practitioner - in other words, with no medical training.  Hypnotherapy is available for what is termed sub-clinical conditions - eg, stress, milder forms of anxiety, habits.

So, without government regulation, how do you know you are contacting a good hypnotherapist?

Without government regulation, most hypnotherapists are self regulated.  That means that we voluntarily belong to one of many professional registers that exist.  These registers have a set of rules (codes of conduct) that the therapist should adhere to.

This is not the same as, for example, the British Medical Association.  If a general practitioner has a case brought against him, he could be struck off the BMA register, meaning he cannot practice anymore.  If a hypnotherapist is removed from a voluntary register, they could, if they wish, simply carry on working, or join another register.

I am not here to recommend one register over another.  Some registers specialise in certain forms of hypnotherapy, some of the bigger ones have a more general approach.  Some make it clear that certain forms of practice are unacceptable, some don't.  All have a set of general rules, aimed at ensuring that their registrants aim to provide a high level of care and service to the client.

Basically then, you are somewhat safeguarded by looking for a therapist that has a professional registration. Most therapists will show their registration details on their website, business cards and marketing materials.  Most registers have websites where you can read their code of ethics and practice. 

Many of the registers work very hard on behalf of the profession.  There are a few who could claim that they should be the only register.  Unfortunately, while the situation of non-government regulation exists, it is unlikely that there will ever be just one register.

And, while it looks very professional on a website for the practitioner to belong to a register, remember that technically, anyone can set one up.  I could set up a register myself right now if I wished to..

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Let's first of all get a clear understanding of what hypnotherapy is.  Hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy.  I will put this into one of three categories:

Conventional Medicine - Doctors, Surgeons, Consultants, Nursing Staff.  Heavily regulated by the BMA in this country.  The training to become a medic - including a psychiatrist - is very tough and again heavily regulated by government legislation.  Medics have the legal right to diagnose disease and to prescribe drug therapy or other conventional treatments.

Alternative Medicine - offers diagnosis different to conventional medicine, examples are homeopathy, herbal medicine, acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine.  Some of these are regulated by government legislation.

Complementary treatment - can be offered alongside conventional medicine - including hypnotherapy.  Not regulated by government legislation - yes, that's right folks, not regulated.  That means that anyone can advertise their services as a hypnotherapist with zero training, zero experience and zero understanding of the therapy if they so wish.

So, when you are searching for a hypnotherapist, remember that the profession has no legislation attached to it.  Not all hypnotherapists are the same - in fact the training varies widely from very good practical and theoretical training at Diploma level right down to simple correspondence courses.  And once trained, there is no probation period for new therapists.  You could be the first ever client that your hypnotherapist treats when you go to visit them.  If so, they should make you aware of their level of experience, and how many training hours they have had.  If they don't, then ask...

Welcome to my blog..

Welcome to my new blog.  If you have accessed this through my website, you will already know that I am a hypnotherapist and how I work.

I want to give you information about hypnotherapy and hypnosis.  I have worked with a lot of clients, and a great number of students of hypnosis, and I've realised how very difficult it is for anyone to get accurate information if they are looking for a hypnotherapist, and accurate information about what hypnosis can usefully treat.

So, over the next few posts, I aim to not only dispel some myths about hypnosis, but also some misunderstandings about the profession.  Any questions or comments are most welcome.