Clinical Boundaries and Good Practice
As I thought about what to write about this morning, I came across an article in which a hypnotherapist told clients with depression to cease taking their medication and instead use hypnosis and natural remedies. I admit to being relieved that this episode happened in Quebec and not here in the UK.
Some many be surprised to learn that many clients ask their hypnotherapist or psychotherapist to help them to come off their medication as they no longer wish to take it. Of course, if the client’s GP is on board, hypnotherapy in some cases, can help people to come off anti-depressants and sleeping pills. However, it is never appropriate for the therapist to suggest that a client comes off their medication (Unless, of course, the hypnotherapist is also a physician).
There are therapists in the world who have an over inflated opinion of their clinical competence. Physicians go to school for years to learn their craft, whilst most hypnotherapists (In the UK at least) undertake 450 hours of training. I think we can all agree that this does not qualify a hypnotherapist to give medical advice.
Often when boundaries are breached by therapists it is done with genuine good intentions, however, an ethical therapist must always ensure that they are acting within their scope of competence and training in order to ensure the best interests of the client, no matter what their personal feelings might be.