Ethics is the Cornerstone of Good Practice
I hope that this post is not seen as a rant for rant’s sake, but a genuine concern as to the future ethical direction of the hypnotherapy profession. Every organisation has a code of ethics and most make a big deal about how they enforce it rigourously. For many bodies, this is true at least in terms of prosecuting practitioners for professional violations with clients.
Codes are not generally enforced in matters which require a bit more thought. By this I mean, where a violation may well have occurred but the difficulty is to categorise it. An example of this is when practitioners are published giving advice, which is beyond their scope of practice. Or giving a view which is totally outside the therapeutic remit, in that it is more about giving advice than doing therapy. An example of this might be to suggest to an overwieght client to have an affair with a thin person in order to improve their self esteem. Might it? Possibly, but it is NOT THERAPY it is advice giving. Advice which could blow up in the face of both client and therapist.
I have been seeing more and more of this type of pseudo therapy in the newspapers, but also more alarmingly, these practitioners are being given a platform at professional events for therapists. This exposure can damage the organisation through association. I am not criticising innovation here, the profession must move forward. However, ethics must be the compass to any move forward in the profession. Professional bodies would be wise to remember that, for if they do not, they lose their mandate to represent and regulate the profession.