Hypnotherapy and Sexual Assault
As I have said to my students for a number of years, there are usually 2-5 cases where a hypnotherapist is accused of sexual impropriety whilst utilising hypnosis. Sadly, this has come to pass again. There is a case of a Scottish man who has been accused of sexual assault. The allegation is that the individual used used lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards a 14-15 year old girl whilst using hypnotherapy.
Now, not commenting on the guilt or innocence of this individual, after all innocence until proved guilty must be the bedrock of our legal system. I am still concerned that this happens, and many times is not reported. Hypnotherapists, like counsellors and psychotherapists are in a position of trust and that trust must be inviolate.
Do people make false allegations, yes, but this is certainly the exception to the rule rather than the rule itself. It is essential that practitioners are in a position to keep a close eye on their behaviour in the consulting room. Clinical supervision is a very good resource for practitioners and, as I have written many times, is an essential practice for the public good. Practitioners need to be aware that what they say and do in session has an impact on what is achieved, this is our responsibility and we need to take it seriously.