Friday, 23 July 2010

Hypnotherapy Regulation (and Correspondence Courses)

From the Hypnosis Technique Exchange group on Yahoo!

Re: Distance Learning

How does one qualify to "certify" a student in hypnotherapy?

Dr Jane Fitch
Charlotte, NC


Dear Jane

I can only speak for the situation here in the UK.

No qualifications are really worth anything.

The basic model is a three phase training where passing the certificate qualifies you to pay for the diploma, and passing the diploma qualifies you to pay for the practitioner diploma. Thus the various certificates are really only evidence of ones ability to pay the course fees. Very few people ever fail.

The sanctioning bodies are usually reincarnations of the teaching bodies. Fundamentally it works like this:

Eric is made redundant and reads an advertisement telling him he can have a lucrative career and earn a shed-load of money working two days a week as a hypnotherapist. He submits himself to 'rigorous pre-acceptance scrutiny' and hands over his plastic.

A few weekends later he has a bunch of photocopied notes and a certificate as a hypnotherapist. Feeling good about himself (and wanting to do Smoking Cessation) he signs up for the diploma. A dozen weekends later he does an exam with questions like "Is nail biting a) just a habit, or 
b) a symptom of some underlying neurosis?"

During the 12 weekends he has had plenty of practical sessions where he has told people to close their eyes and that they are hypnotised, and they have closed their eyes. He now has a diploma in hypnotherapy. He has never, yet, hypnotised anyone but Eric believes he's cracked it. He gladly hands over the last of his redundancy money to do the practitioner course and starts thinking about office space.

Half a dozen weekends later he's a fully qualified practitioner with a lot of photocopied notes and three receipts; oops, I mean certificates. He still hasn't hypnotised anyone (but lots of people have closed their eyes for him).

Three months later he is nearly destitute having seen hardly any patients and those he has seen have a) all questioned whether they were really hypnotised and b) not come back.

Unable to make a living as a hypnotherapist (because he isn't) he realises he can do much better teaching hypnotherapy. He re-photocopies his training notes on his own letterhead, hires a school room for the weekend and sells 20 courses of four weekends at £250 each from The European Academy of Clinical Hypnosis (TEACH).

In order to validate his courses, he forms the World Office for Regulation of Therapeutic Hypnosis (WORTH) and, henceforth, all TEACH courses are WORTH approved.

But it's all smoke and mirrors.

Eric teaches the same stuff he didn't understand or couldn't do to an endless stream of other well-meaning people. Most of them fall by the wayside but one or two take their notes, re-copy them and - with the best will in the world, or not - dupe the next generation.

I saw a course advertised here recently. One day. £95. Gastric Band Hypnotherapy. At the end of the day attendees will receive a 'Certificate in Advanced Eating Disorders'. Aaaargh!

Hypnotherapy could seek statutory regulation whereby only hypnotherapists who had passed approved courses given by approved institutions could call themselves hypnotherapists, but the existing regulatory bodies (all WORTHs) preferred to pursue the path of voluntary regulation. Why? Because they are all WORTHs with their own little empires and their own income streams. Turkeys, Christmas &c.

And that's the scene for face to face training. Correspondence courses have all the same issues plus the problems of being correspondence courses.

Best wishes

Barry Thain


Hi Barry

That was so perfect!  LOL.. and so true!  thank you.


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