Successive Governments over many years have consistently decided that there should be no statutory (i.e compulsory) regulation for hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapists thus have a great deal of freedom in practice, although the majority today belong to professional associations which are interested in standards, training, ethics, welfare and complaints.
There have been various voluntary register schemes for hypnotherapy and attempts to maintain or improve standards. The Society has been represented at numerous meetings over the years including at the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, Skills For Health, title="Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council">CNHC, Department of Health, and others. We co-founded the Working Group for Hypnotherapy Regulation and were central to the establishment of National Occupational Standards. We have a cooperation agreement with the Royal Society for Public Health.
While acknowledging that some hypnotherapists work within the complementary therapy field, the Society’s official position is that the regulation of hypnotherapy should treat the profession as a part of psychotherapy and counselling. Without a hypnotherapist having a knowledge of psychotherapeutic or counselling practice, skills, development, ethics, boundaries and diagnostic skills, there could be the potential for an increased risk to public health due to a lack of knowledge of mental or emotional illness. We therefore campaign for hypnotherapy to be seen, not in isolation, but as a form of psychotherapy and counselling.
Only then will hypnotherapy be treated as seriously as it deserves, and the standards of the profession reach the heights they deserve.