Is hypnotherapy about to be regulated?
We get lots of callers every week inquiring about hypnotherapy training and interest in our courses. We get asked a variety of questions from people with no knowledge of it, through to those who have experienced in it and even trained before in it.
One of the questions that sometimes comes up is what happens when hypnotherapy is regulated, will I have to retrain when this happens?
The presupposition here is that regulation will happen. Just because we know other industries have been regulated, e.g., acupuncture, there is definitely nothing on the cards that hypnotherapy will ever head that way again. Indeed, regulation was tried and reversed in Australia.
There are always pros and cons for regulating an industry and the main reason is for public protection. Currently, anyone can set up a school in hypnotherapy and offer a weekend or two of training to people with no prior knowledge or experience of being a therapist, to be certified practitioners of hypnotherapy. Will they gain professional body registration/approval? Definitely not! However, the public isn't always aware, or ask, whether a practitioner is registered or the course they have done has been approved by any professional association. So work to educate the public is what's required so they diligently make an informed decision about the people they see for therapy.
Some unethical schools however are putting out misinformation that regulation is around the corner. The AHA (the largest and oldest hypnotherapy association in Australia), has not been informed of anything of the sort and has confirmed this for us in writing. Anyone looking to train in hypnotherapy would be well advised to ask the offending school for hard evidence, in writing.
Other schools claim that only their courses would guarantee the future of a hypnotherapist if regulation were to occur. No school could make this claim because no one knows what regulation would look like or what any new course requirements would be!
Also, in the therapeutic world, 'grandfathering' rights are often given to people who have already qualified. Alternatively, they are given time to add to their training to make up for any shortfall. Again, asking the school claiming this for hard evidence, in writing, and all will become apparent.
A further untruth is that only their course will allow the student to obtain a Health Provider Number for clients to claim on their private medical cover. Most validated courses lead to this status. Some claim that insurance companies won't recognise other courses. At the time of writing, according to one of our validating associations, only one insurance provider, out of hundreds, has any interest in particular schools or courses.
In fact, sadly, most insurance companies don't cover hypnotherapy. Of those that do, they only cover a small number of presenting issues. And of those few presenting issues, most insurance companies only pay a very small proportion of the costs anyway! The truth, then, is that this provider number means less in practice than people often think. Again, ask for hard evidence in writing.
If any hypnotherapy school does send any wild claims, please do forward it to their validating professional association (if they have one) and complain.