Examining Your Hypnotherapist's Ethical Responsibilities
Any reputable, professional hypnotherapist holds an ethical responsibility towards every person she treats. But what does this term mean and how does it apply to you? In therapy terms, ethics refers to a code of conduct based on morals — the ability to distinguish between right and wrong — that govern the professional conduct of your therapist.
So, your therapist's ethical responsibility is to ensure that her professional conduct is appropriate when working with you. That means:
- Telling you about their fees and availability in advance.
- Explaining the therapeutic process to you.
- Answering your questions honestly.
- Not prolonging therapy unnecessarily.
- Ensuring that you are as comfortable as possible during the therapy process.
- Showing a professional regard towards other therapists and therapies (for example, not criticizing them!)
- Working within their own level of competence.
- Ensuring the confidentiality of anything that you may tell them.
On top of this, your therapist should show you what is known as unconditional positive regard, which means not being judgmental and accepting you as you are — a complete human being with the normal human problems that affect us all. After all, your therapist is only mortal and is subject to the same pitfalls in life as the rest of us. If you ever have the misfortune of meeting a hypnotherapist who says that they aren't, then walk away quickly, as you have just met a very deluded person. Unfortunately, one or two of them are out there!
Your therapist's professional ethics come from a variety of sources:
- Personal ethics: Derived from her own belief systems and moral values.
- Workplace ethics: Laid down by the powers that be, at any institution from which your therapist works.
- A professional code of conduct: Mandated by any professional society your therapist belongs to. As a condition of membership, your therapist is required to comply with rules governing her conduct in therapy.
If you want to know what your therapist's code of ethics is, just ask her. As a member of a professional body that governs her professional conduct, she should be able to show you the code of ethical conduct she agreed to abide by.
Make sure that your hypnotherapist is a member of a bona fide professional organization. Such a membership means that she's bound to act in a professional way during therapy. It also means that you can use the society's complaints procedure should you have any concerns about your therapist's conduct!