The Voice Sounds Authentic - but is the training?

By Amreeta Aujayeb BA (Hons), MA, D. Hyp, BSCH (Assoc.)

As a hypnotherapist I have the opportunity to witnesses the beneficial effects of a well-trained voice and therapeutic approach on a number of clients each day. I'm growing more confident that Clinical Hypnotherapy will soon have its righfull place in the psychological field. I have no doubts about this but I do have some fears that I wish to draw attention to immediately!

My major concern is about those “untrained” (as two of my clients have called them!) hypnotists who seem careless to the fact that they may bring our profession in to disrepute. I do not think our main focus should be only on the recognition of hypnotherapy as a valid, solid, scientific form of treatment. I believe we should make a very real effort to force those who are using these 'two to four day training courses' from calling themselves “Clinical Hypnotherapists” and thereby prevent them from misusing the name of the profession. When you type “hypnotherapy courses “ on the internet you are flooded with so many tantalising promises of taking your life in charge as well as those of others with Hypnosis diplomas within days that the offer is almost irresistible; the market is there, many people are vulnerable and needy and the predators are lurking!

As Professionals our reputations can suffer both at personal and national levels; but the first ones to suffer are the patients. Let me tell you about the experiences of some of my clients: one lady told me what happened when she had treatment for her fear of spiders: she was poked constantly in the ribs while being given suggestions to 'let go of her fears'. All she could experience and visualise was the actual legs of the spiders crawling and poking along her ribs!!

Another client tells me about this “untrained” person who claimed to be trained who hypnotised her but seemed uncertain of how to proceed once she was in trance, or how to bring her out of it. The result was that for a long time afterwards she could feel a peculiar haunting presence around her.

As a Clinical Hypnotherapist it took me so much time and patience to build up the trust and eliminate the fears these clients had of going through similar experiences again; it took time for them to understand and differentiate therapeutic and ethical approaches from slipshod and shady practices.

I shiver to think that the same power of the mind that we help our clients to use constructively is being manipulated or misused by “untrained” persons out there or should I say “not properly” trained. One simply cannot learn how to safely and effectively treat someone with hypnosis in a couple of days...

So I would like, during this Hypnotherapy Awareness week to draw the attention of the authorities and registered organisations on whom we depend for the credibility of our profession to wage war not only for the recognition of our form of therapy but also in the elimination of invalid and incomplete forms of training.

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