Scope of Practice
Please note that nothing in this course is meant to offer legal advice. Please consult your own attorney in the event of any questions about regulations and laws in your location.
Hypnotherapy is regulated by individual States or Provinces, typically by their Department of Health. Be sure to check with the local governing bodies before opening your practice. Some areas do not regulate the industry at all, and others have strict guidelines.
Hypnotherapy refers to the use of therapeutic techniques to help another person deal with mental, emotional, and behavioral problems or to develop human awareness and potential. A registered or certified hypnotherapist is a person who gets paid for providing hypnotherapy services.
All treatment and sessions must be at the consent of the client. A client’s informed consent is essential before the commencement of any treatment. It is recommended that practitioners obtain a consent form signed by the client at the initial consultation. Three criteria need to be met to validate consent:
- consent must be voluntary
- the client needs to have enough information to make an informed decision
- the client is competent and able to give consent
Consent is essential to explain the nature of any treatment you propose and its likely effects.
Some clients, because of their age, illness, or mental capacity cannot give consent to treatment. In such cases, you must obtain clear written consent from someone authorized to give consent on behalf of the client.
Written permission will be obtained from the client, their parents or guardian, before either recording client sessions or discussing undisguised cases with any person whatsoever.
Relationship with Client
Maintain strict confidentiality about your client and their treatment unless written permission is received from the client, or required by court order to divulge information of a confidential nature, or under legal requirement as to when you suspect abuse, neglect, or violence toward a child or elderly person.
Maintain respect for the religious, political, and social situation and views of any individual irrespective of age, race, color, creed, or gender, and refrain from imposing your own beliefs on a client.
Terminate treatment at the earliest moment consistent with the good care of your client.
If a decision is made to discontinue treating a client, do all in your power to help the client find an alternative source of care.
Conduct yourself in an honorable and courteous manner and with due diligence in relations with your clients and the public. Proper moral conduct must always be paramount in your relations with clients, behaving with respect, courtesy, dignity, discretion, and tact. Maintain an attitude that is professional, competent, empathetic, realistic, and supportive, encouraging a positive outlook and belief in the client’s ability to achieve wellness.
Never state that a hypnotherapist cures. You may describe the possible benefits of these techniques, but outcomes must never be guaranteed.
Before treatment begins, explain fully, either in writing or verbally, all the procedures involved in the treatment, including the consultation process, length of visits, fees for services and products, and your policy regarding missed appointments.
Be considerate concerning fees and justification for treatment, and ensure the client retains complete control over the decision to purchase or work with you. Retain from being judgmental of the client’s choices, maintaining that the client is entitled to refuse treatment, ignore advice, and make their own decisions on health, lifestyle, and money.
No third party, including assistants and members of the client’s family, may be present during the course of the consultation with an adult client without the client’s express consent. However, when working with children, or when it is a matter of safety, you may have a third party in the room or on the premises.
Refrain from using your client’s trust and confidence to:
- exploit your client emotionally, sexually, financially, or in any other way. In the case of any sexual or financial relationship developing with your client or with their immediate family, you must cease to accept fees, terminate treatment, and refer the client to another suitable practitioner at the very earliest opportunity.
- touch the client in any way that may be open to misinterpretation.