george_the_catThe regulation of hypnotherapists in the UK is so lax that even a cat can become accredited, the BBC has found.

Chris Jackson, presenter of Inside Out in the North East and Cumbria, registered pet George with three industry bodies.

Each one accepted a certificate from the non-existent Society of Certified Advanced Mind Therapists as proof of George’s credentials.

It follows a similar investigation by an American clinical psychologist.

Dr Steve Eichel suspected industry bodies in the US were not running checks on their members.

He said: “I felt I’d test my hypothesis and I did that by getting my cat certified by a number of the most prominent lay hypnosis organisations in the United States. It was a frighteningly simple process.”

In the UK, George was registered with the British Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming (BBNLP), the United Fellowship of Hypnotherapists (UFH) and the Professional Hypnotherapy Practitioner Association (PHPA).

The UFH welcomed the Inside Out investigation and admitted the mistake, which it said has since been corrected.

A PHPA spokesman said the organisation makes great effort to ensure every applicant is a fully-qualified hypnotherapist.

The BBNLP said it exists only to provide benefits to its members, not to check or certify credentials.

Source: BBC News

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One Comment

  1. Hypnotherapy is in desperate need of regulation, I believe these accrediting bodies can appear misleading customers into thinking being a member of one means their customers are protected. These accrediting bodies often tout supervision as a major beneift but the definition of ‘supervision’ worringly varies. It can be anything from one to one coaching; excellent, to a 10 minute telephone conversation per month; where’s the value/is it even needed?.

    For those of us who refuse to join these ‘clubs’ we are unfortunately disadvanatged by public mislead opinion and then it becomes a case of join or be second guessed by your customer. I could create an accredited body right now called “Georges Little Litter Tray of Accredited Hypnotherapist” and Joe Public would be non the wiser (silly example but you know what I mean :P).

    I’m sure there are benefits of being accredited, such as complaints procedures, sharing best practice with your peers and an ethical policy but none of these are exclusive to accrediting body members and should be in place within any practice anyway, accredited or not. There simply is no legal requirement to be accredited and therefore the quality of these accredited bodies is quite rightly brought into question. What is more worring in England is our NHS service relys on accrediting bodies to vet anyone applying to be on the NHS directory, the NHs is a service most people trust.

    For anyone thinking of seeking the help of a hypnotherapist; I would advise going with a friends recommendation first and foremost if possible, check that the therapist is insured (if in doubt ask to see their certificate), always check up on where they have been trained.


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