"To cross the bridge of unlimited
possibilities and find your true reality"
Board Of Hypnotherapy and Ethics
What is the
International Board of Hypnotherapy?
As an ever-increasing body of research lends greater scientific credence to the
use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy to assist patients in accelerating their
healing, controlling pain and facilitating recovery from medical procedures,
more and more patients and medical professionals are looking for ways to
incorporate these benefits in the health plans they are designing. Yet, with no
governmental oversight, and a broad variance in training and even the theory
behind the practice of hypnosis and hypnotherapy, a caveat emptor approach to a
field that has long been misrepresented by the media makes hypnotherapy seem
unapproachable to many patients and healthcare providers.
IBH exists to regulate and maintain a demonstrated level of professional
training, ability, reliability and ethics in the hypnotherapy community, so that
healthcare providers and their patients can make use of the power of the
subconscious mind with the guidance of competent professionals who know how to
work with the healthcare system.
IBH CODE OF
Hypnotherapists help people use their
own inner resources to improve the quality of their lives. Hypnotherapists are
committed to the service of life, which includes health and wellbeing - the
actualization of human potential. Hypnotherapists, therefore, take on the role
of practitioner of hypnotherapy, life skills and achievement coach and educator.
The International Board of Hypnotherapy bases its Code of Ethics on the
fundamental principles of the Clinical Hypnotherapy profession, which embraces
the uniqueness, worth, dignity and equal rights of all human beings.
The International Board of Hypnotherapy requires all of its members to conduct
their profession according to the following ethical principles.
The Member's Ethical Responsibility To Clients
The member's main responsibility
is the client's safety and welfare. They are to respect the client's mental
and physical well-being at all times.
The members are not to practice
any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic culture, age, sexual
orientation, gender, marital status, religion, national origin, political
belief, physical handicap, or any other characteristic or personal
The members are to uphold a
professional relationship with clients, and not engage in physical abuse,
hugging or touching in an erotic way or any other sexual activities.
are to seek advice of colleagues,
mentors and supervisors whenever the consultation is in the best interest of
In compliance with HIPAA regulations, the members are to respect the privacy
of clients and hold in confidence information acquired during the course of
professional service. Also, members are to inform clients fully about the
limits of confidentiality. The limits on confidentiality are provided to the
client in writing prior to entering into a client-therapist relationship.
Client notes are to be kept in a locked file cabinet, if using a computer,
notes are to be password protected, and computer stored behind a locked
door. If any form of email is used, client must give writen permission.
Communication via voice mail is to be limited to scheduling appointments
only, and only with client's approval.
The members are to obtain consent
of clients before audio or video recording or permitting others to be
present during their sessions or activities.
The members are to practice
hypnotherapy services in accordance with the level of their training,
competency and respecting the laws of their state.
Members are to inform clients of
what to expect during sessions, so that they can make an informed decision
as to whether they consent to participate.
Members are to work with only
those clients that fall within their scope of practice.
Members are not to have any
intimate social contact with a client for at least two years after their
last session with the client.
Continuing education keeps
practitioners informed of the latest developments in the field of
hypnotherapy and reduces unethical behavior. Thirty hours of continuing
education is required per two-year re-certification period.
Members fully disclose their
educational qualifications and professional credentials and certifications
to their clients in writing on their client intake forms.
Members agree not to use wording
in the title of their business or any other promotional materials that could
mislead the public.
Members agree to be accurate in
their description of their services, business name, and work place, so not
to imply in their advertising and marketing communications that their hypnotherapy
services are in any way the practice of medicine, psychotherapy or that they
are licensed to practice hypnotherapy.
Members agree to be truthful in
advertising and marketing communications. Also, members agree that
they will not in any way state or imply in their advertising and marketing
communications that they provide medical or psychotherapy services if they
are not licensed by their state board of regulation to do so. Members
agree that Hypnotherapy will not be offered as a substitute for medical or
mental health treatment. Hypnotherapy sessions are provided as a complement
or adjunct to medical and mental health treatment only with a licensed
physician or therapist's consent or referral.
Members agree that as a
hypnotherapist they will not use the following words in any of their
promotional materials or marketing communications, such as websites, print
brochures, newsletters, business cards, etc.: "psychologist,"
"psychotherapist," "psychotherapy," "psychological," "counseling,"
"therapist," "medical hypnotist," "licensed hypnotherapist," "doctor of
hypnotherapy," "treatment," "treatment of ..." any mental disorders or
mental health conditions or medical ailment, this includes but is not
limited to "anxiety," "addiction," "insomnia," " depression," "trauma,"
"eating disorder," and other words like: "cure," "clinic," "patient,"
"alternative." Again, members agree not to imply that they are practicing
psychotherapy or medicine, unless they are licensed by the state they
practice in to do so.
Members agree that clients should
seek the appropriate and highest level of care and that members will be
reasonable in their practice of hypnotherapy. Members agree not to provide
hypnotherapy services if a client's behavior, or statements, would lead a
reasonable person to believe that such a client should be assessed by a
licensed physican or mental health professional. (If already licensed by a
board of regulation, for example as a therapist, psychologist, clinical
social worker, or physician, and you also provide hypnotherapy services,
elements of #16 and #17 may not pertain.)
Members understand that their
hypnotherapy school training prepared them for certification by the
International Board of Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a "non-licensed"
profession. Licensing of a professional group can only be authorized when a
law is passed by a state legislature and then implemented by a state
regulatory agency. They will not use the words "affiliated," "licensed" or
"approved" by the IBH. Members may refer to themselves as "certified" by the
IBH or that they are "member" of the IBH, or if they have achieved level 3
certification status, "fellow" of the IBH.
The members are to set their fees in a fair and reasonable manner.
The members are not to
give any kind of economic compensation for
receiving or making a referral, i.e., "finders fees" or cash "kickbacks"
(including multilevel marketing type of compensation) for clients or seminar
Prior to conducting sessions, members disclose their fees, what types of
methods will be used and what the client can generally expect to experience
with the methods described.
are to provide clients with the IBH
refund policy and client complaint mechanism in writing.
The Member's Ethical Responsibility
Whenever dealing with unusual or
difficult cases, ethical conduct concerns or other dilemmas related to their
practice, members are to seek the advice of other Board members.
The members are to treat
colleagues with respect and professional decorum, during all interactions,
including but not limited to phone conversations, email and social media.
Negative comments, judgemental language, speculation and gossip will result
in revocation of certification.
The members are to respect
confidences shared by colleagues in the process of their professional
are not to exploit a dispute between
a colleague and employer to obtain a position in a company.
The members are to seek the mediation of a superior or administrator when
conflicts with colleagues arise to reach appropriate and equatable
The members are to relate to
clients of colleagues in a professional manner.
The members are not to solicit
the clients of colleagues.
The Member's Ethical Responsibility
to the Hypnotherapy Profession
The members are to maintain high
ethical standards of behavior to protect their profession.
The members are to take actions
to correct all unprofessional and unethical practices.
The members are to
always be honest about the origin of their
professional degrees, education, certifications or other qualifications.
are to advertise thier professional
services with honesty and good faith. They are to insure that all of their
marketing and promotional materials are truthful and realistic. Members
acknowledge that medical support hypnotherapy sessions are provided as a
complement or adjunct to medical and mental health treatment and only with a
licensed physician or therapist's consent or referral.
Members are committed to their own personal growth, continuing education,
and actively pursue self-actualization.
The members agree to conduct
their practices and all professional relationships in accordance with the
International Board of Hypntotherapy Code of Ethics.
Claim of Unethical Behavior
After the Board has received via
U.S. mail, a written complaint, signed by the complainant, an ethics
committee will be convened to review the complaint. If there is reasonable
merit to the written complaint, the ethics committee will form a quorum to
receive testimony from all involved parties. After the complaint and
response to the complaint are reviewed by the quorum and it has reached its
decision, it will issue a report, then the parties will have 30 days to
respond to the quorum's findings. A failure by the member to respond to the
complaint within the alloted time will not prevent the quorum from taking
Actions the quorum may
recommend include: 1) dismissal of the claim, 2) written warning, 3) request
requiring actions by the respondent to correct unethical/unprofessional conduct
in a reasonable amount of time, 4) suspension or 5) revocation of membership.
After doing so, the ethics committee will submit its recommendations to the
Hypnotherapy is an educational and self-improvement process that facilitates
access to a person's internal resources to assist him/her in solving problems,
increasing motivation, or altering behavior patterns to create positive change.
Hypnotherapy is not a substitute for medical treatment or psychotherapy. Barbara
Stafford and Amy Haile do not practice medicine or psychotherapy and their services are
not a replacement for counseling,
psychotherapy, psychiatric or medical treatment. No service or product provided
is intended to diagnose or treat any disease or illness, psychological or mental
health condition. Medical support hypnotherapy is used
only as an adjunct to conventional
medical treatment. Consultation with a licensed physician is required before
medical support hypnotherapy services are provided.
Hypnotherapy is a
proven, adjunctive method to complement such ongoing treatment and care. Because
hypnosis and hypnotherapy are a series of self-help skills and their
effectiveness depends on the client, no guarantee can be made regarding results
of their use.