Monday, August 5, 2013

Excuse Me While I Rant

Yes, at the risk of seeming to be an intolerant grumpy old man, I have decided that this blog post will be a RANT. Why? Because I think something needs to be said for the record, and it seems that whilst those of us who are trying to do the right thing by the public, our students, and the field in general sit back and say nothing, then those who have fewer concerns about the wellbeing of others continue to operate with impunity.

So. Here goes…my first rant.

I love this field of Hypnotherapy. It is without doubt my space and people who have known me my whole adult life and seen me transition through different careers have often commented that this is where I belong. It is a field that gives you the opportunity to make a real difference in other people’s lives, to do some good and get a real sense of satisfaction every day.

But, and there is a but, this beautiful field has more than its fair share of problems.

There are essentially two kinds of people that are problematic to the field. The first are well meaning but ineffectual people who don’t invest sufficiently in their training to be out there messing with people’s heads. They make claims of effectiveness that their skills and their results simply don’t support. They are often delusional about what they can do because they are caught up in their own magical thinking of the unconscious mind. (this will be the subject of the next rant) They cause problems because people go to them seeking help and sometimes come out worse off. Because most people have what is referred to as a global cognitive style, instead of deciding that that particular therapist was not good, they make the larger assumption that hypnosis doesn’t work. This can leave people with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Many then suffer on for years before they try therapy again.

The second group is far more insidious.  It is the group of hypnosis trainers and practitioners who knowingly make false claims for their own financial gain. They overstate qualifications and expected outcomes. Creative marketing abounds in this field. I am the director of a training organisation called the Australian Institutue of Clinical Hypnotherapy, and we run a non government accredited training that is accepted nationally by all of the professional bodies, insurance companies and the Health Funds, and is even endorsed by world leaders in the field. However, as a Hypnosis training school we have been on the receiving end of a host of false claims being made by some government accredited schools.

We have been told by many prospective students that these schools have been peddling the false claims that unless you get a fully government accredited training you won’t be able to practice in this country or receive health fund rebates. These scare tactics seem to be the only way they can combat what we offer, which is from all the feedback we get, clearly a superior training. People often struggle to make  sensible choices when they fear that training with us will be rendered useless once they graduate.
Moreover, these claims are also a straight up lie !!!
We have never complained about it. We recognise the desperation inherent in these negative tactics, but it seems that others in the profession have also become concerned about this “misinformation”. 

In a recent open letter to the profession, Margaret Kelly, the President of the HCA (the Peak body for Hypnotherapy) had these strong words to say,

“The HCA National Board, as well as a number of the HCA Entities, are receiving complaints about the conduct of some organisations. Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) legislation makes it quite clear that you must not mislead or deceive, or be likely to mislead or deceive, about your services or products (also see reference in the Handbook of Ethical Practice Version 10d).
We have several complaints that members of the public are still being told:
1. That this profession will be regulated by the Government in the next 12-18 months
2. That only those trained with a Government RTO qualification will be able to offer any Private Health Insurance rebates from any Health Fund to their clients.

This is misleading information, and this misunderstanding needs to stop before the ACCC steps in.  When a member of the public makes enquiries, whether about which association to join, what they are allowed or not allowed to do, or what course they should study, please understand, they usually contact more than one organisation, and these days ask lots of questions. So frequently the “misunderstandings” become quite apparent, and only reflect poorly on those whose communication should be better.”

I could not agree with her more!!!!

If you are looking to study Hypnosis, do your homework, and then come and talk to us at the Australian Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy


  1. Finally! Someone said something about it! I could not agree more with you, Gordon!

    If you have another good rant, you're excused to rant again! :)

  2. Many thanks Gordon for a very well presented 'rant'.
    The unfortunate misrepresentations from some sectors of the profession do nothing to assist integration, growth or consistency in supporting effective therapeutic outcomes for clients.
    The issues of both entitlement to practice, and clients' capacity to receive health fund rebates, are important and your clarification is both timely and welcomed.
    Thanks again!
    George Owen

  3. This post is great. Thank you for this post. I like this kind of people who share their knowledge with others.
    Health Fund Rebates