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New Haven Register – News – 05/10/2005 – Victims push to regulate hypnotists

Posted Under: Hypnosis Blog

New Haven Register – News – 05/10/2005 – Victims push to regulate hypnotists

In this article we read about a hypnotherapist who was convicted of sexually molesting some of his clients. This is a terrible thing and such situations need to be dealt with harshly. But that not what this blog is about. I’m concerned about the backlash that such incidents may have on our professions. Should we allow such incidents to drive our profession into further regulation?

The challenge for me when I post to this blog is that I want to have a free flow of legitimate communication, including news that relates to hypnosis. So, this article is appropriate to write about. The challenge for me is made more difficult in this case because the story has some misinformation in it. This is especially a problem because there is a tendency for these kinds of stories to get forwarded to other groups without the appropriate responses that need to go along with them that provide a fair view of what actually is going on.

After the article was posted I spoke with Dr. Damon (NGH Pres.) so that I could get a better view of what is really going on here. He told me that he responded to the writer’s questions regarding the statements made by Mr. Boyne, but the writer chose not to enter his responses. I suppose the story was juicier the way he wrote it, and published it.

I personally heard the apology to the NGH issued by Gil Boyne. So, I can’t figure out what he is thinking by making statements like he made in the article? Yes, sure the NGH used to require less than the 100 hours that they require now, but so did just about every other organization at the time. Now the NGH is one of the strongest proponents of minimum training standards and ethics. In fact, there is no one, not an individual or organization that even comes close to doing as much for our profession than does the NGH and its dedicated leadership.

Furthermore the “weekend certifications” of the past are completely irrelevant to the situation, because this individual was not a product of one of those training programs, but rather of the much longer one that is required now.

Besides, what does the number of hours of training have to do with a single individual behaving unethically? Is there anyone who really believes that more training would have made this individual not do what he did? Do they think that person actually thought that what he did was right by any standard of proper behavior? Would he have behaved differently if his certificate said “Registered Hypnotherapist,” or “Licensed Hypnotherapist”?

The issue is not about how much training, but how a particular organization responds to such ethical breaches. This is clearly demonstrated by the many similar cases in the fields of psychology, counseling and medicine over the years. Realistically, although this kind of behavior by anyone is dreadfully wrong, and reprehensible, this kind of thing is going to happen regardless of training or regulation.

Sadly, in the article a woman called “Pam” is reported to have said, “It’s my goal to make sure that no one ever has to go through this.” I’m sorry Pam, but the only way that could ever happen is if all human services were outlawed. This kind of thing has happened in every field in human services, and in each case, the same thing has occurred when those instances occurred, charges were brought, a trial occurred, if the accused was found guilty he or she was sentenced, and they were expelled from the professional organizations of which they were members. And, so it was in this case.

As you can tell, it kind of “sticks in my craw” when someone attacks the NGH, our best and strongest ally in helping us to have our profession recognized by society and the other professions. On this topic, I will give you all an early look at my article in the upcoming Journal of Hypnotism. It is about feeling confident in your training. I am at home as I type this up and the article is at my office. So, I will have to send it out tomorrow.

Well, my best to you all. Be strong! We can make something good come out of this. It really is our choice.

“Chat” with you all later,
Cal Banyan

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