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The welfare of the client is the primary concern of the therapist. It should only
take second place if not to do so would seriously jeopardise other members of the
public or the therapist’s welfare.
Confidentiality is to be maintained in all but the most exceptional circumstances.
These can only include: legal action (criminal or civil court cases where a court
order is made demanding disclosure -<wbr> includes coroner’s courts) and where there is good cause to believe that not to disclose would cause danger of serious harm to others. Most standards of confidentiality applied in professional contexts are based on the Common Law concept of confidentiality where the duty to keep confidence is measured against the concept of “greater good”. A stronger form as advocated, may be provided by the use of a written contract containing a confidentiality clause.
The sharing of anonymous case histories with supervisors and peer-<wbr>support groups is not a breach of professional confidentiality. The sharing of open case histories with supervisors is also not a breach. Feedback to referring medical practitioners can take the form of general comments as to progress; specific details should be kept confidential.
Hypnotherapists will only offer services in areas in which they have demonstrated their competence, to the agreed UKCHO level. They have a responsibility to provide the client with the best possible service available event o the extent of onwards referral to another therapist or medical practitioner that may offer such a service.
Hypnotherapists are required to maintain or improve their level of skills and professional competence by:
a. undertaking formal continuing training, by attending workshops, courses and seminars, of an UKCHO approved standard, AND
b. sharing of experiences and exploring such with supervisors/peer-support groups.
They should also maintain an awareness of research and developments in the field of Hypnotherapy and other linked fields.
All exploitation is abuse!!
Hypnotherapists shall not behave in any manner that shall give rise to the exploitation of a client. They shall not enter into any other relationship, outside the professional/therapeutic relationship, while treating a client. They shall make their charges known to the client before therapy is commenced. They shall terminate therapy at the earliest time, commensurate with the good care and continuing welfare of the client. They shall not accept any inappropriate gifts, gratuities or favours from a client. Should at any time a relationship, other than as described above, develop between a client and therapist, then the client shall be referred on to another competent therapist, at the earliest time commensurate with the welfare of the client and in any case, no further fees shall be taken.
Advertising, no matter in what form or medium it is placed, shall represent a true picture of the hypnotherapist, their skill base, qualifications, facilities and any benefits that may be expected from hypnosis and shall conform to current Advertising Law.
Hypnotherapists shall not behave in any manner, within or outside the context of therapy, that would undermine the public’s confidence in the profession or bring the profession into disrepute. This includes a failure to act appropriately when they become aware of another therapist’s unethical activity, improper use of hypnosis, criminal conviction, misbehaviour towards other Health or Social Care professionals, discrimination on the basis of ethnic or sexual factors or anything that is the subject of any civil judgement regarding neglect of duty of care. They are obliged to advise clients of appropriate avenues of complaint.
The NCH, in the clause regarding bringing the profession into disrepute, also considers it to be a breach of the code to bring the NCH into disrepute. Ways that members can bring the NCH into disrepute are:
1. Utilising their NCH Membership for purposes not sanctioned or approved by the NCH
2. Failure to show a fellow member of the NCH the respect and courtesy owed him/her
3. Acting in a manner either professionally or privately that would bring the NCH into disrepute.
In practise members agree to the following:
1. Professional Indemnity Insurance.
This is a prerequisite for any Hypnotherapist to practice and must be maintained by the practitioner. It is recommended that it should be an agreed adequate minimum cover.
2. Relationship with the NCH
Hypnotherapists shall keep the NCH informed of:
a. changes to personal details, eg. name, address, phone number, practise name etc.
b. changes to qualifications, including lapses of time limited certification and ongoing training / development.
c. any criminal (ie crimes against society, the person and property, excluding motor offences except those including alcohol, personal safety and failure to have the correct documentation) or civil judgements
d. business associations with any other body from which conflict with their membership of the NCH may arise.
They should also respect all other medical / health-care professionals’ status and the boundaries of their professional remit.
3. Supervision / Peer Support.
The Hypnotherapists of licentiate level of membership shall at all times:
a. be supervised by a practitioner suitably qualified in supervision*
b. Hypnotherapists of registered or accredited level of membership shall at all times:
c. be supervised AND/OR
d. be an active member of a peer support group.
The Hypnotherapist should also be prepared to share information necessary for the continuing treatment of clients by other health-care professionals, where there is an overlap or hand on of care. This should not be a reason to dilute the standards of confidentiality.
4. Provision of a Contract
All therapy is undertaken as a result of a contract between the client and the therapist. It is preferable that this should not be a verbal contract which is loose and open to abuse and misinterpretation or dispute. It should preferably be a written contract. Such a contract should include statements of cost per session or whole course of therapy, confidentiality, the client’s right of access to the complaints procedure of the NCH and the fact that there can be no guarantee of a ‘cure’. The inclusion of a clause that defines the scope of confidentiality, within therapy raises it from a Common Law duty to Contractual Limitation and duty to deliver. (Thus it becomes easier for all parties to understand their rights and duties within the therapeutic relationship and lowers any risk of abuse or misunderstanding.)
5. Maintenance of Records/Notes and Recording Sessions.
It is recommended that case notes must be maintained to include personal details, history, definition of the presenting issue, program of therapy (as agreed between client and therapist) and a copy of the contract, as well as session/progress notes. These should be maintained as hard copy and any use of computer records should be with the client’s agreement and within the terms of the Data Protection Act. Audio and video recording (with time coded tracking) of sessions are a safeguard to all parties in respect of abuse and false allegations of such, as well as being an aid to recording the process of therapy. As such it would be preferable that they become a routine procedure and must be disclosed to clients and carried out with their advised consent.
6. Workplace/Consulting Rooms
Facilities should be provided within guidelines as agreed between the NCH and UKCHO for such standards, when operating from permanent premises. These shall include any consulting room, used for the purposes of consulting with or conducting therapy, with any client, along with any reception or waiting areas associated with such rooms.
7. Display of Credentials
Only valid qualifications and certificates issued in respect of relevant courses or training events or certificates of registration/accreditation as issued by professional governing bodies may be displayed. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE TESTIMONIALS OF ANY FORM.
All Hypnotherapists are subject to and amenable to the Complaints and Discipline procedures of the Council. They shall also make all clients aware of their rights of access to such procedures.