Should Cognitive Hypnotherapy be regulated?

Should Cognitive Hypnotherapy be regulated along with other therapies?

You may be aware of the big hoo-ha this week about the need to regulate therapy.

The problem is that anyone can call themselves a therapist, but not knowing what they’re doing, they can cause more harm than good.

The call is for a regulating body to examine the industry in sufficient detail to eventually make sure that the public knows what they’re getting and can rely on the standard of service.

That’s something of a no-brainer isn’t it?

And will benefit people like me, because having been regulated, doctors can confidently make referrals, where currently, unless they have detailed knowledge of the practitioner, that’s not possible or sensible.

So, bring it on, I say!

Cognitive Hypnotherapy, as you know, embraces and utilises a whole raft of disciplines such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming and New Code NLP, to name just a couple.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is also part of the mix. (Don’t attempt to use this on its own though, folks. It works when it works, but there’s a high dropout rate. The example of this I give is: if you were to stand naked in front of the mirror every day and tell yourself how beautiful you are, eventually you would believe it and feel better about yourself. But I don’t know anybody willing to do that, do you?)

Now where was I? Ah yes, Cognitive Hypnotherapy. I’ve been in this business since 2004, and have had a wealth of amazing, science-based training, sometimes travelling abroad to catch the best international trainers. Of course, during this time I’ve had plenty of people to practice on! And so you can say that I’ve had a fair amount of experience too.

And so, I incorporate all of that into the work that I do with clients.

So, regulating the industry sounds an obvious thing to do and straightforward enough, doesn’t it? But how are you going to regulate that little lot? Who or what body understands what we more experienced practitioners understand, that will allow a meaningful and useful regulation?

Well, that is exactly what we were already trying to do.

First, research: Cognitive Hypnotherapy is the only hypnotherapy that we know of that has compared its effectiveness against other talking therapies within the NHS. The results from the pilot study concluded that:

“QCH [Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy] may offer a brief effective treatment for clients with clinically significant levels of anxiety and/or depression, widening client choice.”

This was published in the renowned peer-reviewed publication, the Mental Health Review Journal.

Secondly: We have a hero in the form of Trevor Silvester, ex-policeman and top bloke. But not any old top bloke, mind you!

My trainer in Cognitive Hypnotherapy and creator of Wordweaving, a clever use of language to help the client’s unconscious mind find a better solution to the problem than the one it’s already got.

When I first started in this profession, adding these tools to the skills I’d learnt during my 20 years of teaching in schools, I regularly went to support and training groups associated with the professional body linked to my original trainer. And I got to know some of the people using hypnotherapy with their clients.

Roll forward a couple of years and continuing my training, including Cognitive Hypnotherapy, I would attend conferences and notice the deep divide between the quality of questions asked by my former colleagues and those trained in Cognitive Hypnotherapy.

The standard of training and effectiveness and pure intelligence of Cognitive Hypnotherapy stood out a mile to me. It has given me a solid framework, both for the training I’d previously had and for all the training I’ve had since.

So, going back to Trevor…
He was one of the top dogs at a well-regarded professional body, for years, making a massive contribution to the standards this membership demanded, attempting to make the changes from the inside.
He eventually came to the conclusion that we would be better off breaking awayand using our research results to establish us as a distinctive brand. Before you jump to the conclusion that he sold out, let me tell you what is behind this. Because his master plan is coming to fruition!
Legally, we’re already regulated by the CNHC, which is government approved.
Ournew body, the QCHPA, is a member-services body dedicated to serving me and my colleagues and the public too, while raising our public profile and awareness of our standards.
Because we can and do hold ourselves to a high standard of professionalism already.And we are deliberately promoting that fact so that when (not if) the government look to sort this whole thing out, we will demonstrate the standard we expect them to use as a benchmark.

And lead the way for the whole industry.

Did you know… Currently, not only can anyone call themselves a therapist, but they can also set up their own training school, award their own certification and set up their own ‘professional’ body?

You know what that means. No one is ‘regulating’ except for the person making money. The lower the bar for standards, the more money they make. Nice!

But for a vulnerable client, not so much!

‘Hold on’ I hear you cry! Some therapies are indeed regulated.

Yes they are. And therefore patients can be referred by GPs.

But did you know… Counselling and psychotherapy can potentially re-traumatise people, instead of fix them?

I began my training in New Code NLP in the UK, sharing a building with trainee psychotherapists in London. The first thing I would do when I arrived in the morning, is go to the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m so engrossed in what I’m doing I only become aware of what’s going on around me, bit by bit. On one occasion I became aware of a conversation between two trainee psychotherapists. It was along the lines of feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious because a particular client would talk each session about the trauma of witnessing, aged 6, mum stabbing dad in the kitchen.

That’s to say, mum stabbing dad in the stomach and their both being in the kitchen at the time. (I know, I know… this is no time to be making jokes about being stabbed in the kitchen!)

Back to the plot!

I woke up from my reverie to the conversation going on behind me and rewound in my head what I thought I just heard; that the client needs to re-experience their trauma.

I’m sorry… What?

Whaaaaat?

No wonder the psychotherapist is having such a tough time. Goodness only knows what’s going on for the client.

When I first decided to do what I’m doing, having taken a sabbatical from teaching and then discovering life outside the classroom and not going back, I knew I wanted to help people, and I asked myself a question: What’s the best way to help them? I very quickly decided it wasn’t counselling and it wasn’t psychotherapy, because they can go on for months or even years for a client. How could that be the best help we have in the 21st-century?

That’s why, instead, I’ve gone the route of Cognitive Hypnotherapy and associated disciplines.

It’s quick. It’s painless. It’s permanent. And it equips the client to take care of their own needs, instead of becoming dependent on a third party.

So I’m in the kitchen, now aware of the conversation behind me and beginning to feel a little panicky. If I stay here any longer, I thought, I’m going to have to say something! And it’s not my place.

So… I got the heck out of there as fast as I could!

But that wasn’t the end of it!

It’s psychotherapy, isn’t it? It’s going to run and run…

Can you believe, the next time I was back in that building, I think it was a week later, busily executing my morning routine at the kettle, I slowly became aware of a conversation going on between two people behind me…

You can hear it coming, can’t you?

Same people. Same conversation. Nothing had changed. Everyone’s still struggling with a six-year-old’s trauma.

I didn’t exactly run, after all I had a hot cup of tea in my hand, but I certainly didn’t hang about!

I mustn’t say anything. I mustn’t say anything…

And that’s my experience of psychotherapy.

I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that many, many people haven’t benefited. But I wonder just how much better off they and their wallet would be if they’d known about Cognitive Hypnotherapy.

If you are considering putting yourself in the hands of a therapist, you might find my PDF useful: How to choose a therapist.

Let me know how I can help.

About the author

Lysette Offley

"The Head Fixer," Lysette Offley is an experienced Teacher, Cognitive Hypnotherapist, author, creator & developer; delivering rapid systems for success, through Sounds Positive and Genius Material.

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