PHPA Complaint Procedure

Complaints Overview
The Professional Hypnotherapy Practitioners Association seeks to encourage therapists working in the field of hypnotherapy to maintain the highest standards of ethics and practice, and to strive for client safety and satisfaction in every aspect of their work.

On occasions, clients may have questions or concerns regarding their experience with a therapist, and may wish to submit a complaint if they feel that their objections have not been sufficiently addressed.

The PHPA maintains a complaints procedure which is followed when a complaint is made. The aim of this page is to provide a clear description of when and how a complaint may be made, and the procedure that is followed when we receive a complaint.

The procedure for making a complaint varies depending on the subject of the concerns and the type of complaint. When a formal complaint is made, we request that details are provided in writing. This enables us to maintain a clear and accurate record of complaints and to address all aspects of complaints more effectively.

Below you will find an explanation of the procedures for complaints:

1. Complaints regarding a member of staff
If you feel that you have not received the level of service that you expect from a staff member of the PHPA, please contact us with details of your concerns and we will attempt to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

2. Complaints regarding the PHPA
We aim to provide customers with the highest level of service at all times. However, if you feel that our service could be improved, please let us know as soon as possible by contacting us.

3. Complaints regarding a PHPA member
If your experience with a hypnotherapist who is a member of the PHPA has not met your expectations, you may wish to submit a complaint to us so that your concerns can be addressed, and additional action may be taken if required.

Legal Complaints
Please note that the PHPA is limited in its ability to act in situations where you feel that a therapist has engaged in illegal activity, has breached an applicable law or has not fulfilled their legal obligations. In such circumstances, you should first refer your complaint to the police or obtain legal advice to address your concerns.

Complaints Procedure
The PHPA’s procedure regarding complaints against a PHPA member therapist consists of two stages:

  1. Initial Concerns
    A client may notify the therapist of their concerns and ask them to explain their behaviour. The therapist may be able to resolve the complaint without the client submitting a formal complaint.
  2. Formal Complaint
    If a complaint is unresolved, the client may wish to submit a formal complaint to the PHPA. We will investigate the complaint, making suggestions and take actions where appropriate in an effort to prevent further complaints of a similar nature.

Below you will find in-depth details of each stage of the complaints procedure:

Initial Concerns
If you have questions or concerns regarding your experience with a therapist, you may wish to first ask the therapist to explain the actions that they have taken. This may provide you with a clearer understanding of the therapy and/or the therapist’s behaviour.

Clients who feel that their experience has not meet their expectations may be able to obtain a satisfactory resolution to the matter without the need for a formal complaint to be made.

For example, if you feel that the price of a session exceeded its value, a therapist may offer a partial or full refund for the session(s), or a complimentary session.

Many concerns can be resolved in this manner in a way that is satisfactory to both the client and the therapist, without the need for both parties to engage in a formal complaints procedure.

Occasionally, a client may feel that a therapist has not sufficiently addressed their complaint. In such circumstances, you can contact the PHPA to discuss your concerns. A representative will consider your case and may suggest an appropriate course of action in an effort to address your complaint.

The PHPA may also contact the relevant therapist to suggest actions which may help to resolve the complaint. The therapist may accept such suggestions, choose a different action or take no action. Please note that it is ultimately the responsibility of the client and the therapist to resolve the complaint, as we are unable to compel either party to take action.

Clients who are still unhappy may wish to submit a formal complaint. This requires the submission of concerns in writing, and involves the PHPA investigating the complaint as well as taking any appropriate action.

Formal Complaints
Formal complaints should be made in writing using the complaint form which is available upon request. The form can also be downloaded and then printed and completed by the complainant.

Complainants are requested to submit details of their case as soon as possible so that their concerns may be addressed in a fair and timely manner. The initial formal complaint must be made by submitting the aforementioned form by post to the address indicated on the form. Supporting documents and any subsequent communication regarding the complaint by both the therapist and the client should be made in writing. This will allow us to review all of the details of the complaint clearly and accurately, and to maintain a record of the complaint.

Notification of Receipt
When we receive your formal complaint, we will endeavour to notify you by telephone, email or post. We will also provide you with details of the next step(s) in the procedure and an estimated timescale where possible.

Member Notification
When a client submits a formal complaint against a member of the PHPA, we will also notify the member and explain to them the next stage of the complaints procedure.

Investigating a Formal Complaint
We understand that when a complaint is made, the time required to gather and consider relevant details can cause uncertainty for both the client and the therapist. As a result, we aim to process complaints in a timely manner, and to keep all parties involved notified of the status of the complaint where possible.

During the complaints procedure, the complainant may also be asked to provide additional information relating to the case if needed. The member may be asked to provide their own report of events relevant to the complaint, so that PHPA can make an informed decision regarding any further action that needs to be taken.

We request that submissions of additional information from the client and the therapist are made within 14 days of a request being made so that delays in the complaints procedure can be avoided.

When reports from both parties have been received, the PHPA will consider the information available to reach a conclusion which addresses the concerns of the complainant and those of the therapist.

We may make recommendations to the therapist, client or both parties in an effort to remedy the complaint. If a therapist is found to have contravened the PHPA’s Code of Ethics or the standards that are expected of hypnotherapists, we may decide to take further action. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Temporary Disqualification
    A PHPA member may be temporarily disqualified until a time that they may be considered fit to re-apply for membership.
  • Permanent Disqualification
    If a therapist does not uphold the standards expected of them, the PHPA may revoke a therapist’s membership permanently. Under such circumstances, the therapist will not be eligible to re-apply for membership in future.

Subsequent Concerns
If a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaints procedure, they may wish to pursue their complaint against the therapist. You may want to consider legal action, seeking legal advice from a solicitor regarding your concerns.

Questions or Comments?
If you have any further general questions or comments regarding our complaints procedure, please contact a member of PHPA staff who will be able to provide you with further information.

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