PHPA - Code of Ethics

For the maintenance of good practice, the promotion of unity and the encouragement of continuing development within the profession of Hypnotherapy, all members of the Professional Hypnotherapy Practitioner Association (PHPA) undertake to:

  1. Always maintain standards of the highest professional conduct and do nothing that might undermine public confidence in the process of, or bring the profession of hypnotherapy, psychotherapy or the PHPA into disrepute.

  2. Ensure the work place and all facilities offered to both clients and their companions will be in every respect suitable and appropriate for the service provided.

  3. Take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the client and any person who may be accompanying them.

  4. Respect the rights, dignity and emotions of their client.

  5. Disclose full details of all relevant training, experience and qualifications to clients upon request.

  6. Charge fairly for the treatment given.

  7. Explain clearly to clients in advance of any treatment, fees, terms of payment, session length (where known), and any charges levied for non-attendance or cancelled appointments.

  8. Present all services and products in a transparent manner to include any limitations and realistic outcomes of treatment and ensure that the client retains complete control over the decision to purchase such services or products.

  9. Neither expect nor encourage gifts from clients. Small tokens of appreciation may be accepted at the end of therapy but should in no way be solicited.

  10. Not permit considerations or religion, nationality, race, politics, beliefs or social standing to influence their treatment of any patient.

  11. Make no claim that they hold specific qualifications unless such claim can be totally substantiated. (N.B In the absence of appropriate medical qualifications, no Registrant may utilize the title 'Doctor' in a manner that may mislead any member of the public to believe that they are medically qualified and any use of this title must be clearly defined by a suitable qualifying statement).

  12. Ensure that professional indemnity insurance relevant to the treatment area that they are using with their clients is at all times up to date.

  13. Provide a service to clients only in those areas in which they have trained and demonstrated competence, and for which they carry full professional indemnity insurance that is acceptable to the PHPA.

  14. Be aware of one’s own limitations and experience and whenever appropriate, be prepared to refer a client on to another more suitable practitioner (whether or not that practitioner is a member of the PHPA) who might reasonably be expected to offer suitable treatment.

  15. Ensure that clients seeking therapy for the relief of physical symptoms are advised to contact a registered Medical Practitioner, unless they have already done so.

  16. Refrain from offering advice to a client which conflicts with or is contrary to that given by the client’s registered medical advisor/s.

  17. Desist from promising a cure, advice or otherwise pass comment on any condition or problem, on any medical, psychiatric, or psychological problem or condition unless they have training and qualifications in these fields.

  18. Accept that any client referred to them by a registered Medical Practitioner (or other relevant agency) remains the clinical responsibility of the Medical Practitioner (or agency) and the referrer should be suitably informed of the client’s progress.

  19. Ensure that client notes and records are kept secure and confidential and that the use of computer records remains within the accordance of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and that they are destroyed after a reasonable length of time.

  20. Explain fully to clients in advance of any treatment, the fee levels, precise terms of payment and any charges which might be imposed for non-attendance or cancelled appointments. (N.B. Whilst not obligatory, written material is preferable to verbal statements as this is less likely to give grounds for misunderstanding should any dispute between client and therapist subsequently develop).

  21. Confidentiality regarding details of the treatment will be respected, unless the patient gives written permission to divulge personal information, always provided that such confidentiality is neither inconsistent with the safety of the client’s family members or other members of the public nor in contravention of the laws of the land.

  22. Obtain written permission from the client (or if appropriate, the client's parent or legal guardian before either recording client sessions or discussing undisguised cases with any person whatsoever. ('Recording' in this context means any method other than the usual taking of written case notes. 'Undisguised' in this context means cases in which material has not been sufficiently altered in order to offer reasonable anonymity to all relevant parties). With particular reference to the use of CCTV equipment, all clients must be fully informed when such equipment is in operation and written permission must be obtained prior to the commencement of any client session. (Wherever possible, the practitioner should ensure that such a recording is vision only - i.e. without sound).

  23. Refrain from using their position of trust and confidence created to exploit the client emotionally, sexually, and financially or in other way. Should either a sexual or financial relationship (other than the payment of session fees or purchase of books, tapes, or other relevant products) develop between either therapist and client or members of their respective immediate families, the therapist must immediately cease to accept fees, terminate treatment and transfer the client to another suitable therapist at the earliest opportunity.

  24. Refrain from commencing any sort of relationship with any client, past or present, other than a therapeutic one. Clients must remain solely as clients. Members of the PHPA are strongly advised against working with friends or family for anything other than simple relaxation work or other 'single-session' non-analytical therapies.

  25. Use their best endeavours to bring treatment to a successful conclusion in the minimum time consistent with the good care of the client.

  26. Refrain from touching the client in any way that may be open to misinterpretation. (e.g. Before employing tactile induction or deepening techniques, both an explanation should be given and permission received).

  27. Wherever possible, obtain the consent of an appropriate adult (i.e. parent or legal guardian) before conducting treatment with clients who are either under the age of majority or are classified as Special Needs (an appropriate adult should be present during such sessions; where the client is under the age of 16 and requesting parental or legal guardian consent would violate confidentiality, the therapist should employ an assessment of the client's competency to consent to treatment on their own behalf).

  28. Ensure that where a patient is referred by another Member, or any therapist in any other discipline, whether in the medical profession or not, the referee shall be advised, with the patients consent, at the conclusion of the treatment.

  29. Co-operate with other therapists and medical practitioners where it is deemed in the best interest of the patient, provided their consent is given.

  30. Not professionally obstruct or publicly criticise other Members, either with or without perceived justification, whether or not they are a member of the PHPA.

  31. Not entice patients from another Member or hypnotherapy practitioner.

  32. Respect the fact that the treatment given in other therapies may be given in good faith without necessarily agreeing with such treatment. (Any Member publicly disagreeing with other forms of treatment must state that it is their personal view and not necessarily that of the Association).

  33. Refer a patient to another Member or to another therapist if the patient may benefit further or quicker by this action. The best interests of the patient will be taken into account at all times. Care will be taken to refer only to therapists who have standards and methods of treatment proven in practice.

  34. Inform the PHPA, upon initial application, of any complaint or disciplinary action made or taken against them by any professional body and further inform the PHPA, in writing, of any subsequent action taken against them whilst a member of The PHPA.

  35. Inform the PHPA, in writing, of any alteration in circumstance which would affect either their position or ability as practitioners.

  36. Notify the PHPA, in writing, of any change in practise name, contact address, telephone number or email address, at the earliest convenient moment.

  37. Confirm, upon initial application, that they have not been convicted of any offence likely to bring their professional name or the reputation of the PHPA into disrepute and undertake to inform the PHPA, in writing, should such an event subsequently occur whilst a member of the PHPA.

  38. UK members must ensure that all advertising shall comply with the British Code of Advertising Practice (CAP), accord with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and make available all such literature to the PHPA on request. (*This includes all material published on websites and in which matter, the PHPA, reserves the right to decide, entirely at its discretion, whether to allow active links to any individual website from the PHPA site). In the case of overseas Members, their advertising shall comply fully with the laws of their land.

  39. It is the sole responsibility of each member of the PHPA, as indeed every practising hypnotherapist, to keep themselves up-to-date with current recommendations made by the ASA. Updates are published on a weekly basis on the ASA website.

By joining the Professional Hypnotherapy Practitioner Association you are deemed to have accepted the above Code of Ethics.

If you are practising or residing outside the UK please note that any information in respect of the ASA, CAP and GDPR may differ according to the law of the land and it is your responsibility to inform yourself of any requirements.

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