The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy seeks to confirm the safety of hypnotherapy after two major hypnosis stories appear in the news on the same day.
The two stories were both publicised on Monday 6thJune – the major story referred to a stage hypnotist who faked a fall during his act, apparently knocking himself unconscious, to test whether hypnotised subjects would remain in trance or wake up naturally if the hypnotist became incapacitated.
The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapists (AfSFH) wishes to reassure the public that hypnotic ‘trance’ is a perfectly natural state, and that should anything befall the hypnosis practitioner, their subject would ‘wake up’ in their own time anyway.
Association Trustee and Company Secretary, Nicola Griffiths, explains, ‘We all drift in and out of the ‘trance’ state many times a day – concentrating so hard on a report or spreadsheet at work that you are oblivious to your colleagues’ banter, becoming so engrossed in a book or TV programme that you are unaware that your partner has been trying to attract your attention, or being so involved in an activity, even ironing, that you lose track of time.
The only difference between this state and being hypnotised is that the practitioner guides you into the state in order to engage your full attention. You cannot be made to do anything against your will and should anything untoward happen to your practitioner then you would simply wake up naturally.’
The second story concerned the news that the Royal Society of Medicine is seeking to make hypnosis more widely used within the NHS. It is already used in a range of areas, but the Society would like it to be much more commonplace, such that it is simply another tool at the medical profession’s disposal.
The AfSFH welcomes the news that the Royal Society is recommending the use of hypnosis by more medical professionals but is concerned that an interview on Radio 4’s Today programme may have given the impression that unless a therapist is medically trained they are somehow ‘strange’ with ‘questionable qualifications’.
Nicola explains, ‘Whilst there is no doubt that the quality of training varies across the Hypnotherapy field, there are a number of highly credible training schools whose courses have been externally accredited and are nationally recognised. To put it into context, the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD), which is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ in Hypnotherapy training, has been recognised by the Open University to be the equivalent of 45 points at Undergraduate Level 1 (FHEQ Level 4).