FAQ About HCA and Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is the art of using the state of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of concentration with physical and mental relaxation very similar to a daydream. When the Hypnotic state is induced suggestions can be given to make improvements to thinking and behaviour, removing negative ideas to bring about positive changes in a calm relaxing way.
Choosing a hypnotherapist who will be able to help you with your concerns is important. You should ask if the hypnotherapist is a member of an Association that is a Member of the Hypnotherapy Council of Australia. If so, this will mean that you can be assured that they have undergone training through a reputable training school, and that they also must adhere to the strict Code of Ethics of their Association. Although some hypnotherapists only deal with specific problems, others treat a wide range of issues, so it is also important to ask if the hypnotherapist has experience in your area of concern.
We recommended that you enquire to the individual hypnotherapist about the costs of a consultation, and whether their services are eligible for a rebate from your specific private health fund. The access to rebates varies between States and health funds. Some funds do not rebate hypnotherapy at all, some health insurance providers will pay for hypnotherapy services under Extras cover, and some will only rebate certain providers – check with the clinician and your health insurer.
In general terms, Medicare does not rebate hypnotherapy. However, there are some medical practitioners and psychologists that perform hypnosis, and under certain conditions, a rebate may be possible from Medicare if they provide the hypnotherapy treatment. Once again, you need to check before booking an appointment.
If you encounter a problem with a hypnotherapist, which you are unable to resolve directly with him or her, you should make contact with the professional association to which the hypnotherapist belongs.
All HCA Member Associations are required to have a complaints and disciplinary procedure and you will be advised by the relevant association how to go about making a complaint.
In broad general terms, a complaints procedure will necessitate a written account from you concerning the details of the complaint you wish to make and the Association will undertake an appropriate investigation of the details you have provided. At the conclusion of its investigation, you will be informed of the Association’s findings and outcomes.
Please be aware that a professional association is only able to impose sanctions, where and when applicable, pertaining to a hypnotherapist’s standing within that association, the most severe sanction being termination of membership. This does not legally prevent that person from continuing to practice hypnotherapy, however, it does make it rather more difficult for the person to be able to present him or herself as being suitably “credentialed”.
As with any and all healthcare services, it is the responsibility of the individual to establish the suitability and credibility of the provider of those services and you are usually well advised to choose a practitioner who belongs to an appropriate professional body relating to that healthcare modality.
If you encounter a problem with a hypnotherapist who is not a member of an HCA Member Association, you will need to investigate what action you may be able to take. You can contact your State’s Health Care Complaints Commission (or equivalent), or you can contact Consumer Affairs in your local capital city.
Complaints about hypnotherapists who are members of professional associations are quite rare and the strong emphasis placed upon ethical conduct and practice is of paramount importance within HCA Member Associations.
Simple answer? Because it is in their best interests, and that of their practitioners, for them to do so.
With the vacuum left by the removal of restrictive psychology legislation in recent years, and varying attempts of other modalities to take over control of the use of hypnosis in its place, the profession realised that it needed to become self-regulating, that is, to represent itself. This has lead to the unprecedented uniting of both sides of this unique profession, and on a wider scale than ever before.
Once a member of HCA, an organisation can have a reciprocal link to the website, and use the HCA logo. Over time, HCA will become recognised as the focal point for the profession, enabling better communication and recognition at both government and community levels.
By belonging to HCA, an Association or Educational Organisation shows willingness to meet certain standards, and to work in conjunction with other organisations for the good of the profession, not just for their own goals.
As HCA becomes known to the wider community, it will operate a website that reflects credibility and legitimacy of organisations, and will also eventually run a national register of qualified practitioners that is accessible by the public. HCA will also liaise with government bodies, become a centre of communication for the profession, make submissions where appropriate on behalf of the profession, and become the professional face of hypnotherapy in Australia.
The hypnotherapy profession is coming of age in the professional world, and to be successful in this endeavour, the HCA will work with its members for the good of the profession, by involving the profession at every stage. By belonging to HCA, each organisation has both a voice and a vote in the setting of policies, and the opportunity to help guide the direction of the development of the profession.
Hypnotherapy is advancing in recognition within this country, and by working with the store of skills and talent from within the profession, we can make the future a great one.
Although one of the benefits of HCA is the improved credibility and recognition of hypnotherapy practitioners as a whole, individual practitioners will need to join one of the hypnotherapy associations that are set up for the purpose of assisting practitioners. As such we recommend that practitioners join a HCA member association after their graduation. This will keep them informed of professional issues and changes, and give ongoing support for their professional development and success. Although individuals hold office on the National Board, they are elected to the Board as delegates of their member organisations. There is no individual practitioner membership of HCA.
To be eligible for membership of HCA, a hypnotherapy organisation must be based in Australia, and fit the criteria for one of three categories: Association, Educational Organisation or Representative Alliance. Each category has its own requirements. More details on these can be found on the Join HCA page on this site, and on the downloadable application form.