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Ethics. Isn’t that thomewhere down south, just east of London? It’s where they say things like, “You’re ‘aving a larf, mate.” Well I suppose I am having a laugh. That’s because I happen to think humour serves the weight loss hypnotherapist well (ignoring, of course, the fact that my gag’s a bit feeble). And I believe it can help fellow members of the Association of Weight Loss Hypnotherapists too.

By lightening the mood at consultations, the client is more at ease and it helps make treatment fun, too – which is often of particular benefit to weight-loss clients. I’m guessing, though, there might be a few weight loss hypnotherapists, including some members of the Association of Weight Loss Hypnotherapists, who disagree with me and believe that levity is inappropriate. They might call it unprofessional. Or unethical even.

And that brings me back to the main point of this article. Ethics. I imagine, that we all agree that the integrity of a therapist is of paramount importance, yet weight loss hypnotherapy, being an unregulated profession, at times finds ethics an equivocal subject.

There remain some aspects of running a hypnotherapy practice that are open to interpretation.

Video Testimonials…Unethical?

For example, just recently I have read comments by one or two hypnotherapists who regard the use of video testimonials on hypnotherapy websites as being unethical. I think it’s an interesting notion and worthy of debate. I do, though, disagree with the sentiment.

On my own Leeds Hypnotherapy websites, I have compiled a catalogue of video testimonials from clients who sought my help regarding a variety of conditions. And there are a number of points I’d like to make.

All the clients who have made the testimonials have done so voluntarily. None has been coerced or received any payment (which would be unethical). Interestingly, when I first asked clients if they would care to make a testimonial, it was a long while before one finally said ‘yes’. I suppose it was just that no-one wanted to be the first. But now with numerous testimonials posted on my sites, I find the clients themselves are wanting to film their own statements before I have a chance even to ask them.

There are other clients, though, who decline my invitation to provide a testimonial and I always accept their decision; there is no question of me ever trying to get them to change their minds. My view, then, is that if testimonials are made voluntarily and willingly they are ethical and they in no way compromise what medical practitioners might call patient confidentiality.

I believe the testimonials encourage more people to recognise what help there is available from hypnotherapists. And having seen on the videos how effective treatment can be also means clients arrive at the clinic in a positive frame of mind – they already see the weight loss hypnotherapist as having the ability and authority to deliver results, making the video a form of hypnosis in its own right. The videos also help clients recognise that they are not the only person in the world suffering a particular condition; they are not alone. Again, this is useful in delivering successful weight loss hypnotherapy treatment.

Video Testimonials Help Clients Too…

Of course, I don’t deny that from a business point of view, the video testimonials are very positive but likewise, for the client there is another bonus too – that being, that by making a declaration of faith in the weight loss treatment they have received, they are providing themselves with further positive reinforcement– and this is particularly the case, I find, with weight loss and smoking cessation clients.

So I am happy to stand by my decision to use video testimonials and would happily support other therapists doing so, remembering that it must always be the client’s decision to participate. In addition, I will go even further and add that I believe it is MORE ethical to include testimonials on websites because they serve as evidence that the practitioner is genuine and will start the process of hypnosis that will motivate a client to recognise they can achieve their goals.

The veracity of video testimonials is hard to deny – viewers can see for themselves they are genuine and the more you have the truer this becomes. Of course, I welcome any comments or observations on this particular matter or any other issues concerning the question of ethics. And if you’re from Essex, maybe you’ve got a Yorkshire joke you’d like to share?

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Danny is a graduate in psychology. After his degree, he studied with the London College of Clinical Hypnotherapy to become a practitioner of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy. He runs Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic in his home city in Yorkshire, England and is a member of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Check out Dan's site here: