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BAThH › Code Of Conduct
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Code Of Conduct


  • A therapist shall respect the fact that the treatment given in other therapies can have been given in good faith without necessarily agreeing with it
  • A therapist shall acknowledge the boundaries of their personal competence and the limits of their personal skills.  Providing only those treatments for which they are qualified by training and/or experience.
  • A therapist shall explain to the client any conflict of interest that may arise
  • A therapist shall ensure that they have adequate, up to date professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance cover and a copy of such certificate must be forwarded with their membership renewal fee each year
  • A therapist shall endeavour to remain informed regarding current legislation and other relevant regulations regarding the practice of Hypnotherapy
  • A therapist shall ensure that where a client is referred by any therapist in any discipline, whether in the medical profession or not, the referee shall be advised at the commencement and conclusion of the treatment
  • NB.  Where a Registered Medical Practitioner refers a client the Medical Practitioner remains clinically accountable for the client
  • A therapist shall not work under such conditions, contractual or physical or in a mental or emotional state that would not allow the full exercise of professional judgement and responsibility
  • A therapist shall not misrepresent their training or qualifications
  • Therapists shall not undertake clinical work for a person or organisation before assuring themselves of the appropriateness of so doing
  • A therapist shall not promise a cure, not make exaggerated claims for the treatment


  • A therapist shall respect the dignity, individual viewpoints, rights and autonomy of the client
  • A therapist shall maintain appropriate boundaries (i.e. social, financial and sexual) from the commencement to the final conclusion of therapy.  In the event of appropriate boundaries becoming difficult to maintain (e.g. non-therapeutic relationship developing) then the therapist shall cease treatment immediately and refer the client to another therapist
  • A therapist shall, from the outset of the treatment, explain to the client the approximate duration of the treatment, total anticipated fees, method of payment and the procedure regarding cancelled appointments.  The client must be informed of their right to see this Code of Ethical Practice
  • A therapist shall charge a fair rate commensurate with their experience, training and local conditions
  • A therapist shall be professionally reliable in all situations (e.g. in the keeping of appointments, advising of holidays, etc.)
  • A therapist shall ensure that the intended outcome of the therapy is congruent with the client’s expressed wishes and ecological with the client’s environment
  • A therapist shall in doubtful or difficult situations, with the client’s permission, consult other professionals when it would appear that the quality of service might thereby be enhanced
  • A therapist shall refer the client to another practitioner, with the client’s permission, when it is felt to be in the interest of the client
  • A therapist shall ensure that any client suffering from potentially organic dysfunction (e.g. pain) has consulted their GP for a medical diagnosis prior to treatment
  • A therapist shall not discriminate against any client on the basis of race, colour, national origin, handicap, age, gender, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, religion, political beliefs, status in society or lifestyle
  • Therapists shall not allow themselves to become dependent upon the client/therapist relationship, nor allow personal needs and beliefs to interfere with the proper treatment of the client


  • A therapist shall maintain up to date records of all client sessions and keep such records in secure storage for not less than five years from client ending treatment.  Arrangements should be made in writing for the secure disposal of same in the event of the therapist’s  permanent incapacity or death
  • A therapist shall explain to the client, before treatment, the rules of confidentiality
  • A therapist shall obtain the prior agreement of the client to any third party observation
  • A therapist shall be allowed to use anecdotal material for clinical purposes (e.g. training) without the client’s explicit permission when the client’s identity is adequately obscured by changes in name and all details not relevant to the psychological and therapeutic aspect of the case
  • A therapist shall be allowed to reveal details of clients and client sessions, without identifying the client, in the normal course of clinical supervision, without obtaining the client’s consent in writing
  • A therapist shall not record audio or video material regarding a client or client sessions without obtaining the client’s consent in writing.  Records kept on computer must be secure and confirm to the requirements of the Data Protection Act of 1986 and subsequent amendments thereto.
  • A therapist shall not reveal details of a client, or client sessions, to the client’s relatives, friends or other clients, without expressed, prior consent.  (Parents need to be appraised of the therapist’s responsibilities to the child client and professional confidentiality limits must be mutually agreed between all parties beforehand)  NB.  When in doubt, obtain written permission


  • Advertising should be within the current laws and should comply with the British Code of Advertising Practice as well as meeting the requirements of the Advertising Standards Authority
  • Advertisements should be factual in content and worded in a dignified way.  Detail should be limited to the therapist’s profession, qualifications, membership of professional bodies, services offered and contact details.  NB it is illegal to claim cures for the following:  Brights Disease, Cancer, Cataracts, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Locomotor Ataxia, Paralysis, Tuberculosis


  • A therapist shall practice from premises that are mainly dedicated to the purpose (e.g. an office in the home, a room within a clinic)
  • The premises must provide access to toilet facilities
  • The premises must be maintained in a state consistent with professional standards


  • Domiciliary visits shall be limited to clients who are in exceptional circumstances and unable to attend a consultation in the therapist’s normal place of work.  Such visits may continue only as long as the exceptional circumstances persist
  • Therapists must ensure that adequate insurance cover is obtained as regards working away from their normal place of work


Therapists should be aware of the importance of self-monitoring to protect against absorbing undue stress from the working environment and to ensure personal conflicts or problems do not directly interfere with therapy.  In any case, it is imperative that members recognise the importance of their position and seek personal therapy if they have any doubts about their own well being, or have unresolved issues that need to be redressed.  It is suggested that therapists make arrangements for some form of regular supervision.  If this is covered by the membership requirements of another organisation, this will be acceptable.  Otherwise it is suggested that supervision and/or counselling with a colleague of at least similar experience and training should be arranged on a basis which reflects download and may be weekly, monthly or quarterly


Therapists must be aware of the importance of ongoing study and self-improvement in order to maintain a level of competence that keeps pace with the constantly evolving field of hypnotherapy.  This will include attendance at seminars, workshops, mutual co-operation between professional colleagues, etc.


Particular care must be exercised when dealing with persons under the age of 18 years.  Where possible, the consent of a parent should be sought, if due to the nature of the complaint this is not practical then another senior member of the family or someone of appropriate standing outside the family should be approached.  Whilst the therapist’s discretion must be relied upon in this situation, if in any doubt it would seem to be prudent to have a third party in attendance


Any therapist who has a complaint levelled against them by a member of the public must immediately inform the Association, in confidence, stating the nature of the complaint and also details of the parties involved.  Failure to do so may prejudice his/her position in any subsequent proceedings.  Therapists are also advised that they have a duty to inform the Association, in confidence and without malice if they have just cause to doubt the professional behaviour of a fellow member.
Please Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure for more details.

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