Hypnotherapy testimonials and ethics

Many healthcare providers use testimonials on their websites. However they’re controversial when it comes to hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.

What’s wrong with website testimonials for therapy?

Some therapists include photographs or video recordings of testimonials on their website. The law says that testimonials are adverts and all adverts have to be independently verifiable. If I were to publish a testimonial from you, I would have to be able to prove that what you have said is an accurate statement. How could I do this without divulging your identity? This would be a breach of your confidentiality, and that’s unethical.

Besides, would you really want other people to know why you came to see me? You might be grateful enough to offer a testimonial after we’ve worked together, but what if you changed your mind down the line? You don’t exist to make me look good and I don’t want my clients being placed in such situations.

hypnotherapy testimonials

A word on ethics

Ethically, the UKCP disapproves of testimonials. My professional organisation, the National Society of Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy and Mindfulness (NSHPM) also forbids them. Testimonials might look good on a website but I’m not in the business of causing potential complications for my clients.

To ensure I keep to the highest standards of professionalism, I work to an ethical code. Details of my ethical code can be found here.

What about reviews on social media?

Social media reviews are seen as acceptable as they can be negative and cannot be deleted or updated by anyone other than the author. If you would like to read some reviews you can visit the Aurora Mind and Body Hypnotherapy Facebook page or Google.

Just as testimonials are seen as unethical, so are success rates. Plenty of hypnotherapists publish testimonials and success rates, but ask them how they know what their success rate is at six months, one year or five years down the line. If a former smoking client has a sneaky puff down the pub years after his course of hypnotherapy, does that mean he’s now a failure? And how would I know about it in any case? Success is in the eye of the beholder, so it’s difficult to measure.

Different professional bodies demand different levels of ethical behaviour and training from their members. One of the most important factors in successful hypnotherapy is that you trust your hypnotherapist and have a good relationship with them. So do get in touch with several therapists and ask questions before you make your decision.

Still not sure? Get in touch!

If you’re in any doubt over whether I’m the right hypnotherapist for you, why not contact me with your questions? Rest assured, if you come to see me, I am and always will be working with your best interests at heart.