There IS a Code of Ethics for Hypnotherapists to Follow
For those who just don't seem to have a clue (nor integrity or morals), Feb 5, 2020

Despite the outrageous number of hypnosis abuse cases and debauchery listed on this website, it needs to be noted that there are guidelines for all hypnotherapists to follow. The problem arises when the hypnotherapist dismisses these out of hand and summarily wishes to follow his own (im)moral compass. The ethical guidelines below are just that... "guidelines." There really is no teeth behind these to threaten an immoral hypnotist with. The only real legal authority is the law. With that said, here are some of the major hypnosis associations and their ethical guidelines. 

The National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH)

In fact, the second guideline mentioned falls under the category of Client Safety. It reads, "Members shall not engage in verbal, physical or sexual abuse of any client and shall not discriminate against any client on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. With all due respect this should be split into two separate guidelines because sex abuse and discrimination are 180-degrees from each other. They are wholly different issues unto themselves and as such need to be expressed with the respect they deserve, so as to give proper gravity and due deference to each concern. (Read more...)


The International Society of Hypnosis (ISH)

This organization says nothing at all about sexual assault or client abuse whatsoever. Perhaps the only two rules offered would be the following ISH guidelines:

1.1. All ISH members are professionals in their own right, and, in their use of hypnosis, they should adhere strictly to the standards required of them by their own profession.

1.2. When using hypnosis, ISH Members should always give priority to the welfare of the patient in clinical settings, as well as of the subject involved in scientific research experiments.

American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH)

Another organization that essentially says nothing about sexual abuse or improper sexual relationships with a client. The only caution that appears in the ASCH guidelines seems to come in the form of a moral suggestion on responsibility:

Members accept responsibility for, and when necessary the consequences of, their behavior;

The American Council of Hypnotist Examiners (ACHE)

An organization that does take note to prohibit any client sexual relationships in their ACHE rules:

12. I will not engage in intimate social contact with a client until a period of at least two years from the final session with that client.

The National Hypnotherapy Society (NHS)

Here is an organization that lays their guidelines out explicitly. The NHS ethical guidelines under the section of Client Welfare states:

Refrain from using their position of trust and confidence to:

Cross the commonly understood professional boundaries appropriate to the therapist/client relationship or exploit the client emotionally, sexually, financially or in any other way whatsoever. Should any relationship (i.e. other than the professional relationship between therapist and client) develop between either therapist and client or members of their respective immediate families, the therapist must immediately cease to accept fees, terminate the hypnotherapy relationship in an appropriate manner and refer the client to another suitable therapist at the very earliest opportunity. N.B. Clarification on dilemmas experienced by therapists in respect of the foregoing should be sought from their supervisor.

Touch the client in any way that may be open to misinterpretation. N.B. Before using any touch as a component of hypnotherapy, both an explanation should be given and permission received.

The Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH)

The Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH) is dedicated to the clinical and scientific utilization of hypnosis at the highest professional level. The history of hypnosis and its use call for some basic principles to maintain high standards for responsible professional workers. In addition, the multidisciplinary character of the professional membership of SCEH requires an explicit statement of the ethical guidelines to which members of SCEH are required to subscribe and adhere. The code of ethics states the following:


The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)

The UK's National Council for Hypnotherapy makes no explicit mention of sexual assault or even sexual relationships with clients. The following ethical guidelines are probably the only guidelines that might apply...

3. You must maintain high standards of personal conduct.

You must keep high standards of personal conduct, as well as professional conduct. You must not do anything that may affect someone’s treatment by or confidence in you.

If you are convicted of a criminal case or have accepted a Police caution, the NCH must be informed. Each case will be considered individually and a decision made in the light of the circumstances of the case. Your membership may be at risk if you are convicted of a criminal offence that involves, for example, one of the following types of behaviour:

• Violence
• Abuse
• Sexual misconduct
• Supplying drugs
• Drink-driving offences where someone was hurt or killed
• Serious offences involving dishonesty
• Any serious criminal offences for which you received a prison sentence.

13. You must carry out your duties in a professional and ethical way

You must carry out your duties and responsibilities in a professional and ethical way. Patients, clients and users are entitled to receive good and safe standards of practice and care. The NCH seeks to protect the public from unprofessional and unethical behaviour, and to make sure that registrants know the standards expected of them.

14. You must behave with integrity and honesty.

You must make sure that you behave with integrity and honesty and keep to high standards of personal and professional conduct at all times.

The Council of Professional Hypnosis Organizations (COPHO)

The Council of Professional Hypnosis Organizations (COPHO) advocates the following Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of Hypnosis. Organizations are urged to encourage their own Members to voluntarily conform.



The International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA)

The International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) follows the COPHO Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of Hypnosis. Members are asked to voluntarily conform.