Code of ethics

Association for the Advance of Hypnosis Experimental and Applied

AAHEA is dedicated to promoting and maintaining the highest professional standards in the practice of hypnosis for clinical or experimental purposes and in the dissemination of information concerning hypnosis

1. Professional conduct with patients, users or subjects in experimental contexts

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

1.2 Members should always give first priority to the welfare of the patient, user or experimental subject when using hypnosis.

1.3 Proper safeguards should be maintained whenever a patient, user or subject is exposed to unusual stress or other form of risk. If stress or risk is involved, the patient, user or subject should be informed and should give consent. When in doubt the practitioner should consult with appropriate professional colleagues.

2. Applications of hypnosis to professional work

2.1 Members should at all time remain aware of their signed undertaking to use hypnosis only for those purposes for which they are professionally qualified and within the strict limitations of their professional work. This implies that those members who use hypnosis for some therapeutic, experimental, forensic purposes… should have undertaken, or be undertaking, a professional qualification in the intended use of hypnosis, recognised by the Scientific Community.

2.2 In addition to the requirements regarding professional capacity listed in the AAHEA official statutes, members who intend using hypnosis, for whatever purpose, must be able to support their practice through scientific literature in order to certify that the intended use of hypnosis is borne out by the Scientific Community.

2.3 A member’s use of hypnosis in his or her professional work should be fully compatible with the terms of reference of his or her work and the expectations of his or her superiors, employers and professional association.

3. Hypnosis and lay person

3.1 A member of the AAHEA should not support the practice or teaching of hypnosis by those ineligible for membership, except in the case of item 4.3. It is important to clarify that the capacity requirements listed in the official statutes constitute are indispensable but not sufficient to be approved as a member of the AAHEA, since the new members admission relies on the Executive Board.

3.2 A member of the AAHEA shall not give instruction involving the teaching of hypnotic techniques to individuals or groups which include persons currently ineligible for AAHEA membership (listed in the official statutes). Lectures informing lay persons about hypnosis are, of course, permitted provided they do not include demonstrations or didactic material involving hypnotic induction techniques. Lay people are those who currently are considered ineligible for AAHEA membership.

3.3 Exceptions are made to students in training in the appropriate sciences or professions. The AAHEA recognises that hypnosis may be appropriately used by nurses or paramedical assistants (certified by the European Union Council of Universities), always under the immediate and direct supervision of a person whose credentials and training authorizes him or her the adequate use of hypnosis for the intended purpose. Special arrangements can be made for the appropriate training of such nurses or paramedical personnel

3.4 Consultations with lay representatives of the press or other media of communication are permitted in order to benefit the knowledge and understanding of the public in matters pertaining to hypnosis. Talks with lay representatives of the press and radio or TV appearance are welcomed so long as these are consistent with the aims of the Society and its Ethical Guidelines.

4. Use of the Society’s name

4.1 Members may use the initials AAHEA after their names in their curriculum vitae or credentials. However where possible they are encouraged to use the full name of the Society for the education of the public.

5. Membership rescission

5.1 Every AAHEA member is free to unilaterally rescind his or her membership at any time, without detriment of his or her professional capacity, notifying it officially through a signed document to the attention of the President, requesting such a rescission (by mail, fax or e-mail, including the document “pdf”).

5.2 In the case of any transgression of the present guidelines by any member, noticed by the Executive Board, the President would contact the above cited member to request clarification. If the Executive Board, or the specifically designed Ethics Committee, after a comprehensive analysis of the member statements, would not consider them acceptable or would feel that transgressions are likely to continue, then that person’s membership might be rescinded under the majority judgment of the Executive Board.

5.3 Forgery, as well as hiding significant information regarding requirements, is also a sufficient grounds to rescind AAHEA membership

Several countries know a so called ‘Hypnotism Act’, e.g. in Great Britain (l952), but if this deals only with the use of hypnosis in entertainment it is considered not relevant to the credentials of AAHEA members and, if it were used as a potential requirement, it might constitute a transgression of these Guidelines, since it is not considered a proper AAHEA member conduct