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United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2005 :  2:53:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A Heads Up For Hypnotists -

Take care,
Michael Ellner

New Haven Register - News - 03/10/2005 -

Hypnotists facing spell of scrutiny

Meggan Clark , Register Staff

MILFORD — A state lawmaker in coming months will seek a way to regulate who can practice hypnotherapy, while two major television programs will feature the Milford hypnotist who had sex with patients in his office. Attorney Stephan Seeger, who represents one of former Milford hypnotist Michael Johnstone’s victims, said his client and two other women will be interviewed today by Dateline NBC. An NBC spokeswoman did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

The television program A Current Affair, has already filmed an episode based on Johnstone’s sexual trysts with patients in his office.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House James Amman, D-Milford, said he will "seek something that would tighten up the laws" regulating hypnotists in Connecticut.

"Certainly, we don’t want anybody that uses their profession … unethically or … for sexual gratification ... or taking advantage of (a patient)," he said.

Johnstone pleaded no contest in January and was found guilty on three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, which involves exhibiting extreme indifference to human life and risking serious physical injury to another person, and three counts of breach of peace for making an obscene gesture in a public place. He is currently serving a 90-day prison term.

Seeger’s client sued Johnstone for unspecified damages, alleging Johnstone had sex with her repeatedly while she was hypnotized. The woman had sought treatment for issues stemming from childhood sexual abuse.

Seeger said the three women approached by Dateline want to draw attention to the case, and the importance of regulating hypnotherapists, in order to be a "catalyst for change."

New Haven attorney Hugh Keefe, who represents Johnstone, said he was
interviewed by A Current Affair and contacted by another television show, but has not responded.

Meanwhile, a New Hampshire-based organization that represents nearly 8,000 hypnotists said it would support legislation that would require hypnotists to be licensed, while the owner of the company associated with Johnstone’s former hypnotherapy franchise said licensing would do little to protect the public.

Dr. Dwight Damon, president and a founding member of the 54-year-old National Guild of Hypnotists, said the guild has approached legislators in most New England states in an attempt to implement some form of oversight of hypnotists.

For the most part, he said, states have had little interest in licensing and regulating hypnotists, leaving it up to the guild to set standards for members.

"What we have done, instead, is trying to concentrate on trying to enforce within our own ranks, through our code of ethics, good professional behavior," he said.

"Unfortunately, where there is no licensing, all we can do if a person is a member (and violates ethical rules) … then we do take away their certification and membership in our organization."

He said hypnotists are not required to be a guild member to practice.

According to the lawsuit against Johnstone, he owned a hypnosis franchise, Positive Changes Hypnosis, whose parent company required no background checks and minimal training before a franchisee was allowed to open.

But Keith Alessi, CEO of the company that bought the name "Positive Changes Hypnosis" as part of a bankruptcy court proceeding two years ago, said he didn’t think regulation would have prevented Johnstone’s crimes.

"There’s no training in the world that’s going to prevent (professionals who abuse patients) from doing that," he said. "I don’t think any kind of certification or licensing would have prevented Mr. Johnstone from engaging in the actions that he engaged in."

©New Haven Register 2005


Gil Boyne
[Gil Passed Away May 5, 2010]


34 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2005 :  5:59:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I support having our field licensed. Hypnotherapy Certification unfortunately does not reflect to most of the public a professional stature of ethical guidelines . Too many places and individuals are giving out certifications for weekend trainings. Students have no idea what they are doing and simply blindly trusting the salespeople-facilitators. People are getting hurt. I hear it a lot with students asking why the Guild won’t recognize weekend certification of Hypnotherapy. I’m amazed many really do ask it. I’m tired of it and don’t believe legally those others should be able to practice without proper training. This is my opinion and definitely favorable to safeguarding our professional reputation. I am a certified Instructor of the National Guild. Thanks for posting this Gil.
Best Regards, Crystal
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bob kinsey

28 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2005 :  6:34:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I, too, must respond to this atrocity. Having a doctorate in clinical hypnotherapy, I feel that regulating and licensing of hypnotists and hypnotherapists should be a mandatory requirement to enter this profession. Although we cannot stop any criminal action that causes embarrassment to our field, at least we can have a better career field self-control through a governing body to ensure proper training and education have been completed to certify qualifed hypnotists and hypnotherapists. Just like medical doctors and their strict regulations and ethics, we need to parallel their codes as well, but to hypnosis standards. In other words, we need to upgrade our professional status to the civilian world and let them know there are professional hypnotherapists who can be trusted, because our standards and ethics are closely monitered by a governing body. We can't do much about the abusers of our profession, but if the public realizes and recognizes our effort to legitimize our profession by upgrading our means of regulations, we can weed out these so-called weekend "all-knowing' hypnotists. Thank you letting me vent.

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369 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2005 :  8:52:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Regulated or not, people are going to be people.

Just like the dentist who abused people under sedation - the fact that he was regulated, highly educated and certified (and even graduated from a top school) didn’t stop the abuse or keep it from happening. The simple fact is, people who are looking to victimize people will find a way to do just that. Regulating Hypnosis is not going to make that any easier or harder; and the people who will abuse - will still abuse. They will find a way. In fact, sometimes the fact that they are so highly regulated sometimes gives them the misguided conception that they are above other people (those they abuse).

For every one horror story such as this (and we all assume in this thread that this person is guilty just by the fact that he was arrested) there are 10,000 caring humans out there eager to learn and help people.

When the random dentist is busted they don't look to overhaul the entire system that somehow let him slip past the authoritative structure that let him enter. In every profession of authority there are those willing to abuse their power whether they be priest, doctor, policeperson or politician. By having an even higher pedigree the abuser can hide and even be protected by those that prosper from the system that qualifies them.

More government is NOT the answer. More government is never the answer.


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bob kinsey

28 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2005 :  9:30:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hypnodoc, I agree with you to an extent, but you misunderstood me when i was talking about governing body. I wasn't referring to the Federal government or any legislative body. I meant a governing body of our own. We need to get our own governing body of top hypnotists or hypnotherapists to set our own regulations and standards, instead of all the micro organizations that are among us. I'm sure there will be opponents against this, but for we professional hypnotherapists to gain US credibility, something has to be done. We need one standard of regulations instead of, I don't know how many organizations are out there, having umpteem numbers of different ethics and standards from each orgainization or associations, where these weekend hypnotists get their certifications from these so-called associations, and think they can cure the world. I do not want any US government sticking their nose in our business either, but we, as qualified professional hypnotherapists, need to band together to become one. I also agree with you about anyone who wants to abuse their authority we cannot stop them. It's just a fact we have to accept, in any occupation, for that matter. Wishfully thinking, I would still like to see a nationwide organization of qualified hypnotherapists as a whole.

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United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  11:41:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I I have been in contact with the Connecticut Attorney General's office for several weeks regarding the arrest and prosecution of this hypnotherapist and here are some facts and further information.

Mr. Johnstone was trained by me in my Los Angeles Hypnotherapy Institute in 1990. He took 200 hrs. of classroom instruction including Ethics and the laws regarding client therapist relations. He is now 66 yrs. old with fifteen years of practice behind him. I am posting some of the material I sent to the Attorney General of Connecticut.


This is written in an effort to clarify and create greater understanding of training requirements and programs offered as preparation for a career in the practice of Hypnotherapy.

Currently, in the United Kingdom, there is no Governmental regulation nor formal University Training required for use of the occupational title “Psychotherapist” or the word “Psychotherapy.” Consequently, anyone can call themselves a “Psychotherapist” or a “Hypnotherapist” irrespective of training and experience (or lack of same). As a result, some schools (Institutes) advertise “Hypnotherapy” training programs of extended duration (two to three years or longer), which most often consist of one weekend each month with extended breaks every few months. With few exceptions, these” Hypnotherapy programs offer limited hours of basic definitions, inductions and suggestion programming. The balance of the training is comprised of readings, interpretations and explanations of the many varied theories and forms of “psychotherapy”. The ratio seems to be approximately 20% basic hypnosis and 80% of psychotherapy lectures on Sigmund Freud’s “Theory of the Unconscious” and the theories of many of the early pioneers of psychoanalytic therapy. A great deal of this lecture material is acquired simply by “borrowing material” from textbooks and similar courses. Such material is used to greatly expand classroom time in order to “justify” the cost of the program.
It is my view, that these theories contribute little to developing the specialised body of knowledge or acquiring the skills so necessary for the practice of contemporary hypnotherapy.
Other “Institutes” offer “Career Training” in as little as one or two weekends. Students are told they are “fully prepared” to begin their new career as “Diplomas” are awarded.

In the USA, the words “Psychotherapist and Psychotherapy” are reserved by law for those Mental Health Practitioners that are licensed under state regulation. Requirements for qualification for taking a licensing examination are the successful completion of a University Degree program with a subject specific curriculum specified by the state licensing laws.

The occupational title “Hypnotherapist” has been defined by USA Federal Law and published in the” “Dictionary of Occupational Titles” by both the American and Canadian governments. This formal occupational recognition neither requires nor forbids state licensing or other forms of regulation. It simply acknowledges that Hypnotherapy is a legally recognized occupation.

The following definition was accepted and approved by the National Center for Educational Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Education, on April 7th, 1989, for inclusion in A Classification of Instructional Programs, published by the U.S. Dept. of Education every five years.

Program Description; HypnotherapyTraining
"An instructional program that prepares individuals to use hypnosis (trance) as the primary technique in a process of reeducation at the mental/emotional levels for the purposes of solving problems, developing motivation and setting and achieving goals. Teaches applications of hypnosis in health sciences and human services. Prepares students for certification examination."

Hypnotherapy Training Program has been assigned a six-digit identification number and is classified under "Human Services" in the "Health Sciences and Human Services" Division.

This is a formal recognition and identification of Hypnotherapy Training Programs by an agency of the United States Government.
In, addition, ACHE approved schools are listed in
the Directory of Instructional Programs (DIP) (programs of less than two years) United States Dept. of Education.

(more to come.)

Gil Boyne
[Gil Passed Away May 5, 2010]
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United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  12:00:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Hypnotist: A person who has learned the ability to induce a hypnotic trance in other individuals or groups and then give suggestions for various purposes. This is usually taught in a single weekend seminar (12 hours of instruction).
Some examples of hypnotist practice are:
1. The stage hypnotist provides entertainment by inviting willing volunteers to participate in his on-stage demonstration. Those who enter trance easily remain on stage and the others are dismissed. The responsive group is then given suggestions to engage in various entertaining activities and postures to generate laughter and amazement from the audience.
2. The hypnotist who has learned to develop the trance state and offers services to help smokers overcome the habit. Hypnotic trance and properly structured suggestions can help a percentage of smokers who have expressed their desire to stop smoking to become free of tobacco usage.

Hypnotherapist: A person who combines trance induction of hypnosis with individualized counseling techniques uniquely secured by each Hypnotherapist. Every Hypnotherapist has a background of specialized training, theories, techniques, and tools directed to the counseling field.
Therefore, Hypnotherapy cannot be defined within a standardized detailed description. Since Hypnotherapy is not taught in American universities as part of a curriculum that qualifies the student for licensing in the mental health or counseling professions, specialized training is offered in some states by state-approved vocational schools. However, in most states virtually anyone can hold themselves out as a Hypnotherapy teacher due to a lack of state regulation. State agencies do not regulate content or curriculum or even the number of hours required for diploma. It is the function of the state legislation to legislate such requirements. State-approved Hypnotherapy schools offer instruction ranging from a low of 15 hours to a high of 750 hours. The average level of instruction for ACHE approved schools is 250-350 hours of classroom instruction provided by a state-approved hypnotherapy instructor.


Gil Boyne
[Gil Passed Away May 5, 2010]
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United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  12:12:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

As of this writing, only New York state legislature has passed legislation that the occupational title "Hypnotherapist" is restricted to those holding a license in the healing arts and specific counseling professions.

The Legal Basis for the Occupational Title "Hypnotherapist" is
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (D.O.T.) a reference manual published by the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

The book is compiled by input from many sources. The D.O.T. assigns numbers to and defines occupations. The U.S. Dept of Labor is not concerned with what is or is not a state-licensed occupation, only that it is a legally and widely accepted occupation. Employment Development, Occupational Rehabilitation, Insurance and many other departments of both state and federal governments use the book.

In 1975, as a result of the legal efforts of hypnotherapists Gil Boyne and John Kappas, the Department of Employment defined "Hypnotherapist" and an identification number was assigned (079.157.010)

"Hypnotherapist induces trance state in client to increase motivation or alter behavior patterns through hypnosis. Consults with client to determine the nature of problem. Prepares client to enter hypnotic states by explaining how hypnosis works and what client will experience. Tests subjects to determine degrees of physical and emotional suggestibility. Utilizes hypnotic techniques based on test results and analysis of clients' problem. May train client in self-hypnosis conditioning."

You will notice that the definition contains no medical terms nor does it say that a hypnotherapist requires a license as a physician, psychologist or other mental health worker.

It simply means that the U.S. Dept. of Labor defines "hypnotherapist" in the specific ways stated.

Legislative Committees in numerous states have repeatedly determined that licensing of an occupational group shall be required ONLY when the unlicensed practice is proven to represent a threat to public health and safety.

There has never been a DOCUMENTED case of harm for the use of hypnosis, other than claims of sexual interactions, which are common to the counseling professions including psychiatrists, psychologists, ministers, and others who engage in individual counseling, with and WITHOUT HYPNOSIS!

Gil Boyne
[Gil Passed Away May 5, 2010]
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United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  12:30:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Certifying Organizations

WEB MD is the largest and most comprehensive medical website in the world. Please note in the story on hypnosis that only one organization (other than two restricted to physicians and psychologists) is recommended, the ACHE.

There is a conspicous absence of National Guild and all of the others.

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305 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  12:56:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Restrictions don't work, as we well know, and governments never seem to be able to run anything properly, so it would be my advice that local groups, societies, and associations should be ready to act in the event of a complaint from a client, and clients should be aware that any practitioner who is not a member in good standing with such a group is not a good prospect as a therapist.... Membership could then be refused by locals who know the situation better than those at a distance, and removal of membership privilages would deny a practitioner the right to display a certificate of membership on such a group. The absence of a certificate would alert a sensible client, and the phone number dislayed on the certificate could be called in the event the client wished to confirm membership... As president of such a society, it was my sad duty to expel a member for unprofessional conduct, but at least he had the right to defend himself if he so wished, and present his case just as did the complainant.
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United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  2:59:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Regulation of hypnotherapists-the right way!

Since 1956, there has been a repeated hue and cry from the uniformed that "we must license hypnotists!" It doesn't originate from licensed professional groups or legislators or law enforcement!
Most often, a would-be leader starts an organization and tells his followers that he is working on a licensing bill. The raises the hopes of the uniformed that they will gain status and prestige and hopefully, increased income.

Here are the facts; Legistlative committees in most states have repeatedly stated that licensing may not be granted to an occupational group for purposes of acquiring status or prestige

Licensing may only be granted when the non-licensed practice is proven to be a threat to public health and safety.

To date, there has never been a documented case of harm presented to any legislative committee in America!Because of this a new kind of regulation has become popular in numerous states. It is a registration and disclosure act!

California, Washington and Colorado are just a few that have passed such an act. In states that do not have this form of regulation and disclosure, most hypnotists vehemently oppose such acts.

Here is the California Act.


The undersigned Client acknowledges that he or she has been informed of the following information:

Hypnotherapist agrees to provide professional services in accordance with acquired training and experience, giving undivided attention during scheduled consultations to facilitate Client's benefits . Hypnotherapist's work is Client-centered.

Services provided include induction of hypnosis,methods and principles used to help Clients discover their inner creative abilities to create  positive thought and  feeling and transform
undesirable habits and behaviour patterns.

Therapeutic goals are to achieve freedom from restrictive thought and belief systems to assist in solving personal problems, developing motivation and achieving goals.

Client may be taught the use of self-hypnotic techniques to assist in achieving goals and resolving issues that have been mutually agreed upon by Client and Hypnotherapist.

The principles and theories upon which hypnotherapy is based are
focusing, accessing and utilizing the power of one's inner resources.

Hypnosis is not a state of sleep, but is a natural state
of mind that produces an extraordinary levels of relaxation of mind, body and emotions.

Hypnosis can transcend the critical, analytical level of mind,
and facilitate the acceptance of suggestions, directions and instructions.. The therapeutic use of Hypnosis can also elicit information and insgihts from the inner mind. The hypnotherapist utilizes interviews, discussion and hypnotic methods dealing with underlying issues whenever appropriate, to achieve effective and lasting results.

The services to be provided do not include the practice of medicine, as Hypnotherapist is not a licensed physician. These non-licensed services are non-diagnostic, and are complementary to the healing arts services licensed by the state of California. 

The California State Legislature has determined that state licensing may not be conferred upon an occupational group for purposes of status or prestige. The primary purpose of licensing laws for  legally defined healing arts and Mental Health professionals is  to protect public health and safety. Accordingly, Hypnotherapists are not required to be licensed by the state to perform their professional services.

Hypnotherapist has the following education, training, experience, and qualifications to perform the services provided to the Client:

See the affixed document labeled "Attachment A"  (or provide within
this paragraph)

For complaints not resolved by Hypnotherapist, contact the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners, 700 S. Central Ave., Glendale, CA 91204.

I, the undersigned Client acknowledge that I have been advised of the foregoing information, and that I have been given a copy of this "New Client Information" form.

________________________________    Dated: ________________________
Client's Signature

SECTION 3. Section 2053.6 is added to the Business and Professions
Code, to read:

2053.6. (a) A person who provides services pursuant to Section 2053.5 that are not unlawful under Section 2051, 2052, or 2053 shall, prior to providing those services, do the following:

_(1) Disclose to the client in a written statement using plain language the following information:

__(A) That he or she is not a licensed physician.
__(B) That the treatment is alternative or complementary healing arts services licensed by the state.
__(C) That the services to be provided are not licensed by the state.
__(D) The nature of the services to be provided.
__(E) The theory of treatment upon which the services are based.
__(F) His or her educational, training, experience, and other qualifications regarding the services to be provided.

_(2) Obtain a written acknowledgement from the client stating that he or she has been provided with the information described in paragraph (1).
____(a) The client shall be provided with a copy of the written acknowledgement, which shall be maintained by the person providing the service for three years.
____(b) The information required by subdivision (a) shall be provided in a language that the client understands.
____(c) Nothing in this section or in Section 2053.5 shall be construed to do the following:
______(1) Affect the scope of practice of licensed physicians and surgeons.
______(2) Limit the right of any person to seek relief for negligence or any other civil remedy against a person providing services subject to the requirements of this section.

Gil Boyne
[Gil Passed Away May 5, 2010]
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United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  3:20:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is a letter I received some time ago!

Dear Mr. Gil Boyne,

Sir, I have the greatest respect for you. That is why I write to you. I am talking about efforts to get licensing (or legal certification), enacted in the USA.

I write to you as a professional - for I have been a "licensed" MFT (Marriage FamilyTherapist) since 1978. Having labored under the burden of State agencies for these many years, I can tell you that the worst thing that could be done to the advancement of Hypnosis is to place that same yoke on the necks of hypnotists anywhere in America!

The advancement of the art (never has been a science) of Marriage Family Therapy has all but come to a standstill. Even good, conscientious, honest and honorable MFT's labor in FEAR of the Board of Behavioral Science Examiners and their "Administrative Law" henchmen. It is a system that denies due process to Therapists and from which there is neither appeal nor recourse.

I sincerely ask you to think of the many breakthroughs and discoveries that you and your generation pioneered and try to understand that most of these bold experiments would NEVER have been performed nor these discoveries made if you were saddled with
the very Laws and regulations that some organization seek to enact. It is common for those of us who have seen the abuses that have
resulted from the unethical practicioners among us, to want to leave a "safer" legacy to our juniors. But, we need to remember that progress is always risky and upsetting to those who crave safety over all else.

I also realize that you want to bring this most valuable and useful
art UP to a higher place of respect. " Let me assure you that this "respect" comes at a very high price --and the price is---
The freedom to learn, the freedom to practice, and above all, the freedom to explore and DISCOVER.

God Bless you and yours,
Rev. Adhyatma B. Friend

Gil Boyne
[Gil Passed Away May 5, 2010]
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369 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  3:23:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
bob kinsey,

Hypnodoc, I agree with you to an extent, but you misunderstood me...

I was not posting "in answer" to your post (it just happened to come before mine) - I was just posting in regard to the topic of this thread.


"Relax, Listen and ______ with Hypnosis" Audio Series.
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250 Scripts for Hypnosis Professionals
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bob kinsey

28 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  5:16:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you HypnoDoc. No harm, no foul.

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7 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2005 :  10:26:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Would someone like to put up a list of trusted people who they see fit to watch over the work? I would assume these people would be of good character, well educated and informed! These people would have no black marks against their name at the time of entering the list, according to the people who put them there in the first place. When the inevitable happens and one or more fall from grace, where does this leave the regulatory body with regard to the public eye? Worse/better off? What comes next, more education/better education or is the education only as good as the people who attend?
Any barrage will do for me, as there is always something to be had form it.
Sincere regards Alan.
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369 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2005 :  2:02:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is a more detailed news article on the Johnstone case:


But here are the main points:

A British hypnotist charged with having sex with patients under his spell and secretly videotaping the encounters was sentenced Monday to 90 days in prison and faces possible deportation to England.

Michael Johnstone, 64, had pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment and breach of peace. As part of a plea deal, he received three years in prison with all but 90 days suspended. He will not have to register as a sex offender or attend sex therapy.


"Relax, Listen and ______ with Hypnosis" Audio Series.
(MP3 Instant Download, CD, and Cassettes)
250 Scripts for Hypnosis Professionals
(All the scripts you may ever need for your practice)
"Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.
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670 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2005 :  6:22:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Would someone like to put up a list of trusted people who they see fit to watch over the work?


Our list is already posted and even though it was not created to be a "safe list," like what you are suggesting, the fact is that the list is just exactly that.


This one case is the only exception out of the thousands of listings in our database, this is the first person we have ever removed (in almost ten years of keeping this list) due to misconduct. In fact this is the only person ever removed for any reason.

That is a pretty good record for Hypnosis in general wouldn't you agree?


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United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2005 :  1:38:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Today, I spoke with my contacts in the Connecticut Legislature and was told that it is extremely unlikely that ANY bill on hypnosis/hypnotherapy registration or restriction will be heard ,
The legislative session ends June 8th. I was informed that NO OTHER
Association gave any input on these proposed bills. As Exec. Director of the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners I feel a responsibility to monitor the political activity that can affect our profession. We have come a long way since the first restrictive bills in the fifties (every one defeated) The only harmful bill that has passed since then was the recent New York State law forbidding the use of the occupational title "hypnotherapist" except by state licensed health care and mental health workers. It was introduced in
2003 while I was still resident in London. This was an smashing defeat for the Hypnotist Union and it's president, Dwight Damon, the Exec, Director of the National Guild of Hypnotists.
The many Union/NGH members in New York state were devasted by the failure of the Union and NGH to demonstrate any legislative influence in their behalf, since they had been paying $15.00 per month union dues for many years and in newsletters they were told of the unions great strength to affect legislation harmful to hypnotherapists. The National Guild of Hypnotists has announced that they advocate and work for individual state licensing for hypnotherapists.
It is hoped that this new promise will.keep the faithful in line.

Gil Boyne
[Gil Passed Away May 5, 2010]
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United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2005 :  11:44:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Victims push to regulate hypnotists

Register Staff 05/10/2005

MILFORD — Three women molested by Milford hypnotist Michael Johnstone obtained support Monday from state House Speaker James Amann for state controls on the loosely regulated industry.
"I went for some counseling and everything I shared, all my personal information and confidence, was used against me," said Marcia Newman, a fellow hypnotist who said she was molested by Johnstone five years ago. "There’s no one watching them. There’s no one watching us."
Amann said he is "100 percent" behind introducing legislation to regulate the hypnosis industry in Connecticut, but there isn’t enough time in the current session to pursue it. He said he would work with the victims, Milford Rape Crisis Center officials and prosecutors to develop the bill’s language in coming months.

The women, speaking publicly for the first time, agreed to testify before the legislature and allowed the New Haven Register to print their names. They want Amann and other state lawmakers to regulate the hypnotism industry the same way doctors, psychiatrists and dentists are regulated. Currently, hypnotists don’t need a state license or registration to practice and almost anyone can claim to be a "certified" professional.

Johnstone was accused of having sex with at least six patients while they were hypnotized. He pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment and breach of peace charges in January. Johnstone avoided being labeled a sex offender as part of his plea agreement, and is currently serving a 90-day sentence at Osborn Correctional Institute in Somers. He is to be released on May 28.

The National Guild of Hypnotists, the New Hampshire-based organization that certified Johnstone to practice hypnotherapy, said Monday sex crimes occur in all professions, and are not exclusive to the hypnosis industry. But group President and founding member Dwight Damon said he would be willing to sit down with the Connecticut legislature.
Damon stands by criteria his organization uses to certify hypnotherapists, which includes 100 hours of classroom instruction and 15 hours of continuing education each year.

But a California hypnotists’ organization labeled the National Guild the "main offenders" of groups that certify hypnotists with a minimum of instruction; a charge Damon denies.

"For 25 years, they were certifying people with a weekend course," said Gil Boyne, executive director of Glendale, Calif.-based American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. "They (minimally educated hypnotherapists) are the enemy. They are the people who pollute our waters."

Johnstone was a "certified member" of the National Guild and Damon said there were never any problems that they were aware of before criminal charges were filed; Johnstone has since been booted from the organization. Damon said that the NGH did hold weekend courses for hypnotists in 1998 and 1999, but added that every member today typically has about 150 hours of classroom instruction.

In places such as California and Colorado, hypnotherapists must be registered through the state in order to practice, but aren’t licensed the way doctors, psychiatrists, or other professionals are, Boyne said.

In other states, such as Connecticut, obtaining certification after being revoked by a group such as the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners wouldn’t stop someone from practicing as a hypnotist, he said.

Monday was the first of what will be several meetings between Johnstone’s victims, Amann and Milford Rape Crisis center officials about potential legislation regulating the hypnosis industry in Connecticut. While it might take several years to get a bill before the legislature, the women say it would be worth it.

Gil Boyne
[Gil Passed Away May 5, 2010]
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