Over the years, one of the most frequently asked questions I have received from Doctors and other Health Care professionals is 'Why do my patients need GP consent before proceeding with hypnotherapy?' During this time I have heard many misconceptions in regards to the reasons why consent is needed and I feel it is important to clarify why any ethical hypnotherapist will always seek GP consent when contraindications to hypnosis arise.
If you have a patient who is requesting GP consent for hypnotherapy then the chances are your patient is either taking medication or is seeking help for a physical complaint. Lets explore the main reasons why GP consent is sought by hypnotherapists below:
Medication: The most common form of medication that requires prior consent from the clients medical professional are antidepressants. Although hypnosis can be great for helping overcome depression it is imperative that any form of psychosis has been ruled out prior to sessions. Psychosis is a major contraindication for hypnosis, research has shown that not only is hypnosis ineffective when working with psychoses it can potentially cause further harm. After all, the last thing a person suffering from a psychosis needs is yet another voice inside their heads! When you give consent for a patient who is taking antidepressants or other medication which can affect a person's psychology you are effectively confirming that the patient is not suffering from psychosis and that you are happy for them to go ahead with hypnotherapy sessions.
Physical Issues: If your patient is seeking hypnotherapy for a physical problem such as IBS, Chronic illness, Sexual issues or Pain management etc it is important that hypnosis is not used to cover up the symptoms of a more serious illness or disease. For example, let's say a person seeks hypnosis to help relieve the discomfort of migraines. They then book an appointment with a local hypnotherapist before first consulting with their GP or before a diagnosis can be confirmed. The hypnotherapist uses relaxation techniques to relieve the painful migraines but two weeks later the same patient dies from a brain tumour. The hypnotherapist in this case would have done their client a great disservice by covering up a key symptom of a more serious problem - This is obviously an extreme case but it highlights the risks of working with these issues without first confirming a diagnosis with a medical professional. And so when working with any physical issues a professional hypnotherapist should always seek Doctors consent prior to working with the client. If consent is given the Doctor is essentially confirming that the presenting issue is one that has been diagnosed and that they are happy for their patient to have hypnotherapy.
Please note that a GP consent letter is NOT a request for your patients medical files.
Please note that I do not request GP consent to make your life harder! (I once had a letter from a very angry Doctor who believed this was the case) This is about duty of care which I am sure you can appreciate.
Please note that GP consent has nothing to do with my level of insurance. I can assure you I am fully insured.
If you are a GP or Practice Manager in the Local Area who would like to find out more about hypnosis, I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have or provide a free talk for your Doctors. For more information please contact me by clicking HERE.