Abstract for Hypnoethics

Here is the abstract for my thesis on Hypnosis Ethics:



Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a growing field which carries particular ethical concerns.  Hypnosis as a particular CAM has had a long standing debate about whether it is ethical for lay hypnotists to practice or whether it should remain in the domain of licensed medical professionals.  While the general consensus has been that there are risks to hypnosis and the practice of lay hypnosis is unethical, this paper argues that hypnosis itself is safe, as outlined in the medical literature,  and that the risks have been conflated with the risks of psychotherapy.  Lay hypnosis is a low risk procedure that offers the prospect of direct benefit through self-help outside of a mental health paradigm, and the benefits outweigh the risks.  As such, lay hypnosis can be conducted ethically if the boundaries between lay hypnosis and mental health practice are respected.  A proposal for regulating the profession through self-regulation, with an emphasis on professionalism is recommended.

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