Stand and deliver- (your) money for nothing

on Mon 2 Mar

Stand and deliver - (your) Money for nothing...

As I walked down the street yesterday I was truly amazed by a shop that had just opened up. I know that I shouldn't have been, I know that the Pound, Dollar, Euro et al rule and there is no greater sign of this than over the Christmas holiday. How have we let society to allow commercialism to really take a stranglehold, a vice-like grip?

“Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.” Dr Philip Slater (Harvard lecturer, author, actor, playwright, and sociologist)

As I was walking I came across a shop that is selling ‘vaping’ and has an advertising slogan of “Become Tobacco Free!” Now I doubt that vaping is completely without its dangers and whilst research is inconclusive I feel that anything that contains super-heated nicotine and a number of other chemicals, they can’t be any good for you – especially if they are being produced by the tobacco industry.

Then this article isn't about vaping, no it is about ethics. Ethics in therapeutic practice.

I had a client a few days ago who stated:

“You were my second choice actually, but the first hypnotherapist I went to see wanted to charge me £50 for 10 sessions… he didn't even do any hypnotherapy…”

Incidentally, we alleviated the presenting issue in just one session at a fraction of that ridiculous cost. It made me mad to think that a therapist, someone whom the public puts their faith and trust in could be so ethically bankrupt as to suggest a price for essentially doing nothing in return. People who seek hypnotherapy often seek a last resort, they have tried everything else and so are desperate and hence vulnerable. Alas, there are always going to be charlatans in a professional industry who are interested in making money from the more vulnerable rather than doing a first rate job and it just makes me cross. For this reason I would always recommend using a hypnotherapist who is NCH and CNCH registered – there is a route to complain and the accreditation provides peace of mind about their ethical standards – an easy question to double check this, ask them:

“Who is your supervisor?” If they pause for too long, then you know that they are not abiding via the code of conduct – you could ask to see this code as well – I carry it around with me and offer it and my qualifications openly for inspection.

Am I mad? Not one bit… A few days ago I took a call from a client who asked if she could have a follow on session. Now, I know that most businesses would have jumped at this offer but instead I stated:

“Shall we see how it goes as I really do not want to take your money if you do not need another session? I would be happy to, providing that you will get more out of it.”

You see, I work on a session to session basis which means that, I only make recommendations for further sessions based upon the evidence of what occurs following the initial treatment. I may be losing money compared to other therapists and of course the reinforcement may just be beneficial, yet I can’t bring myself to suggest this without evidence of requirement. When I am contacted one of the first questions that a prospective client asks is “how many sessions will I need,” quickly followed by “…and how much does a session cost?” I tell people the truth, that I can’t say how many sessions you will need, it could be one, it may be more – but let’s work on a session to session basis, I then state my fee. I know that I should raise my prices to an amount which reflects my success rates but I am doing a good job at a price that I am content will allow every one of every means access to me. Due to this way of thinking (it’s certainly no gimmick btw) I hope sincerely that my reputation will continue to grow quickly. I seek to be the best hypnotherapist I can be, actually I am rather pleased with my results, operating in Southampton and London’s Harley Street. I have had people travelling from London to see me – I must be doing something right.

So what is my conclusion, rather than just rant. Everyone has differing levels of internal conscience and values, is this an article which is subconsciously asking for regulation in unregulated industries? Do we need the intervention of the law? Is selecting a therapy similar to that of "traditionally" selecting a tradesman? Whilst I am content that I am professional and do my CPD and have a great supervisor I would urge all members of the public to seek therapists that hold professional accreditation, insurance and that come with recommends. For everyone else, I urge you to reflect on your own business and ask:

"Am I doing things right? Would I happily buy goods/services from me?"

Sleep well.

Best Wishes,



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