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This is the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast, session number 274. Curtis Res on hypno ethics. Welcome to the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast with Jason Lynette, your professional resource for hypnosis training and outstanding business success. Here’s your host, Jason Lynette. Welcome back to the program. It’s Jason here with a fantastic conversation with Curtis Res direct from Madison, Wisconsin, and Curtis began his career in hypnosis the way that many of us did it.
By getting a master’s degree in bio ethics. . Okay. Slightly different background, it turns out. But I mentioned that because this began a journey of, first of all, looking at research, looking at various studies that were being done and helping to then modify exactly how the study, how the research should be done effectively to produce the best quality results from an ethical perspective, which turns out to be a very natural transition in our current era of evidence.
Hypnosis, which is a big part of our conversation here today, this week on the podcast, looking at how it is that we can track the research that’s out there, model the techniques that have been proven to be effective, and then ethically make use of them inside of our sessions ethically. Present them appropriately in our promotion and our marketing, and build a business that really represents where this industry ought to be.
As opposed to, as Curtis Artfully says it, rather than just, uh, throwing spaghetti at the wall and just seeing what fits. So we’re gonna talk about the language of consciousness in this conversation and the idea of upping the game in terms of the ethics and standards. In our hypnotic profession. And also, you know, acknowledging where there is and why there is specific gray areas in terms of how we talk about ethics and conversations around the medical boundaries, the ethical sort of scope of practice in terms of our work, which may seem a little heady, but really you’re gonna learn some really great strategies in terms of best presenting our work.
Best communi. With the medical profession and really an outstanding story of someone who’s creating a lot of great impact within this profession. You can find links in the show notes [email protected] to check out Curtis’s, uh, Madison Hypnosis Center, which is again out in Wisconsin, as well as his online course, which I’d highly recommend Hypno Ethics.
You can find all the details online [email protected]. And also while you’re on the web, head over to Hypno Formula. Dot com. I’ve seen a lot of people out there struggling in terms of either starting up or really restarting their businesses in response to everything Covid 19 and Coronavirus.
So I’ve put out a free webinar presentation only about 20 minutes long, all about the strategies that I’ve shopped for you. In terms of ethical pricing models and exactly how to build high value programs for your clients. Plus, as a bonus inside of that presentation, getting into the details of exactly how we can do some of this evidence based modeling inside of our work to best present valuable programs to our potential clients.
You can get that for free by heading over to hyp. formula.com. But again, you can link directly off of that from the show [email protected]. And with that, let’s jump directly into this phenomenal conversation. Here we go, episode number 274. Curtis Res on hypno ethics. Yeah. You know, I think my first introduction to it was digging through my dad’s old, old books and I found a copy of Dave Elman’s book, and that sort of got me really interested in hypnosis.
Like, Oh, what’s this hypnosis thing? I read the book and tried out some basic hypnosis things on, on my friends, but I never really thought too much about it at that point, and I was in a psychology. And I saw a video where they were experimenting on hypnosis and they had somebody put their hand in a Nevada freezing water and said, Hold your hand in there as long as you possibly.
and as you can imagine, you know, maybe 10 seconds or something like that before it gets incredibly cold and painful. And then the hypnotize them had ’em do it again and they’re able to keep their hand in there, you know, indefinitely or so it seemed right. Obviously the hypnotist was paying attention to it to make sure it didn’t get dangerous or anything like that.
And that’s when I realized, wow, there really is something to this hypnosis thing. And the power of the mind, so to speak, to change of physiology was definitely something that was really there. And so I began studying it more and more on my. And learning about it, soaking in as many resources as I could.
Uh, and then in college I studied philosophy and psychology with an emphasis on neuroscience. And you know, as I’m learning about philosophy of mind and I’m learning about, you know, these psychological theories and, and. How neuroscience works. I noticed that hypnosis was kind of the midpoint between the, these two professions.
It, it really sort of tied together this notion of consciousness with these sort of scientific elevated tools that I was finding in, in neuroscience and psychology. And so everything was just kind of pointing to hypnosis to me. And, and the more I learned, I, I tried not to get into Osis for the morning. I learned it, just kept pointing back to it.
So yeah, I love that nuance of looking. The education of psychology as well as philosophy, and then also here’s the neuroscience work. And you’re right, that’s somewhere in that, let’s call it that cul-de-sac to get very specific with metaphors. Somewhere inside of that is where a lot of. Our modern applications of hypnosis are, which is as someone who tends to be very, you know, Dave Elman, Elmanian in my style, that appreciation of now with the neuroscience, the science that’s behind it.
So is there an specific experience of something that you were studying that then was bringing you back to the hypnosis? That kinda helped to reinforce, I’m sure the spark of this journey? Yeah, so I think there’s two things in particular. One is sort of the, the philosophy track in philosophy of mind. And as you start studying consciousness and what the mind is, there’s a lot of different theories and you can look at the history of philosophy and how that’s developed over time.
But essentially what it’s come down to is that we’re representational beings and we use language to represent our world. And if you think about it, if you didn’t have any. You wouldn’t really have any consciousness. You wouldn’t be able to tell one thing from another. I’m looking at my, my desk and my computer, and if I didn’t have separate words for those, I really wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.
And maybe I don’t have the word desk or computer, but maybe I have the word brown and black or, you know, you can break it down. But if I really had no words for those things, I wouldn’t be able to too distinguish between them and I wouldn’t have an experience of them being different. And so, you know, as, as you look at the philosophy of mind and how language really.
Consciousness. That really rung a bell for me with hypnosis because to the extent that we are helping people shape their consciousness toward a better way of being, we’re using language to do that, and we’re changing the representational systems in in. Working with them in hypnosis. Yeah. So then along that journey from philosophy and psychology, what was, what was the path before the hypnosis kind of domineered that journey?
Yeah, so I, I took a kind of a long arc to, to get to where I am. You know, at the same time I was studying philosophy. I was doing work in a, in a neuroscience laboratory studying behaviorism, and I was mostly working with animals, but just seeing how. How we learn and how the brain works in learning and, you know, condition responses and, you know, the reward cycle and, and those types of things.
And seeing how that really ties into hypnosis. So that’s kind of the route I took. I, I was working in science in a laboratory for a while. I actually developed an allergy to the animals that I was working with. So I left that field and got into sort of different track of clinical research. I worked at the cancer center at the.
The University of Wisconsin Madison for a while, and that led me into work at an ethics committee at the university. Uh, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but there’s, every university has something called an institutional review board. It’s an ethics committee that reviews clinical research at the university.
And so my job working for that committee was to actually review the clinical research that was coming in from a wide swath of, of healthcare research. And then make recommendations to the board of, of doctors and lawyers who would then either vote to approve or request modifications to the research to make sure that it was ethical and in line with, you know, federal regulations and those types of things.
Yeah, and that’s really interesting because we often, you know, in our sort of major sort of focus of evidence based hypnosis nowadays, we looking at these studies, You know, there’s so many moving pieces to it, but they’re also making sure that things are legitimate. Like what would that entail? Like what would make something an appropriately ethical study versus something even minor that would then have to discount it?
Yeah, so, well, there’s a lot of factors into that. That’s not an easy question to answer. Yeah. But basically there are some basic principles that you’re looking for and there’s four sort of overarching principles in bioethics. If you’re taking sort of a principal’s view on, on what’s ethical. One is respect for persons.
Um, and that includes, you know, respecting people’s autonomy, getting informed consent, making sure that you are using those evidence based practices where you can actually say, Hey, this does work. And, and you’re not just trying to see to see what sticks. The other one is beneficence and now ence. So basically you should be offering benefit and not doing any harm.
Yeah. And then justice is another component to that as well. So you’re not targeting one group over another. All the risks and the benefits are equally distributed across different popul. Yeah. Got it. So then along that journey, when came the path just to kind of build the foundation for our, for our know where we’re going, when came the journey of actually, let’s say opening up.
And working as the hypnotist. So along this whole arc over which I’ve traveled, hypnosis has always kind of been a passion of mine. I’ve been studying it. I was kind of doing it informally here and there over the years. And then it was about five years ago, five and a half years ago, when I decided, You know what, I can make this work.
And I opened up shop. And it started off as a side thing, so I was working full time. I was actually in grad school at the time, and I, I just figured it was a good opportunity to, to open up shop. So I opened up an office and started doing it more formally marketing myself, and it continued to grow from there.
Nice. So is there a specific, let’s say, specialty that you tend to focus on or kind of a little bit of everything or what’s that focus in the office? Yeah, so, you know, everybody says you should niche down. So if, if I am asked what I specialize in, I, I say anxiety, manage. . And that is true. That is my favorite thing to work with.
And I think that I have some unique techniques that I use in that context. But that being said, I, I do just about everything. I think most hypnotists are, are open to doing most things. I don’t limit myself only to anxiety management, but I, you know, I think. The, the market, at least around here, tends to support stress and anxiety management, weight loss, and stop smoking.
So those are kind of the big three that I focus on. Yeah. I also do some work with the cancer center. I have some connections there and I get referrals from them to, uh, help people with, you know, pain management or, Stress around a cancer diagnosis and those types of things. Yeah. Nice. Which you handed at something there.
Just to elaborate on that. You know, the advice often is pick one thing and do it well, and I tend to say we can actually have multiple, you know, sort of niche markets like as you mentioned, But looking at it from the idea that it’s where the marketing message that’s going out. That’s what needs to be niched down.
So you know, on the website, maybe different tabs for different things is the easiest way to explain that. So where I wanted to bring a lot of this conversation to is something that I’ve heard you speak on and heard you say some really good things around, but it’s that experience of, well, let’s go to this in order.
What is it that you got your masters. So my master’s degree is in bioethics. Yeah. So give us the sort of thumbnail sketch of what that is. Essentially, it’s medical ethics, right? And like I said, I was working with the board at the UW for clinical research and basically doing ethical analysis of, of clinical research.
And, you know, a lot of what, what bioethics is about is making sure that both patients or clients in, in the context of hypnosis are well protected and that the profession as a whole. Is setting ethical standards to adhere to so that we can increase professionalism, so that we can establish our relationship with society in a way that that’s trustworth.
Which a huge need for that, of course, with medications, and there’s always some sort of ethical component. There’s a code of ethics for practically every hypnotic association that’s out there, though, wanted to get together with you and share this conversation just to really look at some of the principles as to what we do.
So what would you say? Let, let’s kind of start from the top down. Is there a bigger perspective, a larger message? Of ethics that you think needs to be delivered to this profession? Like what’s sort of that overriding mission statement of all of this? Yeah, so the reason that I am working to bring ethics into hypnosis, I mean, like you said, everybody has a code of ethics, but that doesn’t tell you really what to do in certain situations.
Yeah. It doesn’t really help you problem solve. It doesn’t help you think ethically, and I’m not here to tell people what’s right and wrong. I’m here to help them have some extra tools to evaluate that and hopefully just set some standards in the profession because I think as a whole, hypnosis runs the risks of being shut down essentially, right.
There are a lot of organizations that really do not like what hypnosis does, and they make a pretty strong argument that hypnosis in general is unethical. And my point of view is they have some points , but hypnosis isn’t inherently unethical. And I think it’s up to us as practitioners to really raise the bar and say, Okay, how are we going to make sure that, that we do have the, the ethical foundation to move forward to protect our clients, to protect ourselves as practitioner?
And to protect the overall industry. Yeah. I’d tell a quick story here to kind of, you know, open up this dialogue that it’s years ago and a woman calls me up and she’s wanting to do weight loss, and yet as she now begins to explain the, as her words cocktail of medication that she’s on as someone who’s diabetic, this was where.
I saw it was gonna be appropriate to pause the process and you know, the route was, I’m gonna send you the office forms and I’d like you to please fill them out and then send them back to me. As of today, I finally got rid of my eFax, so that’s gonna date the story. Um, but I had her then send me the forms by fax.
Today I just say, you know, send it from your phone or, you know, scan it perhaps. But once I had. Then I sent that to the doctor who had prescribed the medications and then was seeking there as I, I learned it early on, the acknowledgement that they know we’re working together. I wasn’t using the word referral, and, and this turned into a great conversation with this doctor who calls up, and I mean this, I’d only rack it up as ignorance, and I say that in a very simple way, not in a judgemental way.
She goes, How are you gonna cure diabetes with hypnosis? My response was, Oh, that’s easy. I’m not , you’re, you’re patient. And using those words specifically. Thank you, Scott Sandlin, Your patient called me up. Because there is some specific, and some of this was stacking the influence. Your patient called me up and she explained that there’s some recommendations that you’ve given her that she’s having a hard time keeping up with.
So we’re gonna use hypnosis as a motivational tool to make those changes even easier. So basically, it’s my job to help her follow your instructions. And the doctor pauses and goes, Oh hell, can I send you 10 more people today? And she did, and she sent 12 that week. So, you know, this kind of does draw that line as to how.
You know, I was seeking the permission. I was showing the doctor that I had permission to make that contact because they filled out a form for that. But then also very clearly staying, let’s call it, staying within my lane, has said, th this is where the work can be done. And I think across the board, the majority of us, May agree that that’s the appropriate route, that there’s a moment at a conference years ago where I had to, um, turn around and say something, as someone was saying to someone else, Don’t bring your daughter to that doctor.
I can cure that for you. Mm-hmm. , and, and I think you’re right that most people would agree. However, I don’t think everybody agrees where, you know, you mentioned staying in your lane. Yeah. I don’t think everybody agrees what lane that is exactly. Or, or where, where the boundaries on those lanes are. And I think that’s sort of the ethical gray area where.
We need tools to evaluate that. And I think to the extent that we can, as an industry, as a whole, start to agree, at least on some of that, we’ll be much better off in the long term. Yeah. So let’s, let’s branch off of this diabetic client example. What are, what are some of those factors that we could either add or take away from that to, to build a better communication and build a more ethical situation?
Or let’s expand it, which is that here’s the person who’s coming to you. And they’ve got a history of anxiety and let’s say they’re currently on medications for that. What, what are your recommendations for that? Right. So I mean, I, I think as a hypnotist right, I don’t touch the medication component. Yeah.
I, I acknowledge that, Okay, you’re on medications. Great. A lot of times when I work with anxiety, people say, Well, I, I wanna do hypnosis cuz I wanna be curative anxiety. I wanna get off my me. And what I tell them is, I can teach you how to, you know, manage anxiety better, to feel more calm or confident, or whatever it is they want to feel.
We first define exactly how it is they want to feel, and we’re working on creating that. As far as the medications go, I say, you know, that’s between you and your doctor or your psychiatrist or whoever prescribed your medications. You know, you, I encourage them to, to let them know that they’re doing hypnosis.
If it’s a doctor, I often will, you know, reach out exactly like you said and say, Hey, I’m working with, with your patient on hypnosis. And it’s a great way to build relationships with the, with the medical profession. But I don’t always do that. And so when I don’t do it, I say, Well, you know, the medication is between you and your doctor.
I really can’t talk about that one way or another. If it’s your goal to get off of that, please consult them. Right. So it’s kind of setting that, that medical boundary, you know, I think one, one. Way that I would tend to define that lane is that, you know, we’re not working with diagnoses and we’re not working with treatment.
Yeah. And I think that is one area where I see a lot of hypnotist sort of veer out of their lane for claims of cures or claims of treating particular uh, diseases, those types of things. And I think that’s potentially problematic. Yeah. Yeah, I was where the one danger of the process is unqualified work, and even at the level of confidence that I feel with what I do, I am sending referrals nonstop.
I’m often saying to someone, Hey, I don’t think I’m a match for that. I had someone the other day that was calling for her daughter, And the situation was then, the timing of it is why I kind of, you know, set off to the side and said, Well do that first and then if there’s more need for help, then gimme a call that they were wanting to come in for this specific ongoing issue at the time the medication was being rebalanced.
And I’m going, Well think back to your science classes in high school. You know, it’s better to have one control, you know, rather than doing all these things all at once and we’re not able to track what exactly is helping, Right. That, you know, I tend to say that I’m evolutionary in nature, that the many medications that are out there are still around because for some of the people, some of the time they.
Which means that like anything else, for other people, other times it’s not the fit. But I’m doing the same thing that you’re mentioning there of, well, you know, as a non-medical person, it’s not my job to diagnose or treat that. So if you’re looking to adjust that, that’s clearly a conversation with your doctor.
Makes sense? It does. And I agree and I think. You know, oftentimes where the problem is, is that anybody, not just hypnotist, but hypnotism particular in this case, often have very strong opinions about medication or if they should or should not be on it, or what mental health is, and how do you define that and, and.
I think it’s really important not to bring those opinions into your sessions with your clients. Yeah. And, and really kinda leave that to them and the medical professionals and speak only to hypnosis and what you have to offer along those lines. Yeah. I, I think that tends to be the biggest thing and one of the major components that I teach is help your client with the issue that they hired you for.
Mm-hmm. , surprisingly, that hedges off a lot of the problem. Where here’s, I’ve told this story on here before, the guy who came into my office and said, I’m bipo. I smoke because I’m bipolar. And it was a referral and we were never addressing the bipolar disorder because everything was, instead about the stop smoking.
Now, as soon as that was part of the experience, it became, I’m realizing that the labeling of the issue is, Michael Elner used to say the learned helplessness, that this thing equals that. So instead, let’s change the thinking around it so we weren’t changing the actual situation. It was instead the belief structure around it was as far as we went.
Right. And you know, interestingly, it’s not only the opinions of the hypnotist, uh, around those things, it’s the opinions of your clients as well. I mean, I think a tricky example is where somebody comes into your office and they say, Well, I don’t believe in medication. I’ve been on it for five years and I just stopped abruptly.
I’m not gonna go back to my doctor cause I don’t trust them and I don’t wanna hear what they have to say. And it said, I just wanna work with you and I expect you to cure me. Right. That’s, that’s a very integral case for, I wanna point out, you said they said that in the office, In my world, they’re not gonna make it to the office.
Right? Right. , But I mean, you could see where, where there’s sort of this gray area and on one hand I think a hypnotist could actually very well help an individual in that, in that situation. Yeah, absolutely. But there’s some ethical issues there. Right. And I know some Hemat would absolutely jump into that and say, If that’s what you want to do, that’s fine.
Other heists would sort of raise a red flag and say, Okay, let’s take a step back before we jump into. Now I’ve got a very specific example of that, that which again, here comes my disclaimer. I do not moderate these medications and I’m neither saying it was good or bad. . I showed a video clip one time at a class where Ron Eslinger out of Tennessee.
Did a demonstration of glove anesthesia and the volunteer. This is in his pain course for those who have it. The, the volunteer happened to be pregnant, which was not what the demo was about, and at the end of it, he goes, And you can use this technique however you like, however you’re gonna deliver to that baby, whether you have an epidural, whether you have it naturally, this technique, just lay your hand on your belly and just send that comfort down throughout your abdomen and half the room derail.
how dare. He suggests she get an epidural and I’m like, Okay, can we remind the clip back and watch this again, , right? Because he did say however you want to have it, so, So this client was in, and so again, no commentary as to whether the medication is good or bad. It’s just a thing that’s out there that most stuff you could read on Ambien says.
Don’t just stop taking it. There’s a tapering off. And I did not know the client had decided because she slept so well as a result of what we had been doing, that she just stopped and she had just stopped the night before and in the office. Very clearly something wasn’t right and it was this sort of careful moment of just having to ask what’s different since the last time we were here.
And as soon as she hit that specific that, oh, I just stopped taking it a few days. Well, did you stop? Did you taper off? What did you do? I think, and I’m not really qualified to make this assessment, it seems like you might be responding to something, so I think let’s call off today and call your doctor, which there actually was a specific issue in terms of the medication.
And you know, I’m convinced that as effective as hypnosis is, that wasn’t the right route in that moment. Yeah. And so I, I’m of the opinion that hypnosis is actually very safe. Yeah. In general, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any risks. Right. I mean, I think that’s a clear example of what a risk might be.
Well, I think the risk is, Sorry, sorry to jump in. I think the risk is, again, back to unqualified work of trying to fix something that we’re not qualified or we’re not the ideal option to address. Right. Which is where it goes back to, it’s the, it’s the individual, not the hypnosis is the. . Right, Right. Yeah, sorry.
So, and, and I mean, undergoing hypnosis generally safe, although there are some weird case studies about some things that, that happen under hypnosis, but again, it’s more of an opportunity cost, right? She gained so much from hypnosis, she was able to sleep, but then there, there were the, there’s this other treatment going on that was needed to be tapered off in a way where just jumping into that so quickly what was harmful, right?
And so that’s actually one of the critiques. The hypnosis profession is that as hypnotist, we’re not qualified to evaluate those situations properly to ensure the most safety. So then outside of, let’s say, scope of practice, what are some other ethical considerations we should be aware of? Well, you know, I think again, it comes down to, to risks and benefits.
Uh, opportunity costs is one. So you know, if somebody is coming to you for a problem and you’re trying to help them, I mean, I think it’s okay to use hypnosis to help them in any way that you know how, but there may be a certain treatment out there that is better for them. and more effective hypnosis is wonderful and it has a lot of applications, but it’s not magic and it doesn’t work for everything all the time.
A hundred percent in, in any way. Right. So I think a big part of it is not overselling hypnosis and, and what it can do while at the same time setting expectations for success with what you do choose to work with somebody on. That’s a, that’s a great point. So how do you ride that balance? You know, I. Part of it is I limit what I work with, so there’s a lot of people that come in to see me, and I make it very clear that while hypnosis may be really help, I’m not the proper one to see for that.
So I, I kinda limit a lot of the things that would be overselling hypnosis to begin with, and I really narrow my focus to things that I know are successful. And that I can work with. Well, occasionally I will work with people sort of outta the box and I’ll tell them front, Well, this isn’t something that, that I typically work with.
If you want to try it, I’m, I’m happy to work with you. Usually if it’s a medical thing, especially, I, I make sure that they are working with a medical team first and I’m not their only source of treatment for this. Yeah. And, and then I tell them, We’ll see what happens. You know, hypnosis can be really useful for a lot of things.
I don’t know what the outcome’s going to be, but I’m willing to work with you as long as you find it. . And I think that’s a very nice, transparent way of saying that that’s, that’s nicely stated that, you know, I, I’ll do something similar and maybe try to, you know, create a correlation of, well, that’s kind of like this other situation that I see.
And I’m, you know, we can use those methods and see how well it goes. I’m trying to remember, there was a specific client years ago that was calling up for something of that sort of unexplained medical nature and, you know, was asking, I’m trying to remember what, Well, the, the one I often go back to was the woman who the husband’s jaw was clicking when he ate and the sound was driving her.
And she’s asking, Have you done that before? And I had to respond. I’m like, No. And let me just put it out there. If anyone else tells you they’ve worked with this many times over, they’d have to be lying cuz that’s weird, uh, . But here’s what it’s like and here’s how we can help you. So I’m very proud to tell you that’s the first time I’ve ever had that call yet.
Here’s what it’s similar to and that’ll likely be effective and it. Right. And you know, I think that ties into another ethical issue about evidence based practices. Yeah. And it’s always fun having internet arguments about this . Cause there’s, there’s a lot of varying opinions about evidence based practices.
And we had talked about this a little bit last week in, in the Train the trainer course. And that was basically, You know this idea that if you are not using evidence based practices, you really have no idea what the outcome is going to be. And if somebody is going to give a a true informed consent, meaning they understand the potential risks, they understand the potential benefits, and they’re making a rational decision about whether or not they wanna work with you, they need to have the proper information about what the likelihood of success is going to be.
And the only way to do that is to really use techniques that have been. Now, that doesn’t mean that there’s no room for experimentation. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t an art to applying these validated techniques, but it does mean that you have to have a foundation for, you know, something you can point to a research study that says, Hey, this has been tested against these other conditions, and we’ve shown that it actually works better than either nothing at all, or this other treatment, or something along those lines, because then you could say, Hey, this.
I, I know this actually works because it’s been tested, not just, I really believe it, and I think it’s great, and people have told me that it’s wonderful and I think, you know, most hypnotists say, Well, my clients tell me it works, so I don’t need to use evidence based practices. Well, I don’t know about you, Jason, but my, my clients tell me a lot of things, and while I give them the benefit of the doubt, most of the time I also take what they tell me with the grain of.
And I don’t know any hypnotist who’s going out there and getting objective measures, measuring the, the success of the techniques that they’ve used. Right. And that, that’s one of those factors, which I’ll tell you what I struggled with first in terms of the evidence based movement of things, which, the answer, I’ll go ahead and state first is that yes, it’s evidence based.
So for example, if I’m looking. A specific study, if I track something down on scholar.google.com or maybe go deeper and actually buy the entire study, you know, it’s gonna reference things that we would recognize that we do as hypnotic techniques, themes of mindfulness. I’m gonna hold back from using the term visualization instead.
Just gotta call it outcome based connective. Because visualization is just the category of connecting someone with the outcome. Mm-hmm. , most of the world calls it visualization. We know not everyone’s visual. So, you know, let’s not get hung up in that conversation, but let’s throw that into the mix and we can see the techniques, but we as the practitioner may not be, let’s go scientific method on this, using the exact same process verbatim that they used in the study.
Right. . So there, there is a bit of gray area in the evidence based to at least acknowledge, well these are the techniques that do have research around it. But still this is what often is different from, And correct me on this cuz this is part of what you did that from the research study, there’s a little bit more of a rigid structure versus in the office, the client says something and that makes you go.
They’re speaking in a metaphor of this technique. I know I can do, Let me do that. Where there is still a dash of artistry to it, but at the core of it, we perhaps should be as much basing on the evidence as we can. Yes, and and I agree. And you know, if you are as rigid as the research studies are in your practice, you’re probably not going to be successful.
What happens in a lab doesn’t necessarily translate directly into the office, but at the same time, It does provide a proof of concepts showing that these theoretical approaches to issues do work. And you’re talking about visualization. I mean, one, one example that, that I absolutely love is they had people sit down at a computer and they created a, an avatar of themselves as if they were old.
They were elderly at maybe what, 30 years in the future? 40 years in the future. I, I don’t remember how far it was. And it was a, it was an AI computer program that had an avatar that looked just like them, except they were. And they had a conversation with their future self in virtual reality. And the people who had that conversation, they saved more for retirement, they ate healthier, they exercised more.
They did all these things to really nurture that future self as if it were the present selves. And to me that that’s, you know, a perfect example for evidence supporting the use of future pacing and hypnosis, right? Yeah. We don’t need virtual reality to do that. We can, you know, use our imagination in the context of hypnosis to have that interaction with your future.
Which that’s a beautiful transition to how so many of the techniques that we already make use of an hypnosis appeared elsewhere. First, that very few things are actually being invented inside of our industry. It’s instead, here’s the research that’s out there, and if we’re gonna follow with Dave Alman model, by bypassing the critical faculty of the mind, we can make the technique more efficient.
Inside of hypnosis is really the premise. A lot of what we do in this profession. Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, it is perfectly fine to borrow from other professions and say, All right, what are these principles that are working? How can I incorporate that into hypnosis and use it, Um, that is evidence based, right?
So, you know, it’s not, it’s not necessarily doing exactly what’s been done in a research study. It’s using those principles to adapt it in into the office and using the art of hypnosis to, to. . Yeah. So then in terms of the techniques we’ve used, we’ve talked about that. We’ve talked about, you know, staying within our lane appropriately.
What are other factors we should be aware of on the ethical. Well, you know, it’s interesting you had mentioned, uh, Bob Burns coming over to for Workshop with you and then in Chicago, uh, and I actually went to the one in Chicago put on by David Ruby and Karen Hand. Yeah. And I was talking to somebody there and I was telling them that I do ethics training in, in this type of stuff.
And like, ethics, what, what would I need to know about ethics for that? That’s ridiculous. And then we were talking some more and. She just kind of started talking conversation raising all these ethical issues that she had experienced over the years and weren’t even aware that they were ethical issues for herself and she did her best.
Right? But she really didn’t know what she didn’t know. Mm-hmm. and some of the things, she approached it in a very useful way. Other things kind of made me cringe a little bit, but not to say I’m the N all, but just, you know, in terms of best practices for things that can happen. So there’s a lot around confidentiality.
Working with children. What if the the child disagrees with the parent or the parent disagrees with the child or the parent’s overbearing, trying to force some outcome on their child that they don’t? I mean, how do you negotiate that in the context of a clinic, right? I mean, these are all ethical issues that that pop up.
Yeah. And of course not. With going into the details of who that was and their name and where they live, like, what were some of those ethical concerns? I’m trying to remember the conversation. The one that sticks out, and there were several of them, but the one that sticks out was about their, their child’s smoking.
And uh, it had to do with confidentiality for what the child was telling her. And what the parent wanted to know. So she didn’t know if she should be keeping the confidentiality of, of the child or if she should be telling the parent about not just the smoking, but the other drug use and the other behaviors that were in the drinking and the other things that were going on, on that context, or if she should keep that confidential or, or tell the parent about what was happening.
And the parent really wanted to know that information. Yeah. So then in that situation, I’ll tell you, you know, that’s like, just like a pre-talk and hypnosis. We can satisfy most of the objections in advance of the session that, you know, the classic of, you know, we can hedge off the, Oh, it didn’t work. I heard every word you said.
If we talk about that inside of the pre-talk, and this is where I, I say this to the parent of the child in the office, especially the teenager. And I’ve since modeled the previous episode, will link to it in the show notes with Scott Sandlin about working with teens that you know from this point forward.
Everything in the process is between me and your son, and if you ask me detailed questions, I’ll smile and say, You have an amazing son. It was an honor to work with him. And then I look immediately over to the kid and go, However, if there’s anything that’s going on that would put you or anyone else at risk, It’s all game on.
So as long as you both know that we can work together, if that’s a concern, I may not be the best fit. So I’m kind of setting the frame for that before something suddenly arises, which, yes, that’s gonna push some people away. But then I, I don’t wanna be the one, you know, moderating that one. So what would you recommend in that situation?
Well, I think you handle it great, and I think that really comes down to informed consent at Hub Time. Yeah. And there’s various ways to do, I actually gave a talk at the H P D I conference in Vegas on informed consent and. There’s lots of different ways to do it. You can have people sign a form where you outline all this stuff about confidentiality and how you’re going to protect it or not.
You know, I think the only caveat to that, Jason, I would say is if, if the kid was saying that they’re going to harm themselves or somebody else, I mean, that’s definitely information that would need to be divulged. Mm-hmm. . But you should have that written ahead of time. So if they understand that, if that comes up in the context, you will be talking to other people about it so they understand the scope of that confidentiality.
So, yeah. I. The informed consent is really an important part. And whether you do that sort of built into your pre-talk or whether you have an informed consent form, as long as people understand what they’re getting into ahead of time, uh, I think that’s the key component to it. Yeah. Yeah. So then sort of as a profession as a whole, I mean, looking at different examples, you know, we find ourselves in an interesting situation where, We do not have to necessarily follow HIPAA regulations as practitioners cuz we’re outside of that field.
What I’ve said for years is that however, it’s in your best interest to follow them as closely as possible and I would agree with that. Uh, HIPAA can be really complicated as well, so I don’t know that it’s necessary to fully take on all the protections of hipaa, but the confidentiality protections. You know, despite the legal requirements in hipaa, which most heists aren’t, don’t have to adhere to legally, ethically, they’re, they’re just a good idea.
Right? Yeah. So ethically, such as what, like what examples of that? So, you know, con conducting sessions in a private room that, you know, people in the waiting room aren’t able to hear everything that, that’s going on, you know? Maintaining files for a certain amount of period of time, but keeping them under password protected files if you’re using a computer or a locked drawer, making sure that access to information is protected.
You know, these are all things that are really important for confidentiality and you know, especially if you’re collecting sensitive information on an intake form. And, and I would actually generally recommend not to do this , but I know that some people do, you know, they collect, you know, drug use or alcohol use or.
Just other sensitive information that, that people have. You really wanna make sure that you have a means to keep that safe and protected forms of communication as well. If people consent to, you know, communicating through email or, or something along those lines, especially if you’re using, you know, a common email platform, they should understand that that’s not necessarily confidential.
And so if they are providing sensitive information or updates on treatment through email, the person should agree to that and understand the confidentiality risks that come. Yeah, so this could be a dialogue that’s suddenly daunting to someone who’s brand new, which they’re now looking at. Okay, so what can I work with?
What clients do I want to help? Do I wanna pick a specific thing? So for someone just getting started, what would be your your best recommendations? Recommendations for being ethical or recommendations for confidentiality, let’s say, Uh, just in general in terms of the ethics of our profess. Yeah, so I think first and foremost, really kind of think through what your process is and inform the individuals that you’re working with ahead of time of all the potential risks, all the benefits and the confidentiality protections so they can really understand what they’re getting into.
That’s very different than, you know, putting a shingle on your door and opening up and then figuring it out as you go. I think you really want to have that process outlined ahead of. Ideally, you’re finding a good training program that will incorporate that process into the training so that that it’s a lot easier for you.
Yeah. Yeah. Which this is one of those benefits and not just cause I. Train for one. But this is the benefit of, you know, the various organizations that we have of having, here’s a published code of ethics. There’s a strength and numbers aspect of that. But then also having that sound board to go, Hey, here’s something that’s going on.
You know, what should I be aware of? And even better, as most things turn out to be, how do I prevent this in the future so I don’t run into. Absolutely. And you know, I think, you know, another part of that is just really, really being honest and open about what hypnosis is, how it works, and what it does, and not overselling it.
I know hypnosis is a really interesting field because it incorporates sort of a lot of spiritual work, you know, is a big range. Everything from like very spiritual work to very scientific in industrial, so to speak, and everything in between. And. A large mix of all those things. I’m not here to say, you know, don’t do all that, but I think being really upfront and honest about what you’re getting into with people is super important because hypnosis isn’t necessarily just one thing, and when you are doing hypnosis with somebody, you’re not only representing yourself, but you’re representing the entire hypnosis industry.
and I’ve actually had people that I’ve worked with say, Well, I, I’ve seen a hypnotist before, and I was in the middle of a session with them and it got really spiritual and religious, and it’s not my thing at all. It made me really uncomfortable and it took me 10 years to see another hypnotist before I went back to it, but I, I could see how there is benefit to it, so I’m working with you.
Right. And, and so. They weren’t aware that they were getting into that type of a situation ahead of time. It made them very uncomfortable. It violated their own religious beliefs, and it is problematic if people don’t know about it ahead of time. So I think that informed consent component is, is really important in defining what you’re doing and letting people know about it.
Yeah. And I think the, the mindset of see the client where they are, help them to get where they want to be and let that be that journey. Yes. I now have to quote, uh, George Carlin, who reduced the 10 commandments down to one. Thou sh keep that religion to th himself, uh, . But I’m also, I’m also considering this past Wednesday night, we were doing the live online training that I do a, and the class maybe only derailed for like two minutes.
Because as soon as I referenced that the technique that we were about to practice was a resource based regression. Remember a time you felt confident, go inside of it and draw that as a resource and anchor. It is the sequencing of it. And because I had suddenly used the R word regression, someone was caught up in a sit situation similar to what you’ve just described, which was that, Oh, I went somewhere in there trying to convince me it was alien ab.
Don’t you hate when that happens, but to, to look at again, the nature of where we are in the process and not necessarily bringing in, you know, other fields and that sort of thing, which for the most part, I’d say we’re preaching to the choir of the, uh, the audience here. You put together a course though, specifically for hypnotist, right?
Yes, I did. Yeah, so I have a ethics training [email protected], where mostly I outline different ethical ways to think about problems that come up. I do highlight, you know, a few cases that that come up in hypnosis. But really it’s more just giving you the tools to think through things that that come up so that when you are presented with an ethical problem that wasn’t covered in your trainings or that nobody even thought of beforehand, you’re able to bring these tools to the situation and figure out, you know, how should I approach this based on best ethical standard.
Yeah, so what’s the, what’s the website to track that down? Hypno ethics.com. Nice. And how else can people get in contact with you? You can contact me through hypno ethics.com. I also have a Facebook page, Hypno Ethics, and I run the Medicine Hypnosis Center in Madison, Wisconsin. So that, that’s where I do my hypnosis practice out of.
Excellent. We’ll put links to everything over in the show [email protected]. And Kurt has any final thoughts for the listeners? Yeah, I think, you know, one thing to think about with ethics is that it, it is really important to build that professionalism and you’re not only working with yourself or with your client, but you’re really acting as a bridge between that client and society and how you represent that.
The more ethical you can make that, the better it is for your business, the better it is for your clients and, and the better it is for the industry as a whole. And so really just working to keep an open mind. I know a lot of times people get very defensive when I talk about ethics and. It’s important to kind of evaluate what you’re doing and say, Could I do this better?
Or, What are the best, best practices here? So just kinda keep an open mind that as you move forward in your practice and think about, you know, how can we build the industry as a whole rather than just building your own practice. Jason, let Ed here once again, and as always, thank you so much for sharing this on your social media streams, leaving your reviews.
And also interacting with our outstanding guest. You can find out more about Curtis by going to the show [email protected]. And once again, if you’re looking for a means to better startup or even scale up your hypnosis business, I’ve put together a free webinar on demand presentation. You can check that out [email protected].
It’s the Hypnotic Pricing Formula Workshop. How to increase your sales and increase your value. Without sounding like a sleazy salesperson, . And again, that’s completely free for you [email protected]. Check that out and I’ll see you next week. Thanks for listening to the Work Smart Hypnosis podcast and work smart hypnosis.com.