Hong Kong Guild of Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist    
   香 港 催 眠 醫 師 及 心 理 治 療 師 公 會
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Hong Kong Guild of
Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist

香 港 催 眠 醫 師
及 心 理 治 療 師 公 會


The GHP Code of Ethics; Disciplinary Procedure; Articles & Memorandum

All practising members of The Guild undertake to:

  1. Maintain strict confidentiality within the therapeutic relationship consistent with the good care of the client and the laws of the land and ensure that any client notes and records be kept secure and confidential. Confidentiality must be observed at all times unless:

    (a) it is in the best interest of the client/patient to disclose relevant information;
    (b) the client/patient has given their permission to disclose;
    (c) where the law requires disclosure;
    (d) when sharing information with fellow professionals. In the latter case, client anonymity must be guaranteed;
    (e) in the event of a complaint being made against them, subject to the complainant providing written consent for their notes and records to be made available, members may be required to provide this information to The Guild on demand.

    Practitioners must note that the question of confidentiality also applies to client records, computerised records, and any audio or video recording. Any information or case histories used for training or commercial purposes must have the written consent of the individual involved.

  2. Never promise a cure for any condition or problem, nor give advice or otherwise pass comment on any medical, psychiatric, or psychological problem or condition unless they have training and qualifications in these fields.

  3. To provide a service to clients only in those areas in which they have trained and demonstrated competence.

  4. Be aware of their own limitations and experience and whenever appropriate, be prepared to refer a client on to another more suitable practitioner (whether or not that practitioner be a member of The Guild) who might reasonably be expected to offer suitable treatment.

  5. Ensure as far as possible that wherever an aspect of the client's condition is either known or suspected to be beyond their area of expertise, the client be advised to seek medical or other appropriate advice.

  6. Always obtain written permission from the client (or client's parents/guardians if appropriate) before recording client sessions by any method other than written notes.

  7. Take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of both the client and any person who may be accompanying the client.

  8. Refrain from using their position of trust to:
    (a) exploit the client emotionally, sexually, financially or in other way whatsoever. Should either a sexual or financial relationship (other than the payment of session fees or purchase of books, tapes, or other relevant products) develop between either therapist and client or members of their respective immediate families, the therapist must immediately cease to accept fees, terminate treatment consistent with clause 9 below and transfer the client to another suitable therapist at the earliest opportunity. (Any doubt as to whether a situation falls into this category must be resolved in consultation with The Guild)
    (b) touch the client in any way that may be open to misinterpretation.

  9. Refrain from commencing any sort of relationship with any client, past or present, other than a therapeutic one. Clients must remain solely as clients. Members are strongly advised against working with friends or family for anything other than simple relaxation work or other 'single-session' therapies.

  10. Terminate treatment at the earliest moment consistent with the good care of the client.

  11. Not permit considerations of religion, nationality, gender, gender preference, disability, politics, or social standing to adversely influence client treatment. Where there is a potential for this situation to exist, i.e. where a therapist is not at ease with some aspect of the client's 'way of being', then it is part of that therapist's duty of care to refer the client on to another suitable practitioner.

  12. As far as possible, not to refuse therapy because of financial hardship.

  13. Ensure that their work place and all facilities offered to both clients and their companions will be in every respect suitable and appropriate for the service provided.

  14. Disclose full details of all relevant training, experience and qualifications to clients upon request.

  15. Make no claim that they hold specific qualifications unless such claim can be totally substantiated.

  16. Use no claim or title connected with The Guild other than that they are Members of The Guild. Appropriate designated letters, i.e., AGHP (Affiliate or Student Member), LGHP (Licentiate), MGHP (Member), FGHP (Fellow) and Guild logos may be discreetly displayed.

  17. Explain fully to clients in advance of any treatment, fees, terms of payment, session length, and any charges levied for non-attendance or cancelled appointments.

  18. Present all services and products in an unambiguous manner and ensure that the client retains complete control of the decision to purchase such services or products.

  19. Neither expect nor encourage gifts from clients. Small tokens of appreciation may be accepted at the end of therapy but should in no way be solicited.

  20. Conduct themselves at all times in accordance with their professional status and in such a way that neither undermines public confidence in the process or profession of hypnotherapy and/or psychotherapy nor brings the reputation of The Guild into disrepute.

  21. (a) Inform The Guild, upon initial application, of any disciplinary action taken against them by any professional body and further inform The Guild, in writing, of any subsequent action taken against them whilst a member of The Guild.
    (b) Confirm, upon initial application, that they have not been convicted of any offence likely to bring their professional name or the reputation of The Guild into disrepute and undertake to inform The Guild, in writing, should such an event subsequently occur whilst a member of The Guild.

  22. Inform The Guild, in writing, of any change in contact address and/or telephone number, at the earliest convenient moment.

  23. HK members must ensure that all advertising shall comply with the laws in HK and make available all such literature to The Guild on demand. In the case of overseas Members, their advertising shall comply fully with the laws of their land.

  24. Make available all relevant information requested as a result of investigation by the appointed Complaints and Disciplinary Officer without hindrance (whether implied or actual) or unreasonable delay and comply fully with all requirements inherent within the Complaints and Disciplinary procedure.

  25. To use a trading name (i.e. 'Anytown Hypnotherapy Centre') only if operating their practice from a bona fide commercial premises.

  26. To never publicly criticise or malign another member of the profession, either with or without perceived justification, whether or not they are a member of The Guild.

  27. To report to The Guild, any other Member who appears to be in breaking one or more of the ethical rules laid down in this document. Such complaint can be made with total confidentiality; the complainant's name will not be revealed other than to the members of the Advisory Board. Anonymous complaints will not be considered but all others will be fully investigated.


Disciplinary Procedure
In the event of a complaint being made against a member of The Guild, be it by another member or a member of the public, the following procedure will be implemented:

(a) In the first instance, said member will be contacted by the Chairman of The Guild or a Member of the Administrative Board of The Guild for an informal discussion concerning the complaint.
(b) At the discretion of the Interviewing officer, the member may be required to attend a formal disciplinary hearing.
(c) In the event of (b), and dependent upon the seriousness of the complaint, the member may be placed under immediate suspension.

Any disciplinary hearing shall consist of 3 individuals: a disciplinary officer and 2 members of The Guild. The member under investigation may bring one witness or other relevant party to the meeting.

All available evidence will be reviewed; if the complaint is upheld and shows that the member has contravened any part of the code of ethics of The Guild, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. 'Appropriate disciplinary action' in this context depends upon the seriousness of the complaint and whether there have been previous upheld complaints.

For a serious or repeated breach of the code of ethics, the member will be dismissed from The Guild, although there will be a 6 week period during which a reasonable appeal may be made to the Chairman of The Guild. During this period, the member will remain on suspension.

For a lesser breach, a written warning will be issued and recorded within The Guild files.
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All members accept that this is not a static document and that it may be altered from time to time, by The Guild, in accordance with the need to ensure ongoing professionalism within the field of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.


Articles of the Guild
The GHP is an exclusive body dedicated to maintaining a high standard of professionalism amongst its members committed to ongoing training and as well maintain hypnotherapists directories for HK and world-wide hypnotherapists. This, combined with a strict code of ethics, will ensure that the professional standard of The Guild will always be of the highest order.


The following 'Articles of The Guild' apply to all members:

  1. There are four grades of membership:

    Affiliate or Student: shows that the member is in training, or has basic knowledge of hypnosis, or just interested in hypnotherapy.

    Licentiate: This level of qualification is specifically for individuals who have completed an accredited or approved distance learning course and/or completed a suitable examination. Licentiate members are bound by precisely the same code and rules as all other members and will be expected to apply for full membership after a period of no more than three years in practice. Applications will need to be supported by professional and peer references and will be considered by the advisory board.

    Member: shows that the member has completed an advanced training course and is qualified to deal with most problems. This is the level at which most therapists will normally join.

    Fellow: This grade of membership cannot be applied for but is awarded at the discretion of the Advisory Board to those therapists who display above average levels of expertise and who make an above average contribution to the Hypnotherapy profession in general.

  2. The Annual Subscription is due on December 31st and stands at free of charge at December, 2002. Any change will be advised with renewal notices. It is anticipated that there will be regular seminars featuring speakers on a variety of topics and an Annual Conference.

  3. Although non-members may attend some seminars, members of The Guild will receive a discount of 10% on the entrance fee.

  4. All members are required to attend at least 15 hours of continuing professional development per year (not necessarily GHP seminars) when renewing their membership each year.

  5. All members must be engaged in regular supervision, either peer-based or via their training organisation, or both. There must be at least one supervisory meeting per month.

  6. All members will agree to abide by the code of ethics; signing the application form for membership constitutes such agreement.

  7. Should any member organise or run a hypnosis/hypnotherapy/psychotherapy seminar or other similar event, it must not be implied that such event is in any way endorsed by or otherwise supported by The Guild.

  8. The Guild undertakes to ensure that the contact details of each member should be readily available to the general public, via any means available. To this end, The Guild will maintain registration with the major Internet search engines and it is intended that other suitable advertising will eventually be placed where possible.

  9. The Guild is not a profit-making enterprise; all fees received will go to the running of The Guild, including administration expenses, the payment of lecture fees to speakers at seminars and conference, and to contributors to any GHP Journal.

  10. From time to time, this document may have additions or deletions; in such event, the latest copy will be available to all members via our website.

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Email:info@hkghp.org


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