Applying Hypnosis in Dermatology

Philip D. Shenefelt


Dermatology Nursing. 2003;15(6) 

In This Article

Legal Requirements for Practicing Medical Hypnotherapy

In the United States, practicing nursing requires a state license. Medical assistant rules vary from state to state. The exact details in terms of legal limitations on the use of hypnotherapy also vary from state to state, so checking state statutes is recommended. In some states, for example Florida, the practice of hypnotherapy is limited to licensed practitioners (McBride, 1985). The training requirements depend upon the type of license. Again, checking state statutes is imperative. Outside of the United States, most jurisdictions have their own laws or statutes that dictate who may legally practice hypnosis. Check for details in your local area.

As is the case with all medical procedures, informed consent is crucial before proceeding with medical hypnotherapy. This need not be a written consent, but it should be well documented in the nursing notes that informed consent was obtained if no written form is signed by the patient.

In many states, prior hypnosis may be considered to taint legal testimony given by patients, so if the area to be addressed by medical hypnotherapy is something that might be open to future litigation, the credibility of the patient's testimony may suffer. This potential legal issue should be included in the informed consent discussion.

Delving into repressed memories is a legally risky issue because of legal claims by patients that therapists have created false memories. It is recommended that only adequately trained psychiatrists and psychologists venture into this area.

The above information is not warranted to be legally correct. If indicated by your situation, it is recommended that you confer with a qualified attorney to obtain legal advice.


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