Reply To: Becoming a PSTEC Practitioner

Sally Baker

    We mostly come to working in a therapeutic capacity from varied backgrounds, often having followed diverse career paths and sometimes having experienced and survived incredible life changing challenges of our own.

    So whatever our starting points, I believe that we all need to be accountable as therapists and abide to a strict code of conduct. This kind of structure, for instance, is part of my membership of the General Hypnotherapist Register, (GHR) without which I would not be able to obtain professional indemnity insurance and in turn practice within a professionally recognised framework.

    It is true that in some countries and some states in US licensing is not required for practicing some modalities including hypnotherapy. However a responsible practitioner would ask oneself “Am I doing only good?” for the person who is asking for help, and most importantly “Am I doing no harm?”.

    So, the short answer to the question – perhaps the qualification needs to come not from the outside but from the inside, from the question that the practitioner would ask of oneself “Do I know all I need to know to be of help”.

    As professional therapists it is our full time occupation to study, train in, and practice our modalities and work safely within our knowledge range and experience. One way I ensure the “Do I know all I need to know to be of help” is that I invite every potential client for a free one hour consultation. From the outset it is understood that there is no obligation to commit to working together for either party. This is not merely an opportunity for a potential client to meet with me to see if they like me or not. It is, on my part, a professional consideration to explore and assess through a robust intake process whether a client’s presenting issue(s) falls within my knowledge range, therapeutic capabilities and experience.

    An example of this from my own clinical experience is my work with clients who present with eating disorders or who strive for successful weight loss. The principals of how to use PSTEC, EFT and Hypnotherapy are featured in the e-book Liz Hogon and I co-wrote called Achieve Your Natural Weight. The reality of working with clients with emotional or stress eating is that the reasons are rarely actually about food. It’s not about being greedy or a lack of will power. Liz and I often find that the issues that lead to a person manifesting self-harm through either over-eating or under-eating, for that matter, are much deeper and more complex.

    Therapists have the freedom to work to the unique needs of each client using the skills and techniques we have learnt and developed through many, many hours of practice and training. Good training is an absolute pre-requisite for all therapists as is continuous ongoing professional development throughout one’s career and regular professional supervision.

    So, no, I don't believe that therapists need to be psychologically trained in order to practice effectively and ethically as therapists- however, I think we always need to disclose our training and boundaries of practice to our clients.