Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Woogie Treatments

As I sit drinking coffee first thing this morning, I am trying to decide where to go with this post. There was a story out on Monday (yes, another one) that has been itching at me. It was another negative slap to hypnosis, so I though I would just ignore it, but it will not let me. So, sadly, I must pass it along.

I am not sure what happened on Monday that caused the press to suddenly feel the need to write disparagingly about hypnosis. Maybe it was that there was a certain time that certain people did things to get caught fanning the fires.

And so, for you Tampa, Florida hypnotists, you carry the burden of another soul's double dealing. From what I hear, Florida has several laws about who can and cannot practice hypnosis. That is tough enough. Then there is counseling. Very often as hypnotists we find clients who want us to fill this role as well. For those who are licensed counselors or psychologist, this is a moot point. But for those of us who do not have the background and proper paperwork, it is a bit illegal for us to provide such services. I have known several hypnotists who become ordained ministers to get past these licensing issues (I speak from no-experience in this realm).

On Monday, Tampa Bay Online reported a story about a man who was on the board of directors at a Unity church (it does not say he was ordained) who was arrested because "he passed himself off as a mental health counselor to treat members of the church, even though he was not licensed to do so." This carries a one year sentence. Well, that is a no no, but why am I up in arms about this? Once again hypnosis is used in an odd way. I quote:

There were six victims in all, with their ages ranging from 18 to 40, and they were either former or current members of the church, Proffitt said. O'Toole often used hypnosis to treat them.

It is too bad he did not tell people he was a "coach." I doubt that would have changed the statement about hypnosis, though. But good grief, it mentions hypnosis like it is a woogie treatment (I could not think of another word and woogie wanted to come out). That is really unnecessary. I suspect he also used "talk-therapy." You do not read about that in such a way.

Well, just...just...YUCK!

Source: Tampa Bay Online


Michael Raugh, C.H. said...

That is nasty.

I'm hoping that Debbie Lane will comment on this since she has first-hand knowledge of regulations in Florida. She's told me some hair-raising tales of weird regulations.



Debbie said...


Glad to comment. It isn't the regulations at fault here, it is the emphasis of the reporter. There is no mention of the fact that it was sexual misconduct that was at issue here (at least in the first report that I read). He is a predator, with underage victims no less! I believe I read that he has a prior record of similar misconduct as well.

Florida law a provides for legitimate practice of hypnotherapy . The man is St Pete didn't follow the law.

The first red flag to me when I read about this was that it mentioned smoke cessation and weight management in the article as the "counseling" he does. That is acceptable under Florida law, as a hypnotist. Sexual misconduct is not.

A good lesson for parents though, know who your children spend time with. Ask questions. Listen. It is OK to trust your instincts. If someone makes you uncomfortable, find out why! As the mother of sons, I want to know who the adults as well as peers are in their lives.

For hypnotists, the lessons are simple. 1. Don't misrepresent yourself, give your credentials as they are. 2. Sexual activity is not a part of your practice. 3. Sexual activity is never acceptable with minors!

The fine people at Unity in St. Pete are heartbroken over this. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

The Transparent Hypnotist said...

Thanks for responding, Debbie!

Just to clarify for anyone else reading this and wanting to know where the whole sexual predator issue came into the story since the one I blogged about did not mention this and the article was about counseling without a liscense. This same gentleman has a history of sexual misconduct to go along with his other crimes.