We've talked a lot in our blogs about some of the terminology and considerations around hypnosis. How to choose a practitioner concentrated on the differences between clinicians and non-clinicians. What's in a name talked about what to call yourself. But which society should you join? Do any hypnosis societies confer benefits above others?
I am only a member of BSCAH, and have never joined any other hypnosis organisations. My reasons for doing so are simple - there aren't enough days in the week to devote to other hypnosis societies! Why BSCAH though? I joined BSCAH at a time in my life where I was engaging a lot with a voluntary first aid organisation where I was increasingly required to support and train non healthcare professionals in increasingly complex (and nearly medical) first aid. I loved it. But the amount of support it increasingly required from me was difficult. I knew that when I joined BSCAH I would not be the "expert" consistently required to support and train. I could be the learner, working in my own community of practice, with people who had a similar day job, similar understanding, and similar experience. The fact that BSCAH was a society only for healthcare professionals, added credibility, and was the right fit for me.
As a member of BSCAH, I'm sort of also a member of ISH - the international society of hypnosis. BSCAH is its United Kingdom based constituent society, meaning that we're all linked to ISH - who also provide us some governing rules.
We're also a constituent society of ESH- a European society specialising in healthcare professional delivered hypnosis. This membership should remain constant, regardless of Brexit.
That doesn't mean I only engage in BSCAH related activity! Living near London, there's minimal excuse (apart from the ridiculously inconvenient timings) not to take advantage of the Royal Society of Medicine's study afternoon & evenings. The clue is in the name - and membership is only open to those in "relevant disciplines". You can easily be a BSCAH and RSM member - and many people are, with a lot of cross over between the two organizing committees. As you don't have to be a member to attend events, there's always lots of different people attending.
There are then a few more societies we're very closely aligned to. Although there is no reason Scottish residents cannot join BSCAH, most instead choose to join BSMDH. The two societies have always worked together, and may have even been the same society before Scotland became independent from England. Some Scots are members of both societies. BSMDH have now opened their courses to all HCPs but still restrict membership to Drs and Dentists, and run courses together. Needless to say, I'm unlikely to join BSMDH as the commute is just too far!
BSCH is often confused with BSCAH, but alas is completely different, yet also similar. They work like BSCAH in that they train and support people in their hypnotherapy journey. Their biggest difference is that they train both healthcare professionals, and non-healthcare professionals, although the two groups are trained separately. Their main focus is on regulation - and regulating hypnotherapists.
There are a few societies who focus on the non-healthcare professionals. Many members have attended their sessions and found them really interesting. Common sense dictates there's no rule against associating with non-healthcare professional hypnotists...but BSCAH, as a constituent society of ESH, does say you cannot teach them.
The James Braid society in London is well thought of.
Of course, many other societies will be formed in future years, often with their roots in training programmes, and geography. Look out for UK Hypnosis, hypnosis courses, hypnotic - I'm sure they'll all make their mark in days to come.
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