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Survey Says 50% of the USA is Mentally Ill! An APA “Land Grab?”

Calvin D. Banyan, MA, BCH, CI, FNGH

I’m sorry I can’t quote who said it. I was watching one of the news channels and the news man was talking to a psychologist about it. Evidently some organization, and that is the part that I missed, I didn’t get the name; created a survey that asked questions about anxiety and depression. When all the surveys were complete they then went to the DSM-IV-TR (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, by  the American Psychiatric Association) and found that about 50% of the people that they surveyed were suffering from at least one mental illness AND that as much as one half of those people may be seriously mentally ill.

I don’t know what to make of this. What was the point? Are we the sickest nation on Earth? Or is the whole world in the same boat with us? Or, is the American Psychiatric Association (APA) making one of the greatest land grabs in the turf war that is going on behind the scenes. You see, some factions in the APA is doing are doing thier best to create legislation that would put most professional hypnotherapists out of business. If they can come up with compelling statistics “showing” that at least half of us should only meet with licensed medical practitioners to handle our stress or to improve our mood then, or even to change our bad habits, then they can push to get legislation passed that says so.

Let me tell you what this would do to the use of hypnosis in our country. Most professional hypnotherapists, the highly trained kind, generally spend around an hour and a half with each client for each session. Many schedule longer sessions. Why do they do that? Because they care about helping the client, and powerful techniques such as age regression and parts therapy take a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes to complete.  That doesn't include the time it takes to conduct the rest of the appointment, such as gathering information from the client before and after the time spend doing hypnosis.  You simply can't utilize the very best technology available to the hypnotherapist in a 10 or 15 minute office visit, the typical time spent with a doctor during a visit to his or her office.

Now let me ask you a serious question. When was the last time your doctor spent an hour and a half with you? And, if he or she was willing to spend that much time with you, can you imagine what it would cost? Wow, I wonder what a surgery that lasts about an hour and half costs? In any case, it is a whole lot more than you or I could spend on a simple hypnosis session to stop smoking or to lose a few pounds!

This is the deal. I don’t know if the survey had anything to do with the APA, the AMA or whoever. I do know that if the medical and psychological establishment gets its way and snuffs out the work of non-licensed professional hypnotism, it will be the end of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

Here is one solution. I think that eventually hypnotherapists should be licensed, and unless those professional hypnotists, have a medical license then they should not work with medical problems unless they receive a referral from a properly licensed medical practitioner. These licensed hypnotherapists should become a part of the helping professions just like the occupational therapists and physical therapists that work in clinics and hospitals across the country do.

Furthermore, in the majority cases in which the hypnotherapist usually work; that is helping normal every day people with normal every day problems, he or she should be able to work independently from any kind of medical or psychological supervision. And, instead be subject to a standard of practice and code of ethics like the ones used by the National Guild of Hypnotists.

I suggest that it is time for the medical profession and the hypnotherapy profession to begin to work together and build a better way to bring the many benefits of hypnosis and hypnotherapy to America, and then lead the way to bringing good sound hypnotherapy to the world.