The state of Colorado regulates hypnotherapists. So, unlike most other states, hypnotherapists in Colorado are mandated to follow the legally defined protocol for psychotherapists. But what does this mean for the average consumer of mental health?
In Colorado, hypnotherapy is treated more like traditional psychotherapy and hypnotherapists are expected to live up to standards and laws put in place or influenced by the APA, HIPPA, AMA, etc. And there is a regulatory agency with its own board specifically for this purpose. Hypnotherapy is regulated by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and hypnotherapists fall into a pool of a variety of psychotherapy practitioners called, “registered psychotherapists”.
Because there is a DORA board for “registered psychotherapists” (the group hypnotherapists fall into), testing, and many laws about psychotherapy, anyone seeking hypnotherapy in Colorado knows that their hypnotherapist at a minimum
1) has a certification in hypnotherapy;
2) knows the state laws well enough to pass an extremely difficult test on them;
3) has had their background and character investigated by the State of Colorado’s mental health board;
4) doesn’t have any egregious complaints against them as all are investigated by DORA (and there currently is no statute of limitations);
5) uses a state accepted therapeutic modality;
6) uses state mandated paperwork and procedures;
7) will keep all information that could identify their clients confidential, with the exception of information about child abuse perpetrated by people currently around children, current elder abuse, suspected self-harm, suspected violence like a mass shooting, bill collecting services, DORA investigations, and in rare cases, subpoenas;
8) will neither suggest or take part in sexual intimacy with any clients;
9) cannot force you to continue therapy or prevent you from getting a second opinion;
10) cannot offer money back guarantees and other odd things like that that therapists won’t allow.
If any hypnotherapist violates any of these policies, they are legally and civilly liable. In many cases, each count can be used as a point of evidence for a cease and desist letter and blacklisting with the APA as well as charged as a misdemeanor–and anyone charged with two misdemeanors this way is charged with a felony five as well.
If you’re thinking about seeing a hypnotherapist, I highly recommend looking them up in DORA’s “Licensee Lookup” search: https://www.colorado.gov/dora/licensing/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx. Remember that most of us are solopreneurs and thus only have ourselves registered in the database because we’re not legally mandated to have one registration for our business and for ourselves. For example, you’ll find me if you search my name, but will not find me if you search my business, “180 Theory”.