by Michael Ellner,
IMDHA Director of Regulatory Affairs
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; ?I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; ?I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out;? I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews, ?I remained silent; ?I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for me, ?there was no one left to speak out.
~ Martin Niemoller
With all due respect to the law, I believe Israel's sudden enforcement of a 1984 hypnosis law is a serious step in the wrong direction and a matter of concern for all of us!
While I advise Israeli hypnosis and NLP practitioners to respect the law, I believe that we all should work together to first, stopthe enforcement of a law that is nearly three decades old and second, kill or change the 1984 law confining the practice of hypnosis in Israel to medical professionals while criminalizing hypnosis and NLP practitioners who are not licensed medical practitioners.
Both of these goals can be accomplished as easily as putting friendly pressure on Israel's Health Ministry by creating an international petition calling on them to investigate their advisory committee's justification and motives for this sudden enforcement. I recommend the IMDHA send a letter to the Israeli Health Ministry respectfully challenging the logic and motivations of their Advisory Committees actions in this matter. We are not against the responsible regulation of hypnosis practitioners in Israel but that's not what the sudden enforcement and criminalization of non-licensed hypnosis and NLP practitioners is about. There were no complaints and no one was harmed to trigger this. There is little or no legitimate evidence warranting the sudden crack down on the practices of non-licensed medical hypnosis practitioners in Israel! Quite frankly, this is an abuse of power for all the wrong reasons.
Natalie Pik, the first hypnotist convicted of practicing hypnosis without a license in Israel's legal history was busted for placing an ad and teaching guided imagery. Nine other non-licensed hypnotists are currently under investigation. There is no need for this! Non-licensed hypnosis practitioners do not diagnose or treat diseases. We simply help people utilize their own innate healing resources by teaching them to de-stress and focus their attention in ways that promote, health, healing and well being. We help them become more effective in all areas of their lives. It would be in the best interest of the citizens of Israel to have health care providers utilize our services as a supplement to their patients' medical care. Instead, Dr. Alex Aviv, who is the head of the Ministry's advisory committee, is on a vendetta to wipe out non-licensed hypnosis and NLP practitioners. Quite frankly, I am confident that an investigation into this sudden enforcement will find no justification other than protectionism and the desire to outlaw credible competition!
Two serious consequence of restricting the practice of hypnosis by non-licensed medical hypnotists in Israel would be 1) denying the citizens of Israel access to cost effective assistance and 2) it would put 1000's of hypnotists and NLP practitioners out of work. Equally important, I believe the criminalization will be a springboard for the enactment of restrictive laws to spread like wildfire throughout the world. There were already efforts by a division of the Royal Medical Society to brand non-medical hypnosis practitioners as "cowboys" and advocate their restriction in the UK. That effort burned out quickly, but this current outrage could add fuel to their embers and re-start the fire. I can imagine the members of the Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine section of the Royal Society of Medicine and the members of the APA's division 30 licking their lips and reinvigorating their efforts to restrict hypnosis to licensed medical practitioners in the UK and US respectively.
Please join me in supporting Israeli Hypnosis and NLP practitioners. United We Stand - Divided, we could be denied the right to use our training and experience to assist people who want and need our services!
I have started an on-line petition and encourage all hypnosis practitioners to sign on and support this effort.
Here's the link: http://www.change.org/petitions/the-israeli-ministry-of-health-suspend-the-enforcement-of-the-1984-hypnosis-laws