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1 March 2021

The 12 variables to having a good online Hypnotherapy session on ZOOM

The most common question I get asked when speaking with new clients at the moment is ‘does hypnotherapy work online’? The short answer is yes.

As of writing this, I have now done hundreds of online hypnotherapy sessions since the pandemic started, having done several thousand face-to-face hypnotherapy sessions in the years before.

And whilst you could (rightly) say it’s self-serving to say yes, that online hypnotherapy does work; I think there are a number of key distinctions in play that I outline below that can make this far more effective for you.

This is because that whilst the outcomes of online hypnotherapy may be the same, the experience is naturally totally different. And if you don’t nail this part properly, it can be just a bad experience!

Pre-pandemic, I saw so many clients who had seen a therapist in either that therapist’s living room, or a dingy room in a noisy building and those factors massively impacted the therapy experience. And the same is true for doing hypnotherapy online as well. You have to make it be a really good experience for you as the client. My professional view is the experience impacts the result.

Whilst I think you’re ultimately investing in your outcome as a client, I think there are lots of ways that you can take in order to maximise your online hypnotherapy experience. I think those variables boil down to what you can do as the client and what I can do as the therapist and I break these two areas down below.

What the therapist must bring

A-game. This may sound obvious, but it’s key and there are many ways to making this happen. A not exhaustive list for me would include:

  • Only work with clients you connect with
  • That I know how to deal with the issue/s
  • That I’ve prepared for the session e.g. reading your notes several times
  • Spending time before and after each session to regroup
  • Not doing more than 4 sessions a day
  • Knowing which tools and techniques that work online – some are better than others

Dedicated space. For some context, like you probably are too, I’m working from home. I’ve a dog, a child who’s (hopefully not for much longer) learning from home and a wife who runs her own business.

To stop all of that having an impact on our working life, a couple of years ago we got a dedicated garden office that you can see in the picture at the top of the blog. This means that there’s no disturbance at all for your therapy session.And please trust me here; if your therapist is working from home, the last thing you want is for them to have part of their brain focused in on being distracted.

Professional lighting, audio. The last thing you then need, especially in these darker months, is for your therapist to look like they’re in some pale zombie in a bad horror movie! I’ve got two large professional LED lights, so you can see me clearly.

A decent computer. I think you want to be able to see your therapist clearly and likewise, me you. Non-verbal communication is totally key for all therapy and if you’ve got a slow computer and a crappy camera, it’s just not ideal. I try to mitigate this from my perspective by making sure I’ve got a decent MacBook pro.

Speedy broadband. Dodgy broadband is a nightmare for us all. How many times have you had to kick someone off the Wi-Fi this last year? To make sure that doesn’t happen (at my end), I’ve got a professional broadband supply.

Professional audio. So many clients do their therapy with headphones in or on. As all hypnotherapy involves the power of suggestion,To make myself as clear as if you were with me, I’ve invested in a broadcast quality USB microphone. This means you can hear the suggestions

Screen fatigue. Letting you know you don’t have to look at the camera and screen for the entire time is key. There’s so much research on ZOOM fatigue and what you can do about it. As an example, I always say to clients that they don’t have to look directly at the screen or camera for the full session.

Put another way, if client and therapist just stared at each other for 90mins in a face to face session without breaking eye contact or looking away, it would be way too intense and quite a bit weird. As such, letting you know it’s OK to look away at any time and in fact encouraging this is a good thing.

My commitment to you is I’ll bring all of this to each online hypnotherapy session and as you can see from a number of reviews that online hypnotherapy works the same and I hope that reassures you.

What maximises online hypnotherapy for you, the client?

I think all of the factors below can have a marginal to massive impact on your ability to have a more successful online therapy session.

Quiet room. It’s vital you are in as quiet a room and as alone as possible, in order to minimise distractions for you. You might have seen Dominic Raab’s makeshift solution using a broom handle to stop the door being opened. And hey, if it’s good enough for the Foreign Secretary to do it on Sky News, it’s totally OK for you!

Where you’re doing therapy. I think it’s really important to be at a desk, or on a sofa, with your device placed on it. Also, I think being sat up and in an active position is really important to maximise your engagement.

Put another way, I’ve had clients try and do hypnotherapy on their bed, lying down on the sofa, or even sat in their car on the driveway. This just won’t work and it’s just awkward for everyone. Therapy (IMHO) should be as dynamic experience as possible.

Good broadband and/or mobile signal. I know this sounds self-explanatory, but if you don’t have super-quick broadband, then honestly, it’s a terrible experience.

The device you use. Use a laptop, desktop or tablet for maximum effect for online therapy. This is because I think it’s important for you to be able to read what my (or any therapist for that matter) expressions and eyes are communicating, as much as the words I’m saying. Non-verbal communication is such a key aspect of the work any client & therapist do and it’s just much harder for you to do when using a phone as there’s just less to see.

If you want to have headphones on or in, that in some ways adds to the experience. This is because they allow you to have external distractions minimised. I use a broadcast quality USB microphone, so with headphones in, you can hear me in a crystal clear manner.

Be comfortable talking about you. I understand talking to any therapist can be an alien experience and one that I hope most therapists would make as easy for you as possible. And it’s important to be OK to talk about you. Put another way, if you’re mindful of, or are having to edit what you’re going to be able to say because you’re conscious that people may over-hear, then it’s key (where practical) to organise your appointment/s around this.

To give you some assurance though, the way most hypnotherapists would practice, whether online or face-to-face, should mean that you don’t have to recount any painful and traumatic experiences in any depth. This means you can be calm and in control throughout.

What’s key is you getting the right result for you and if you put all of these pieces together, then I think your online hypnotherapy experience will be exactly the same as a face-to-face session. And the first step in that process should you wish to explore this, is for us to have an initial 10-20 min consultation, where we can explore what you need some help with. If you’d like to do that, please fill in the contact form below.

Thanks for reading.


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