Hypnotherapy was a model of therapy that was working online before the Covid 19 crisis. With longer time spent in lockdown, anxiety and stress levels can increase, and the need to stop smoking can be more intense. Many are finding the experience of online hypnotherapy to be extremely valuable.
Online also offers some unique advantages over working in a clinic:
- As there is no travel time, clients are saving time and travel costs.
- Trance at home can be even more potent as surrounded by your own environment, the mind will feel safe and secure
- The technology allows the sharing of ideas and resources in a way not possible in the clinic, thanks to the interactive elements of zoom technology.
However, for those of you looking to book your first session, here are some tips on how to enhance the experience.
To make the sound quality as clear as possible, I have invested in a home sound kit, including a microphone and pop filter. Although I can do my best to create the sound as clearly as I can at my end, there are things you can do to enhance the experience. Try and pick a quiet room with minimal background noise. If possible, close the curtains. This helps reduce background noise as well as softening the light.
Many of my clients use headsets, which can be a great way of further reducing background noise to create crisp sound and purer reception. I would also recommend that, during the trancework, you mute your microphone as the zoom platform may interrupt my voice if there is a sound disturbance through it (such as a dog barking or traffic moving past).
It is generally recommended that you are lying flat and on you back during the trance part of our session. However, you will likely find the online session even more relaxing than live in the clinic and may fall into a deeper trance or even asleep. This is because you will be at home and in your own safe surroundings, so your mind is already cued to relax. I recommend that you recline in a slightly seated position on a bed or spacious sofa. If possible, drape a light blanket over yourself. The ‘covered up’ sensation is a good cue for your body to relax.
Pick a room that is tranquil and serene. Your bedroom will most likely be the most suitable room for hypnotherapy as your mind already has strong associations for relaxation and calmness. Before the session, sit in silence and check for background sounds that could be reduced (such as the gurgle of radiators or the television’s noise downstairs). Where possible, take steps to minimise this. If this isn’t possible, however, please don’t worry. The relaxed brain will block out any familiar and non-threatening background disturbances.
Try and arrange your session at a time when you can minimise the likelihood of disturbance. Maybe your partner could take the dogs out on a walk or you, the kids are in bed, and the postman is not likely to knock. Of course, there may be unexpected surprises but try to minimise these as much as possible.
Your brain is very receptive to different qualities of light. Our circadian rhythm is finely tuned to different light conditions. The slightest variations can have an impact on our relaxation levels. The best quality of light is in a dim room with the curtains closed and a warm, halogen lamp close by to create some atmosphere. LED lighting can produce a harsher blue light that can tell your brain to remain alert. This can slow the ease in which you go into a trance.
Communicate with the hypnotherapist
In the clinic, it is straightforward for me to control the variables to ensure the best experience. When doing live hypnotherapy, I am using lots of cues from your body (including breathing, REM and biofeedback). This is different online as you will have a practical role to play to feel comfortable and relaxed. If there are issues, such as connection speeds, sound quality, etc let me know. The most essential consideration in hypnotherapy is that you are comfortable. We can work together to ensure this is the case.
What will be will be
Hypnotherapy is a beautiful model of therapy that can work online as well as in a clinical setting. However, with these new variables comes a range of challenges and opportunities; the doorbell sounds, a dog barks outside, the telephone rings… In reality, the only problems that stop hypnotherapy working are the problems we create ourselves. If we don’t see these disturbances as problems, merely as something that adds to this new, online dynamic, your body will relax, and it won’t be a problem for our progress.