Curious to discover the best online therapy tips?
In Part 1 of this article, you’ll discover 6 online therapy tips for practitioners such as hypnotists and other therapists.
And in Part 2, we share 5 online therapy tips for clients new to the world of “telemedicine” who might have some apprehension. Feel free to share these tips with your clients to put them at ease.
Online Therapy Tips: Adapting To The New “Normal”
There’s no doubt that business has needed to change in unprecedented ways since the coronavirus outbreak.
As a result, many hypnotists and therapists have had to transition to providing online therapy– which has actually been very fortunate as not everyone has been able to work online. But as hypnotists, the screen isn’t a barrier to trance success!
Once the worst is over, these skills will continue to be invaluable.. Branching out into online therapy means that you have the opportunity to reach more people than ever before.
Plus, developing an online business helps you to “lockdown-proof” yourself in case anything like this ever happens again.
And if you keep your online practice going, even after the COVID-19 dust settles, then you’ll be totally prepared for any future outbreak or unexpected disruption that comes along.
Still, doing therapy online is not the same as doing it in person.
Here are some handy tips to help you get the hang of it and make it easier for you and your clients.
Part 1 – For Therapists: 6 Online Therapy Tips For Hypnotists And Other Therapists
1. Go First
When doing therapy online, it’s even more important to “go first” and turn on your H+.
Why is that? Because people can feel awkward online.
They might not like being on camera, which could make them feel more exposed, in a way. They can only see you on video through a screen, and even then they can probably only see your face.
This means that they can’t read your body language as well as if you were both in the same physical space.
From their point of view, they’re not in a soothing or calm hypnosis practice setting. It’s also likely that their own home environment doesn’t feel completely free from distractions.
As a hypnotist, you need to take extra time before the session to “go first” to get into the right frame of mind and to set the right intention for the session.
Switch on your H+ so you’re bristling with positive energy, overflowing with compassion, and totally clear about the vibe you want to create for your client.
Go into that state first so that your energy and enthusiasm will help to pull the client in there with you, making it easier to guide them into a trance.
2. Fine-tune Your Hypnotic Language
Since you can’t be there in person with your client, your words matter even more.
Even though they can see you (during a video call), there’s an inevitable amount of distance between you that simply can’t compare to being in the same room. So you need to brush up on your vocal skills.
Try to pay closer attention to things such as your tonality and how you’re projecting your voice. As you know, Wi-Fi connections can sometimes be unreliable.
Set yourself up for success by working on your hypnotic language tools so they’re super powerful and really pack a punch.
What kind of tools are they? They include things like:
- Power words – words and phrases like because, imagine, remember, and which means, that create associations, stimulate the imagination, and paint pictures in your client’s mind.
- Backtracking or echo effect – this is a way of showing your client you’re in sync with them and you understand them, by repeating the last few words of whatever they say.
- Vocabulary matching – tune in to your client’s way of describing things, i.e. visual (everything is clear), auditory (that rings a bell) or kinesthetic (let’s touch base) and try to match their style of expression.
3. Make Use Of Hypnotic Stories Where Relevant
If your client is feeling awkward because of the video, you need to do something to make them feel more comfortable. One way to do that is to tell them a story.
Stories are one of the most powerful ways to bypass the critical factor. They help you build trust, put people at ease, and even induce a trance. Why?
Because stories stimulate the imagination, making it easy for your client to switch off from the everyday conscious world.
And that’s particularly relevant when you’re working through a screen that might only be the size of a smartphone.
The more relaxed you can get them, the easier they’ll find it to let go and participate fully. Whether it’s a funny anecdote, a parable, or a “my friend John/Jane” story, there’s nothing like a good yarn to help them settle down, relax, and open their mind.
4. Build Up Your Confidence
Just like your client, you might be feeling awkward as well if you’re not used to working online.
The best way to overcome this is to practice as much as you can to desensitize yourself from being on camera.
A great way to do this is to set up a free Zoom account and record yourself doing a mock session. Pretend that you’re working with a client and work through a session from start to finish.
Pay attention to your tone, clarity of voice, volume, facial expressions, and everything that you do.
Record yourself several times to get used to working on the camera. The more practice you get, the more confident you’ll feel, and the easier you’ll find it to deliver your skills in your “digital office”.
When you think you’ve got the hang of it, record another session, this time with a friend, a family member, or a colleague, and get their feedback on how it felt.
If possible, choose someone who has preferably undergone a live hypnosis session before so they can compare the two versions.
Next, try to record a further session with someone who hasn’t experienced a live hypnosis session to get their feedback and make additional comparisons.
>> Online Hypnosis Demo: Watch the below demo to watch a subject experience his first ever arm levitation… online!
5. Set Up Your Ideal Environment For Hypnosis
This is essential, especially for inducing trance. You need a quiet space where you can get rid of any distractions.
You also need to make sure you’ve got reliable Wi-Fi. You should look professional and be in a professional-looking room that’s clean and uncluttered. Just because your sessions will be online doesn’t mean that you should let your standards slip.
The more professional you look and sound, the easier it will be for your client to get into the swing of things and participate fully in the session.
You’ll find even more tips about working remotely during the pandemic in our article, How To Work Remotely During Coronavirus – A Quick Guide For Hypnotists On How To Keep Calm and Trance On!
6. Get Constant Feedback From Your Client
When the session is finished, ask your client for any feedback to find out how online therapy went for them. It might also be good to ask how they feel about online work before the session begins. Does it make them feel awkward or uncomfortable? If so, use the opportunity in your pre-talk to address any anxieties or doubts.
The next section of this article highlights another 5 tips you can share with your clients to put them at ease before an online hypnosis session.
Part 2 – For Clients: Online Therapy Tips If You’re New (And Nervous) To The World Of “Telemedicine”
1. Devote A Specific Time And Place For Your Therapy
While it’s true that you can do online therapy anywhere and at any time, that’s not necessarily a good idea.
For one thing, therapy can be exhausting and difficult at times, so you need to be prepared for that.
You also need to be free from distractions to get the most out of your therapy. You can’t do that at the kitchen table with other people chatting, playing, or doing their own things.
Set aside time in the space of your choice so that you can dedicate all your energies to the session.
If there are other people in the house, you might suggest that they go for a walk or put on some headphones so that you can get a measure of privacy. If that doesn’t work, take a more creative approach.
Build your own blanket tent with soft lighting such as fairy lights to give a calm, safe, and enclosed environment just for you.
2. It Might Be Awkward At First
You can’t get away from the fact that online therapy is not the same as therapy delivered in person.
Depending on how you choose to communicate (i.e. video or messaging) there may be some delay in responses.
It can also take time for you and your therapist to get in sync and make a connection since you’re not able to be in the same physical space.
So expect it to feel awkward initially. But remember that, just because it’s awkward doesn’t mean the therapy isn’t working.
It’s a different kind of therapy and both you and your therapist will have to adapt to the new way of working.
If you’ve worked with your therapist offline in the past, then it might feel strange and perhaps even uncomfortable working online.
You might feel frustrated and even disappointed that you can’t work in person for the time being. These are all things you should mention to your therapist so that you can work toward resolving them.
If this is your first experience of therapy, it won’t make any difference, since you don’t have anything else to compare it with. However, you should still feel able to express any concerns you have to your therapist in order to make your session as enjoyable and productive as possible.
3. Try To Clearly Describe Your Emotions
If you’ve had face-to-face therapy in the past, then your therapist has probably been able to tune in to your emotions from your facial expressions and body language.
It’s much harder to read someone’s emotions online, especially if all you can see is their face. In the worst-case scenario, you might even be communicating by message with no visual cues whatsoever.
When it comes to online therapy or telemedicine, you can’t take for granted that your therapist will know how you’re feeling. You have to tell them. And that means trying to label your emotions as clearly and explicitly as you can.
If you get frustrated, say so. “That makes me feel frustrated”. Then you can discuss what specifically is frustrating and how you can deal with it.
Being specific makes it easier for your therapist to know exactly which emotions you’re experiencing. The more specific you can be, the better.
Instead of saying you’re tired, you could say you’re feeling burnt out or like you’ve got no energy. Instead of saying you’re not feeling 100%, you could say you’re feeling anxious or vulnerable. Instead of saying you’re lonely, you could say you’re feeling isolated or deserted.
The more you can home in on your exact feelings, the easier it will be for your therapist to help you deal with and resolve them.
4. Ask For Whatever You Think You Need
With the world in the grips of a pandemic, nothing is the same as it used to be. It’s only natural to feel afraid, to feel lonely or isolated, and to feel helpless at times.
Are your loved ones safe? Are you eating the right foods and drinking plenty of water? Are you getting enough exercise?
Taking care of yourself in these unusual circumstances can be a heck of a challenge.
It’s easy to think you’re overreacting to things, which can often stop you from asking for help. But that’s what your therapist is there for after all.
Don’t be afraid to speak out and ask questions, because if nothing else it helps clear the air so you can get things off your chest.
There’s no such thing as the “wrong” question or one that’s silly. And your therapist is probably working with other people with similar concerns.
If you’re feeling anxious, on edge, frustrated, lonely, overwhelmed, or anything else, then you’re not going to get much benefit from your hypnosis session.
It makes more sense to tell your therapist what’s bothering you so that you can deal with the issues, get yourself calm and relaxed, and enjoy the session to the full.
What kinds of questions might you ask? It all depends on your individual circumstances.
For instance, you might ask something like:
- What can I do to stop thinking about the coronavirus?
- I’m quarantined with someone who’s getting on my nerves. Do you have any suggestions as to a plan of action?
- I keep having mini panic attacks. Have you got any resources I can use to deal with them?
- I’m feeling alone and isolated. What’s the best way for me to connect with other people?
- How can I put the impact of the virus into context?
Remember that there’s no right or wrong question. If something is bothering you or making you anxious, no matter how trivial you might think it is, then let your therapist know.
5. Give Your Therapist Honest Feedback
It’s possible that your therapist is new to online therapy too. There’ll probably be a lot of hiccups before they get everything sorted out. It’s up to you to let them know if there’s anything you’re not happy with.
For instance, is the software difficult to use? Are written messages too vague? Are the sessions too short or too long?
If certain things aren’t working for you, then you need to let your therapist know. There are lots of different options available and you simply need to find the solution that works for you.
It might even be possible to spend the last few minutes of each session reviewing the good and bad points for next time.
The more open and transparent you are about your experience, the better your sessions will be in the future – for both you and your therapist.
To wrap up:
While the world of “telemedicine” might feel awkward or uncomfortable to begin with, it’s a fantastic and highly effective way to give and receive therapy – even beyond lockdown.
Try out some of the above online therapy tips so you can get the best results as you adapt to the new “normal.” Who knows, you may decide it’s a medium that works best for you even when the world does open up again.