In this article, guest author and certified hypnotherapist Tobias Blass, talks about hypnosis in dentistry and how you can partner up with dentists in your area.
For a long time I had this strong belief: Doctors only work with other academics and they don’t believe in hypnosis.
So in my first few years as a hypnotist, I never even tried to partner with a doctor or a dentist. And maybe you also haven’t even thought of it up until now.
But one day I decided to give it a go.
I wrote a letter and send it out to 60 dentists in my city. The next day, I received various calls. Some of the doctors were actually very interested, while others only asked if I could handle patients with fears.
I got 4 new clients that week.
I partnered with one of the dentists and right now I get clients from her every week. Sometimes I even come to her office to work with a client while she is doing the dental treatment.
How great would it be for your practice to have a dentist referring clients to you? Or to actually work with patients while the dentist is doing their work?
If your ears have pricked up in interest, here are some tips that have helped me secure ongoing work… and a lot of fulfillment.
1. First Contact Phase
First of all, you need to get the direct attention of the doctor or dentist. In my opinion, the best way to do this is to write a letter.
But before you do this, you’ll need to compile a list of 50-100 dentists in your area – Google will help you with that. Once you have written your letter, you only need to change the address and name at the top of each one.
Doctors/dentists are used to special treatment. So don’t waste your time sending letters beginning with “Dear Medical Practitioner.” Instead, you want to get their attention right from the start.
Let them know you can help them improve how they serve their patients (because ultimately, this is what they want to do). Then, tell them how.
For example, will you do stop smoking sessions (if working only with doctors)? Will you do pain control? Or work with patients who suffer from fear? The best thing to do is choose your niche rather than trying to do everything.
Be sure to also tell them in the letter that you’re a certified hypnotist or hypnotherapist, so they take you seriously.
Then you might want to tell them (although, not excessively) that hypnosis is already used by healthcare professionals around the world, and very successfully too.
But be careful: Try not to sound like someone hoping for someone to believe in their magic trick!
2. Talk To Them
Some of them will most probably call you after sending the letters out. So don’t answer your phone with “yeah?” – make sure you sound like a professional.
They’ll be interested in knowing how you’re working and what hypnosis can do for their patients. Offer a demonstration… they’ll love that! But not tomorrow… as you want to seem busy and booked.
Prepare a folder with clinical studies – there are plenty of them! Articles from medical journals and so on. Some of the doctors need to see that to be convinced.
When I first visited the office I work in now, they wanted me to work with a patient right away. Be prepared for that, even if it is really rare. For me it worked out great, but I’m in a hypnosis headspace nearly all the time.
Rule: DON’T try to make them like you! Make them see you as a real professional.
3. Train The Team
When they want to integrate your service in their practice – congratulations! Big step for you and your career.
Now it’s time to get serious.
Explain that you’re serious about your work and it’s important that all the staff know what you’re doing, and that they need to know what to do and what not to do. Make a date for some training. Every staff member should be there.
In the training, explain the following:
- What hypnosis is, and what it is NOT
- How can you help their clients
- How can they explain hypnosis to their clients
- The prices (offer a free talk of 15-20 minutes for interested patients)
- How to act when someone is in trance while receiving dental treatment
And something to be especially mindful of…
It’s extremely important that they don’t ask questions like, “Do you have any pain?” Because you probably know, the patient will then search for pain. Instead they can ask things like “Do you feel good?” or “Is everything fine?”
And when staff members give instructions to patients, they need to use the patient’s name. Sometimes the patient is so deep in trance that they need to hear their name to respond. For example, “Miss Miller, please open your mouth.”
4. Give Something Back
As time goes by, you’ll probably receive more and more new patients. The better you do your job, the more clients, the dentist and the staff will talk about you. The more clients come to see you, the more money you’ll make.
Spend some of that money and invite the staff for dinner once a year. This is a nice give back and will lead to more referrals. Offer special rates for the staff and the dentist. Remember: you have no expenses for marketing here!
How To Act While Doing Hypnosis During Dental Treatment
It doesn’t matter what method you use to hypnotize your clients. But there are a few important points you want to consider when working in a dental office during treatment:
- Have the pre-talk before the doctor walks in. Doctors are always busy and want to start working right away. So prepare the client when you have time. Let them come in 20-30 minutes before. In your pre-talk, don’t just explain what hypnosis is – let them experience their first induction. This way it will be easy for you when dental treatment begins.
- Tell them that apart from their internal experiences, they can hear the voices and react to commands. In the last few months, I had a few clients who were so deep in trance that they couldn’t hear the doctor’s voice!
- Always sit in a position where you can see the face, the hands and where you can easily grab the hands for an arm catalepsy (in case you need to). Be in a position where you don’t disturb the dentist and the team. Make sure your voice is heard clearly all the time.
- Use the name of the patient – a lot. Otherwise the dentist and his team will have a hard time. Especially when I began to work in the dentist’s practice, she would at some point just stares at the patient with some equipment in her hand and develop an arm catalepsy! Let them do their work (and be careful who you hypnotize!)
- Don’t do any analgesia or pain relieve without being asked or without the patient’s written permission. This has legal and ethical implications.
I hope this article will give you a new perspective and a little motivation to start reaching out to medical professionals. It certainly has enriched my work as I can see clear results – while soothing many people’s experiences while sitting in the scary dentist’s chair!