What can I expect during a Skype hypnosis (Skypenosis) session?
A Skype hypnotherapy appointment is very similar to a face-to-face appointment. It’s amazing how much technology has advanced over the years. When I trained over ten years ago I remember being astounded when our tutor told us he had a client in Japan who he communicated with by phone. Phone hypnosis?! Never! Although Skype was around, it wasn’t used anywhere near as widely as it is now. My first experiences of Skype weren’t great – as far as I was concerned, anyway. After my youngest child was born, we lived abroad for a few months and my partner’s family started Skyping us. I would generally avoid the shouts of “Can you hear me?!”, and “Can you see me?!” and run off in the other direction. I’d far rather have communicated by phone.
However, all things change and not only am I a huge fan of Skype as a means of providing hypnotherapy sessions for clients who live too far away to visit me at my office in Prestwick, Ayrshire (even if they are missing out on the treat of a lovely coastal town). I’ve also warmed to visual communication on a personal level too, and find Facetime is a great way of keeping in touch with my adult son.
Initial hypnotherapy consultation
One of the most important aspects of a hypnotherapy session is the initial consultation, which can either take place before your session and is free of charge (a free phone or Skype consultation) or which can be added during your initial consultation. The initial hypnotherapy consultation allows you to ask me all the questions you might have about hypnotherapy, including your ability to be hypnotised and how effective hypnosis is for whatever it is you feel you need help with. The initial consultation also allows you to decide whether you feel that I am the right therapist for you, or whether your needs would be better met by someone else – or by a different type of therapy. During your consultation, I will ask you about what it is you would like help with and go into this in some detail, so that I really get a feel for how we might work best together. All clients are unique. One client’s weight loss journey may be very different from another client’s weight loss experience. I never have a one-size-fits-all approach, and make sure we have a thorough consultation. With Skype, the initial consultation takes exactly the same format that it does when I have an in-person consultation. Being able to see each other really enhances the experience.
Once we have discussed things in detail, I will lead you into a state of hypnosis – a state of mind which is day-dreamy and slower than the normal, waking mind and which feels a bit like meditation or being very absorbed in a really good book or daydream. Some hypnotherapists use touch – for instance, lifting and dropping a hand – whilst they guide someone into a state of hypnosis. Personally, I prefer not to use touch in favour of simply using my voice to guide you into a hypnotic state. For that reason, there is very little difference in the way I conduct a Skype session to how I work with my hypnotherapy clients in Prestwick. I simply talk to you in a calm manner, which helps you to focus inwards. There is one great benefit of doing this by Skype, however, which is that – because you are comfortable in your own surroundings – you may find it far easier to relax and focus inwards than you would do in-person. You can have your room set up exactly the way you like it. You’ll know how and where you like to relax, and you can make sure things are exactly right for you. Clients often Skype me from their couch, wrapped in their favourite blanket and with some scented candles lit. Quite often I see a cat or dog somewhere in the screen too – if an animal helps you feel safe and relaxed it’s great to have their company!
Comfort and relaxation during hypnosis
Hypnotherapy is all about becoming relaxed and focused. Sometimes, no matter how much effort the hypnotherapist has put into creating a lovely environment – and most therapists do try very hard to make their offices as comfortable and welcoming as possible – it just helps if you’re in your own place. It means that you don’t have to worry about traffic or bad weather, and you know that the second the session is over you can just lie back and relax very deeply (or even have a snooze if you want!).
Choosing the right hypnotherapist
Another major advantage of Skype hypnosis is that it allows you to choose the right therapist for you without being bound by travel considerations. I specialise in a few areas, including children’s hypnotherapy, menopause hypnotherapy and working with women’s health. Because I have trained hard and achieved considerable experience in these areas, I attract clients from far afield who would be unable to visit me in person. My clients this year have included people as far away as the Czech Republic, Brazil and Canada. We’ve done some absolutely amazing work together and I’m so delighted that I’ve had the opportunity to be able to do hypnotherapy with these people – who I would never have met in real person. If any of them are ever in this country and fancy a hypnotherapy session perhaps we’ll meet up in person one day! Skype hypnosis – also known as Skypenosis – allows me to work with an extensive ex-pat community in a range of countries who find it beneficial to have a therapist whose first language is English.
Establishing rapport during a Skype hypnotherapy session
Before I started to work with clients by Skype, I felt that they – and I – would be missing something. I felt that it would be difficult to establish rapport in the same way that I do with the clients I see in Ayrshire, but that fear simply hasn’t manifested. Rapport is a key element of hypnotherapy, and providing a safe, ethical, respectful and comfortable environment for my clients is one of the most important things I can do. But, despite my worries, I feel that the rapport I have with my Skype clients is every bit as real and deep as the rapport I have with my in-person clients. At the beginning, it felt slightly unusual to be talking to someone by Skype, but that’s simply because I wasn’t used to it. I appreciate that some of my clients are less used to using Skype than I am, and it might feel slightly strange to them for the first few minutes. However, as soon as we start talking – and communicating through facial expressions, smiles, nods, looks of sadness – I see their awkwardness just disappearing. We get into the depth of the session in the same way that I do with all my clients, and I feel that everything which should be there in a good session, is there. It’s that simple. I would be very hard pressed to think of anything negative when it comes to Skype hypnosis – or Skypenosis.
Of course, Skype isn’t the only contender these days for online therapy and I have conducted hypnosis sessions using Facetime and other mediums. With the rapid growth in technology, ways of communicating are simply going to progress at a fast rate and more and more people will turn to online hypnotherapy. All this isn’t to say that in-person hypnotherapy doesn’t have a place. It absolutely does – and sometimes having somewhere to go which is separate from your own environment is a major attraction in choosing a hypnotherapist. However, Skype hypnotherapy offers you the choice. You’re not limited to finding a hypnotherapist in your town, who may lack the training and experience of someone who lives in a different town – or even different country. You can spend some time researching whether this hypnotherapist’s approach and experience are right for you and choose who to see on that basis, rather than simply whether they live close to you.
If you are considering Skype hypnosis but are still not sure, please feel free to get in touch with me. I’m happy to offer a free, half hour consultation by Skype so that you can experience it for yourself and see whether it is an approach which suits you or not. If you’re considering hypnotherapy for menopausal symptoms or women’s health issues, you may find it difficult to find someone with the necessary experience nearby geographically and I would be happy to work with you via Skype. If, like me, your initial experiences weren’t great and involved lots of shouting as to whether you could see and hear each other…don’t let that put you off! Things have really improved. And, to be honest, even if you wouldn’t choose it as your first means of communication on a personal level, the therapeutic relationship – which is so crucial to hypnotherapy – is very different to a personal relationship. I’ve had clients who would still prefer not to talk to their friends and family by Skype, but who find it works brilliantly for them in a therapeutic context.
If you’d like to visit me in Prestwick, South Ayrshire or would like to discuss the possibility of a Skype session, please contact me. And remember, I offer a free, half hour consultation during which you can ask any questions you have and which allows you to see whether I’m the right hypnotherapist for you. This consultation can be by phone – or Skype! It gives you a great opportunity to have a quick taster of Skypenosis before you commit – just remember to get your room nice and comfy first!