If I’d been told a year ago that I’d be seeing clients online and actually enjoying it, I wouldn’t have believed it for a second. I rarely used video calls – I found them to be awkward and uncomfortable so I’d never have chosen them as a form of communication in the past. But thanks to Covid, we’ve all had to get used to them if we want to stay connected with loved ones, and continue to work safely & effectively from home.
Here we are a few months later, and I can genuinely say that I feel just as comfortable on video calls as I do with face to face sessions. As with anything, repetition of a behaviour brings familiarity and we become more relaxed and confident in doing it, just like learning to ride a bike or drive a car. And, most importantly, my clients are finding the sessions just as effective online as they were in person.
Whilst some of my fellow therapists have resumed face to face sessions, I have decided for the time being to continue solely online, the reasons for which I will outline below.
If you’re considering therapy, I’ve put together this short list to help you decide if online therapy is for you, as well as what to expect with online sessions.
1. You can receive therapy from the comfort of your own home
One of the fundamental requirements for hypnotherapy to work effectively is that you are able to feel comfortable and give yourself a chance to relax. Having therapy from within your own home means that you avoid any potential stresses before you’ve even arrived at your session. There’s no need to worry about social distancing, using public transport, traffic, trying to find a parking space or getting to the session on time, not to mention the money you save from skipping these steps.
Point to consider: If you are unable to access a private area, or for any reason you are not comfortable in your own home, then face to face sessions may be a more suitable option for you. Therapy is most effective when you can be completely open and honest in a confidential setting.
Another thing to consider is your internet connection – if it is unstable you may struggle to maintain fluid video and audio which can interrupt the session.
2. It offers extra privacy
Obviously anything disclosed in the therapy room is always kept confidential, but therapy at home (provided you feel safe and have a private space) offers an extra layer of privacy. Some people don’t want anyone else to know they are receiving therapy, and with online therapy there’s no risk of somebody seeing you going into the clinic and asking any questions, plus there’s no need to explain your absence from work. Some of my clients have sessions during their lunch break, so that their colleagues and family need never know that they are in therapy.
Point to consider: As above, if you don’t have a private space you may feel your confidentiality is compromised.
3. No face masks required
For me, the biggest reason for remaining online is that I don’t want to wear face masks with my clients, as well as all the other measures that go into making face to face meetings Covid-secure. Facial expressions play an important role in communication, and I feel that masks, even clear visors, can compromise this. I want my clients to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible, and not to be reminded of the pandemic on top of the issue they are having therapy for.
What to expect from online sessions
I usually use Zoom for my sessions, and will email a link to you a day or so before our session. If for any reason you would prefer to use a different platform we can discuss this beforehand. At the start of the session, we’ll check that we can see and hear each other clearly, and make any necessary adjustments. If you can, it’s best to use a computer or tablet with a stand so that you’re free to focus purely on the session rather than trying to hold the device steady.
I recommend sitting in a comfortable chair where you can recline and relax during hypnosis.
The session itself is really no different than face to face in terms of content. The only addition is that we discuss what will happen if we lose connection before and during hypnosis. There is a misconception that you can get “stuck” under hypnosis, however this is untrue and there is no risk if the connection is lost. I recommend that you set an alarm for a few minutes after our session is due to finish, so that in case you fall fast asleep and our connection is lost, you have a device on standby to wake you up if needed.
My initial consultations are free of charge and there is no obligation, so if you’d like to book an online session for yourself or discuss anything further, please do get in touch.