One question people ask when considering online hypnotherapy is if this delivery method is safe.
This blog is for potential clients and hypnotherapists wondering about the safety of helping with online hypnosis.
Let’s start with a fact of life; everything in life has risks. But the risks related to hypnotherapy online are small and can easily be mitigated by therapists who practice safely and ethically and clients who work with the therapist.
What do we mean by online hypnosis?
This is any form of delivering hypnosis remotely. It is virtual therapy rather than a physical presence in a room.
In theory, hypnosis could be used in writing letters and emails, but this isn’t standard practice as synchronous or real-time delivery of hypnosis online is more effective and wanted by clients.
Suppose hypnosis is part of therapy, for example, helping someone to reduce their anxiety or improve their confidence. In that case, the therapists will use counselling skills to understand the problem and hypnosis to provide positive suggestions for change. Usually, this is delivered via videoconferencing platforms.
When people experience hypnotherapy via videoconferencing, the service is bespoke to the individual’s needs.
Online hypnosis can also mean the delivery of hypnosis via a prerecorded video session or audio recording. There are lots of hypnotherapists who offer this service. The benefit of prerecorded or audio recordings is that the person can listen at a convenient time, and they cost less money. However, these prerecorded online sessions don’t provide a real-time, bespoke service geared to the individual’s needs.
In this blog, we will focus on hypnosis delivered via videoconferencing.
Safety for new clients considering online hypnosis
If you are considering hypnotherapy online (also called hypnosis online, Skypenosis, hypnosis via videoconferencing), there are many benefits compared to in-person therapy.
- You can choose an expert in the field from anywhere in the world.
- No travelling.
- No associated costs such as taking time off work.
So you will have reduced risks associated with the process.
However, just like a physical presence, online hypnosis is a partnership where you can get the desired results.
But like most things, some risks are associated with online hypnosis. For example, there may be risks associated with the practicalities of receiving hypnosis via videoconferencing platforms, such as confidentiality issues. Or there may be risks with the payment system. Other practical risks may be associated with your internet connection freezing, disconnecting, or equipment failure.
Furthermore, you won’t know exactly where the therapist is based and their level of expertise unless you check them out beforehand. If you use a physically present hypnotherapy service in your home town, you can get recommendations from local people, but if you use an online service, you will need to search for online social proof.
Checking credentials from professional bodies will reduce risks but still won’t guarantee that the service will be exemplary for you. Again, neither could you guarantee that any therapy or health service will meet your needs.
There are some essential things that clients must also do to reduce any risks and keep safe. You must provide honest information and offer other information if you think it is relevant. If you have a medical problem, you should have a check-up with your doctor.
A good hypnotherapist will assess the client for risks before commencing hypnosis online. This will be done through discussions with you, emails beforehand, and an initial consultation form where your details are collected.
Questions will be asked about your health and well-being, contact details, and information about your doctor and the person to contact in an emergency. (This is because any client could become unwell. This could be an illness unrelated to hypnotherapy).
Following assessment, hypnotherapists will not do hypnotherapy on clients who are high risk or those who need other services such as mental health intervention. So, always tell the hypnotherapist about health problems and past illnesses such as epilepsy, psychosis and longstanding mental health problems or head trauma before agreeing to have online hypnosis. Also, be truthful when working online. For example, say if there is anyone else in the room or you are under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.
Clients also need to keep themselves safe when in hypnosis. So a comfortable armchair that won’t move is a good idea. Also, you don’t want to have a drink close by that might get knocked over or a device that might fall down. Removing pets from your room is also a good idea just in case the animal jumps up on you or wants to go out while in hypnosis. Finally, if you are a parent looking after children, ensure that someone else can look after them while you have your hypnosis session as you don’t want to be interrupted and don’t want them to be left unattended.
Online hypnosis: Zoom, Skype or something else?
The platform that works best for you and the therapist could be a popular choice like Zoom or Skype or some that are not so well known, such as Doyx.me or Vsee. There are many more. Some are HIPAA compliant. HIPAA compliance involves meeting the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This means that they meet the requirements of American laws however this is not a requirement by UK companies who do not work in the USA, and most platforms have good encryption these days. In the UK, we follow data protection rules (GDPR).
Check out the online platform yourself if you have worries about confidentiality and encryption.
Safety and hypnotherapists practising online hypnosis
The hypnotherapist also endeavours to make each step of the process safe. They also have other considerations related to the profession as safety is measured against industry standards. Although hypnotherapy meets different standards in different parts of the world, in the UK, trained hypnotherapists work to National Occupational standards.
Hypnotherapists need to adjust their methods not only to meet your treatment requirements but also to meet the different requirements when delivering hypnosis. For example, in some cases, hypnotherapists, with consent, may touch a client on the arm when the client is physically in the room. Online this is impossible, so adjusted techniques with the same impact are used.
The preparation of the client is essential when not both in the same room, so advice will be given to ensure devices are charged and there will be no interruptions on the day.
Finally, the key to safety when working online is for the client and the hypnotherapist to work together and mitigate any risks.
Hypnosis is generally a benign procedure and considerations of potential risks resemble those for other
similar psychological methods. (British Psychological Society 2001).
So, if you are considering hypnosis online, chat with a hypnotherapist today. From Awaken the Change, Linda provides hypnotherapy, counselling and coaching online or in her office in Bournemouth.