Change your perspective, change your life

Mechanics of an Online Hypnosis Session

Wondering how an online hypnosis & coaching session works? Learn more about the end to end process and book a free online discussion session to see how Powerful Perspectives can help.

For most, our experience of hypnosis is probably from a live show, or something we’ve seen on TV or at the movies. Our impression of hypnosis can be biased by the version that entertainers want us to see. It can seem a bit dramatic and far-fetched – how could it possibly help you?

The reality of therapeutic hypnosis is quite different from these entertainment experiences. Probably the most subtle part of these portrayals is just how much work goes on beforehand to make the seemingly incredible mental experiences happen.

For example, at a live hypnosis stage show, there will often be dramatic music, lighting and staging, aiming to create an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. When the hypnotist appears, often the first thing they will do is establish their credibility and extensive experience. They often proceed to have the audience lock their hands together, as the hypnotist weaves their magical words from the stage. When several people actually experience their hands as locked together, and they are unable to unlock them, they are selected as the participants in the show.

Similarly, if you have ever seen a TV special by the well-known mentalist and entertainer, Derren Brown, you will sometime see at the end how he describes the often elaborate set-up that he does off-camera in advance. Of course, the magic of editing also ensures that anything that doesn’t quite work never makes it into the recorded show.

None of this is to take away from the entertainment value of hypnosis in any way – such live and TV shows can be great fun – but unfortunately it does paint quite a dramatic and sensational view of hypnosis, and these views are often reinforced in the media as well.

In reality, in a therapeutic hypnosis session where you are seeking to make a change in yourself, whether that’s from anxiety to comfort, from phobia to fearlessness, from nervous to confident and so on, the progression of a session is much less dramatic, and in fact, generally very calm, relaxed and controlled.

However, let’s start at the beginning, and follow the process from booking through preparation, the hypnosis session itself, the debrief and then planning the next steps.

Referrals

Sometimes when you see a medical professional, they may not have the skills or experience necessary to treat you, and they will then refer you to another professional. Increasingly, medical professionals are seeing the value of hypnotherapy in helping their patients deal with anxiety, phobias and other fears, depression, weight management, trauma, grief & loss and a range of other challenging issues. While medications can sometimes be effective, often a psychologist, counsellor or a hypnotherapist can also provide an effective and complementary therapy.

When you first meet with us at Powerful Perspectives, if it is relevant we will ask you if you have already sought medical advice for the issue or challenge you are facing. For example, if you present with head aches or chronic pain, we will want to be confident that you have pursued relevant medical treatment. It is preferable in these cases if you can ask your medical professional for a referral to our services, and we provide clients with medical referrals with significant rebates on the cost of our services.

Bookings

Whether or not you have a referral, the next step is to make a booking with us. We encourage prospective clients to make a booking for a free online initial discussion session with us first. In this session, we will further discuss our methods of working, ask you to describe your condition and understand your expectations for therapy. In this session, we will also answer any questions you have about any aspect of our service.

If you want to proceed to make a booking, simply go to the bookings page on our website, choose the type of appointment that you want to schedule and select a suitable date and time from the options that are provided. You can select your local timezone to ensure we are all in sync. Then include your name, email and telephone contact details and submit your booking request. Generally, you will receive a booking confirmation email very shortly afterwards.

There is no charge for the free online discussion session, and for other sessions, you will receive a separate email with payment details. Online sessions need to be paid in advance, while in-person sessions can be paid in advance or at the session. For online sessions, when payment is made, you will then receive an email with details of your online session, and directions on how to set yourself up for a positive online experience.

Preparation

For online sessions, please ensure that you are online at least five minutes prior to the start of your session. Note that online videoconferencing tools seem to be regularly updated, so it’s worth checking that your software is up to date in advance of your session to avoid a delayed start. For online sessions, it is important that your camera and microphone are working well, as visual and auditory feedback is needed throughout the session.

For in-person sessions, please ensure that you come to our offices well in time, again to avoid a delayed start to your session.

Note that sessions need to conclude at the appointed time to avoid a delayed start to the next client.

For our part, while we always try to ensure that sessions finish on time so that upcoming clients are not inconvenienced, there may be a delay of up to five minutes past your scheduled start time before we are available to start your session. If for any reason we are delayed past this five minutes, we will offer you the option to reschedule your session without any charge, and we will apologise for any inconvenience.

Note that sessions may be recorded for training or referral purposes, and you will be asked for your consent to such recording.

History

At our initial discussion and first session, we will ask you for a history of your issues and condition. We will try to understand when you started to have this issue, under which conditions you struggle the most, and under what conditions you are better able to manage it. We will often spend a considerable time understanding your current state, and then we will discuss your expectations and desired outcomes for the changes that you want to make.

In our first session, we will often conduct a variety of hypnosis evaluations to determine the approach that is most likely to be effective for you. This approach often depends on such factors as: previous hypnosis experience, extent of visual imagination, determination of suitable/unsuitable metaphors and language, evaluation of cognitive style, responsiveness to simple suggestion exercises and so on.

We will describe the hypnosis process for you and again answer any questions that you may have regarding the process, and what you can expect during and after the session. Once we have determined a course of action, with your agreement, we will proceed with the hypnosis portion of the session.

Hypnosis

For online clients, it is important that we can clearly see your face and upper body during the session, so a comfortable seating position where you are well framed in your camera will be essential. We often ask the client’s unconscious mind to communicate through facial or hand movements, so clear visibility of these movements is important for an accurate session.

To induce the hypnosis process, we will follow an induction pattern that is customised to you and your responses. Generally, we will ask you to move your attention from one item to another, sometimes internal focus, sometimes external focus on sounds, temperatures, feelings and so on. This is an important part of reaching the hypnotic state, where the mind is focussed on the suggestions provided.

The hypnosis part of the session can range from just a few minutes to over 30 minutes as needed to introduce you to the suggestions that we feel will be most helpful to resolving your challenge. Hypnosis often involves considerable repetition and approaching an issue from several perspectives. In essence, we are communicating with the client’s subconscious mind and help it to see challenges from a new, more powerful perspective.

During the session, you may choose to follow along with your conscious mind or not. Some clients feel that a session has been much longer or much shorter than the actual time taken – this is known as time dilation. Some clients will remember some or all of the session content, while others will not remember most or any of it – this is known as session amnesia. Each person has their own personal experience, and their subconscious mind plays a key role in determining how the conscious memory of the session is perceived and remembered.

Post-Hypnotic Suggestions

As part of the hypnosis process, the therapist will often create post-hypnotic suggestions, which are intended to remain in effect when the session is over. For some issues, it is enough to provide the subconscious mind with new patterns or possibilities, and the issue or challenge naturally dissolves. For other, particularly long-standing habits, post-hypnotic suggestions can help you to think, feel or do something more helpful when the trigger circumstances occur.

When the hypnosis part of the session is concluded, the therapist will often reinforce the work done during the session, mostly to ensure that the conscious mind of the client is in sync with their new subconscious patterning. The therapist will check in with you to better understand your experience in hypnosis and to evaluate how much progress has been made in resolving the issue.

Dealing with More Complex Issues

While it is certainly true that simple issues can sometimes be resolved in one session, it’s equally true that most issues have multiple triggers, patterns and implications. In general, we inform clients that they should be prepared for a minimum of three sessions to uncover, resolve and provide an opportunity for them to test their new patterning in the real world. More complex issues can take more sessions, but we always aim to resolve the client’s issues in the minimum number of sessions needed for them to be confident in their outcome.

Homework & Next Steps

We may provide some exercises or homework activities to be performed between sessions. We may also teach you to experience self-hypnosis which can then be practised between sessions. This can be a key skill that you can use to self-regulate if the challenge recurs.

Finally, we make a plan for another session if you wish and make a new booking for that session. As before, online sessions are then paid in advance and in-person sessions can be paid in advance or at the next session. Significant discounts are available for multiple session bookings in advance, with flexibility on when the sessions are actually scheduled.

Feedback

At the end of each session, we like to gather feedback on what worked and what didn’t work for you during that session. We ask you to be open to our feedback, and we are open to your comments and suggestions. Together, we aim to improve your experience and help you to resolve your challenges.

With this process, we consistently aim to provide your conscious and subconscious mind with new and more powerful perspectives that can provide a long-term improvement in your life.

If you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment below, or submit a question using the form on the FAQ page and we can respond to you directly.

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Rebates are available for medical referrals and clients with approved mental health care plans

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