How long has it been since your last Zoom call?
With the world the way it is today, a lot of hypnotists have stopped seeing clients in person and transitioned to conducting hypnosis sessions with clients over zoom. If you're new to this, read How To Run Online Hypnosis Sessions Like a Pro.
Here at the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy, we are constantly looking for ways to save you time and improve your life. Here are some of the ways we streamline the logistics of the Zoom process to host an ideal hypnosis session.
In this article, we will be examining how to prepare the client for successful change work, how you can maximize your success through calibration, and a few suggestions to sidestep abreaction.
Note: We know real life is never this perfect or smooth! Please use your own best judgment for your client’s ecology. These tips have been helpful to us and we hope they are useful to you as well!
Here’s What The Client Can Do:
The client must do their part to make sure the session goes as smoothly as possible. As the hypnotist, make sure to ask them to do the following things before your first session.
Make a Test Call
If your client is a Zoom virgin, they need to make sure they test their technology prior to the start of your session.
Luckily, most people have had some experience with a video call whether it is over Facetime, Facebook Messenger, or some other messaging application.
In the event that they have no idea where to start, you may wish to find (or make) a basic tutorial to help them get started.
You could talk them through it and if you do, you should certainly record it so you don’t have to drain your precious time and resources! Our policy, in business, is to do things only once whenever possible.
Make Sure The Camera Framing is Appropriate
When the client is testing their setup, you want them to find a place to position their device so that the camera will show a full view of them. Ideally, you want to see from the waist up. If that’s not possible just make sure you can see most of the client’s torso as well as their hands and face.
This is very important for calibration. You want to be able to assess their breathing and observe any catalepsy/ideomotor signals from the hands.
Most clients will assume that you only need to see their faces. It is helpful to explain exactly what you are looking for in the camera frame with either an image (see below) or explicit instructions.
Make Sure The Camera Position Considers Lighting
Maybe you have seen this before when a person joins a call and they have a giant window behind them? This is not useful as it makes the individual too dark and too difficult to calibrate. You must take care to avoid this silhouette look yourself, and instruct your client to ensure they don’t suffer from this lighting problem, too.
Aim For This:
Balancing The Light Shining on Your Face
If you want to create ideal lighting you can buy a fancy ring light, use natural light from a window, or you can plug in multiple lights to illuminate your face and body evenly.
The best way to assess your lighting is to start a practice call and check for visibility and shadows. If there is a shadow due to a lack of light, you can add another light!
Find a Corner To Sit In
This is how a lot of YouTubers do it when working in a small space and setting up lighting.
Test the Audio Input (Speakers) and Output (Microphone)
So far, we have found that Apple products have good speakers and microphone that do not require any additional consideration to use during a call.
If your client is on an old laptop or a Chromebook, they will definitely want to use headphones (wired or wireless) to create a better audio experience on both ends. The type of headphones doesn’t matter as long as they have a microphone hanging on the wire near the mouth.
If you can afford it, Mike and Chris swear by the Apple AirPods! Obviously, you can’t insist that your client have fancy equipment, so suggest they use, at minimum, a simple set of wired earbuds.
Minimize Disturbances by Planning Ahead
The client should be free from distraction. You can encourage them to think about what might distract them (such as notifications, pets, family members) and then make a plan to remove/minimize these distractions.
It is also useful to suggest they use the bathroom before the call starts and arrive with a glass of water.
Here’s What You Can Do
Now, let's talk about what you can do on your end to get the best out of every session.
Minimize Interruptions to Their Focus
Be aware that you are making noise. If you sip your drink and you have a microphone clipped to your shirt, that may be quite disturbing! More likely, you may turn a page or crumple paper that could bring them out of an ideal state.
The biggest thing to avoid is typing notes on your computer. That is loud and distracting! Instead, use the old-fashioned method of writing by hand. Pens are so much quieter than hammering on your keyboard.
You might like to invest in an ethernet cable for a more stable connection if you are positioned far from your Wi-Fi router or have any other wireless signal instability.
Did you know that other people in your house are streaming, which also influences your access to the signal? So if you are not going to get a wired connection, you might consider banning your family from streaming during your sessions!
This last suggestion is obvious: Remember to set your computer and phone to silent /do not disturb mode!
Within the settings of Zoom, you have several different options for view. You should have your client on full screen! This makes calibration easier as well as improving your focus by removing the distraction of looking at yourself.
For calibration, read The 4 Critical Components of Neurolinguistic Programming.
Setting the Framework for a POSITIVE Session With Smooth Transitions
If you have studied with Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy (MMHA), you are likely familiar with the term abreaction which we define as “discharging negative emotions.” This topic can be a hot button when discussing hypnosis in general, never mind on Zoom.
We like to take measures to avoid triggering abreaction and certainly don’t deliberately set out to cause abreaction. This means we typically don’t conduct sessions that work with deep past trauma on Zoom because it could abreact them, which isn't ideal.
So if we aren’t working with deep trauma, what can we do over Zoom?
We suggest you enter a session with a tool kit of ideas where you can apply whatever seems most appropriate as you build rapport.
One of our students recently told us that she keeps a notecard for each technique with the main bullet points so she can easily recall each step and create the best plan for her client without a script. She stores all of these notecards in a convenient flip chart that used to hold recipe cards right next to her monitor ready to go.
Here are some of the specific tools we teach in MMHA that a hypnotist could use to facilitate positive change work over Zoom:
- Phobia cure
- Anti-anxiety tool (such as the rewind on future perceived problems)
- Pain management
- Future pacing
- Anchor creation/collapse
- NLP-style interventions
- Any intervention that doesn’t require a trace
- Using trance to amplify a skill that the client already exceeds in
- Teach them tapping regimens
- Teaching them how to use empowering questions to live their ideal life
What About Inductions?!
We actually created an entire bonus module for the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy specifically for online inductions. But we start with a really great video that teaches the principles of hypnosis and several inductions that you can do directly over zoom.
If you aren’t already a member you might want to consider joining for our 14-day free trial.
When we say free, we actually mean free. It does turn into a membership beyond the free trial period but if you decide you don’t want to keep it, just email support and canceling is that easy.
Zoom Client Email Template Lead Magnet
This is just a reminder that you have an appointment coming up on (date) at (time)
Here are some frequently asked questions that can ensure we are able to do our best work together.
What room should I be in?
The space you select should be free from distraction. Take a moment to think about anyone or anything that might distract you (such as notifications, pets, family members), and then make a plan to remove/minimize these distractions.
Should I be sitting or laying down?
Sitting is preferred. In fact, in the ideal setting, you would be seated in such a way that you could rest your arms on a table in front of you. This is helpful because I can see your hands and you can go into deep states of relaxation while being supported on two sides (chair at back and table in the front)
Can I use my phone/laptop/Ipad for the Zoom call?
Yes, you can. We encourage our clients to use headphones (wired or wireless) to create a better audio experience on both of our ends. The most important thing is that you find a place beforehand to prop your phone or device so that the camera frame includes your hands and face. This sounds easy but sometimes takes a minute of troubleshooting. It would help the session run much more smoothly if this were set up prior to our start time.
Does my lighting matter?
Yes! It matters more than you can imagine. As hypnotists, we are reading your non-verbals while you are engaged in change work. Your facial expressions, muscle tone, and hands are providing us with a good deal of information that we need to see to respond to.
The most common mistake people make with lighting is having a large light at their back, this creates a silhouette-like image that is not useful for us. A good way to think about the ideal lighting is to find your camera and then have the main light sources behind the camera. This would illuminate your face and be extremely helpful
Do I need to bring anything with me to the session?
We recommend using the bathroom prior to the session and bringing a glass of water with you. The most important things on your end are that you are comfortable and free of distraction with a setup that considers sound and image quality.
What if we lose internet connection?
We can pick up right where we left off!
I very much look forward to our session on (date) at (time). Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.