Written by Dr Kate Beaven-Marks
Imagine the following scenes:
- You are a hypnotherapist just sitting down to work with a client. You have spent hours planning the session, writing or locating scripts and techniques, or you simply know that you have a file of hundreds of scripts that you rely on for any eventuality on your laptop.
- Perhaps instead you are a comedy hypnotist. Your laptop has the whole list of all of your routines and all of the music clips.
- Maybe you have planned a hypnosis recording for YouTube. You have your entire presentation scripted out on your laptop so that you can use a teleprompter app to feed you the words that you need.
What do each of these scenarios have in common? They all show a reliance on technology. This blog explores how you can avoid or address some of the consequences of technology failure.
Some therapists will store their information locally on a device, such as a laptop or tablet, whilst others will upload the data to a form of cloud storage, which can offer a useful backup. Where information is critical, it can be helpful to have a spare means of access to that essential data (e.g., a phone).
It is becoming increasingly popular to keep client records electronically, especially if the intake/consultation form is completed online by the client. Some therapists will print out the information and have that to hand for their therapy session. Others will rely on their electronic data storage (e.g., laptop or iPad).
There are some strategies that you can employ in a therapy session if you don’t have the records that you were expecting to have access to. For a first session, you might ask the client to give you an overview of what they feel are the most important facts they would like you to know about their issue. You might also ask them to describe their goal and discuss the treatment options to help them work towards that goal. If it’s a subsequent session, you can ask them for an overview of their thoughts about their original issue, what has changed and what they still would like to achieve. A discussion can then help work out what can be done to move the client towards their goal.
If your normal way of taking notes is using a tablet or other electronic device then you could revert to the traditional pen and paper. You may then choose to add these to your electronic notes when you again have access to your equipment.
It is important to remember that any client information you store on portable information technology (IT) such as your iPad needs to be securely stored, whether it leaves your home or not. Good practice can include password-protection for your device and also for the location or app where you store the client information.
Where resources such as worksheets, information handouts and self-care leaflets are held electronically, these can be emailed to the client after the therapy session instead.
Scripts and resources
Scripts are common in the hypnotherapy field. Initially they can be used as a training aid, to help a new therapist understand how to use hypnotic language and create a flow of relevant suggestions. These scripts can range from brief direct and/or indirect suggestions, through to metaphors and can also include various techniques. Some therapists become accustomed to using scripts, either by choice or necessity (perhaps not having the skills or confidence to work script-free). These may be scripts downloaded from databases or written in advance by the therapist. If these scripts are located on IT equipment, then a loss or electronic failure can be problematic. It can be useful to develop the ability to work ‘off script’ using the client’s information about their issue and goals. A great way of doing this is to start to bullet point your most useful scripts and learn the structure (rather than potentially thousands of words) and then use your own words to expand on the structure. This can be even more helpful for the client, allowing you to personalise their therapy and reflect the client’s use of language.
If you’d like to learn how to work off script, our Live Online Hypnotherapy Certification is a great option. Check out the full syllabus here:
Shows, demonstrations and presentations
It will always be in your best interests to have a good understanding of your material, whether that is the outline for your comedy hypnosis show, a demonstration of hypnosis or a hypnosis presentation.
For something with so many variables as a comedy hypnosis show, too much planning, such as scripting each part of your show, may result in you sounding stilted and possibly less engaged with your audience. Instead, you could write a bullet list of preferred routine names, in order, together with some possible variations depending on the types of volunteers you get. In addition, you might want a few prompt words to look at before you start, to remind you of your key points to get across in your pre-talk to the audience. Generally, the more you prepare and rehearse your show, the less prompts you will need and the more confident and professional you will appear to your audience. This then can lead to better rapport with the audience and then greater engagement. In terms of musical support for your routines, such as orchestral music or heavy rock for the ‘musicians’ routine, if can help to have at least one backup e.g., a flash drive, or music on your phone, so that you can easily connect to a different source of music. It is also useful to practice without sound effects, in case the venue or your own audio equipment has a failure.
With demonstrations and presentations, these are both areas where it helps to have great knowledge of what you are going to be doing. For demonstrations, a single sheet of paper that you can put somewhere (e.g., taped to the back of a chair) should be sufficient to remind you of the entire process. For presentations, it really will make a huge difference for you to learn either the entire presentation or at least the outline and essential points.
To read a presentation word-for-word, no matter how skilled you are, will still seem stilted on some level. If you absolutely cannot remember the entire presentation, then one or more paper crib cards are ideal. Put key words or really brief bullet notes, spacing the material out so that a mere glance will enable you to see what you need. Hypnosis demonstrations and presentations are a fantastic way to become well known and to increase your client-base – assuming you deliver good presentations and demonstrations, that is! If you’d like to develop your own skills in this area, check out our ‘HypnoDemo’ online course:
Although a hypnotherapist or hypnotist will find that use of information technology can aid their business in many ways, it can help to develop the skills, resources and the mental resilience to work electronic-free. At the very least, this can give you the confidence and ability to still be able to work with the client in any situation. However, that may just be the start and you might find that you connect to the absolute freedom of being able to work confidently and effectively at any time, and without the need of any equipment, because all you really need to do hypnosis is you!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog on hypnosis and technology, and if you have any more questions about this topic, or anything else for that matter, do please get in touch, because we’re always happy to help!
– written by Dr Kate Beaven-Marks