Hypnotherapy via image connection

It must have been somewhere at the beginning of the 80s that an old hypnotherapist told me the following. He had a client who couldn’t come to his practice and asked if he could be treated over the phone. It wasn’t a severe complaint, so this colleague decided to do it.
During the session, his client’s wife suddenly spoke over the phone. She told him that her husband had fallen asleep. Imperturbable as this therapist was, he asked the woman to wake her husband. That only worked partly. The man remained a bit fuzzy, even when he got back on the line.

There was nothing else for him to do but get on his bike and ride to his client’s house. This experienced colleague decided to make rapport with him first so that they could communicate with each other again.

Then he deepened the hypnosis so that he could easily get the client out of trance again. For the hypnotherapist, this extra bike ride was ‘once but never again.’ With this story in mind, I listened to all kinds of American Voice Dialogue trainers in 2006 with some skepticism. During the break of an international Voice Dialogue meeting, they told me enthusiastically about their experiences with the use of giving sessions and teachings via technology. I could hardly believe that you could give sessions remotely. Less than 15 years later, the whole world is walking around with a screen in their pockets. Education and professional literature did not go along with this development. The coronavirus is now forcing us to brush up on our knowledge of hypnotherapy via a monitor. This is in line with the wish of many therapists to be able to give therapy via technology in a safe and useful way.

Working with technology deserves a different approach than working in an office. In addition, there is a chance that communication will be broken. There are practical points of attention to give a session a comfortable embedding.

These themes are discussed in the six sections below.

  1. Senses: practice room versus screen
    The therapist cannot work through the screen in exactly the same way as when he works in the office. Especially in the area of the senses, you will find big differences; differences that you have to be attentive to and learn to deal with.
  2. Precautions
    Technology may falter and therefore, the rapport can disappear. Precautions must be taken to ensure that these connections are re-established as soon as possible.
  3. If the connection fails
    It is a real possibility that the connection may fail. The power or the internet connection may fail, or someone accidentally presses the wrong button.
  4. What to do if the client is no longer reachable
    The client may fall asleep or be in such a deep trance that he is difficult to reach.
  5. Inductions and interventions
    Not all inductions and interventions are suitable. Some deserve a bit of adjustment.
  6. Practical around the session
    Some preconditions play an extra role in hypnotherapy via a screen.

1.1 Senses: practice space versus screen

There is a big difference in the area of communication. This difference stems from the very nature of audio-visual communication technology. The word ‘audiovisual’ says it all. The transfer of data takes place in the audiovisual field; hearing and seeing. Senses such as feeling, smelling, and tasting are not the essence of this form of transmission.

Feeling and smelling certainly deserve separate attention when therapy is given via the screen, although there are also some limitations to the transmission of seeing and hearing.

  • Seeing
    Seeing what happens is very important. You can simply point your monitor camera at a distance and zoom in and out. That’s why you should choose a standard setup in advance. You see the whole person or you only see his face or top.
    • When you only see the whole human being, you especially see all the changes in posture. You can see whether a person’s feet are starting to move restlessly, or whether he is perhaps balling his hands up into a fist or his fist is just opening up again in a relaxed way. Another advantage is that it is then easy to observe changes in breathing or to see when a client suddenly tensely shrinks.
    • When you focus on the face, there’s a lot you can see pretty well. Just think of all facial expressions, skin discoloration, vibrations of the eyelids, discoloration of the white of the eye, a heartbeat in the neck, the meaning of opening and closing the mouth, and so on.

      Both institutions at the same time are technically feasible, but not realistic in everyday practice. As a therapist, you will have to make a conscious choice per client and per session as to what you want to see and what you will perceive less or not.
  • Hearing
    In general, ‘hearing’ will cause the least problems. The better the microphone and speaker are, the more accurately emotional expressions can be heard and valued. As a therapist, you will have to take into account that what you perceive may have been distorted by technology.
    Don’t immediately draw your conclusions, but first, ask whether what you think you perceive is correct. Except of course when it is close up, and it is supported by the image or words.
  • Feeling
    The feeling (physical, emotional, and energetic) is perhaps the greatest loss when a session is done via the screen.
    • Initial adjustment
      What about the feeling of that handshake when you enter, for example, or tuning in to feel how someone is sitting there for a moment? Maybe somebody enters in a despondent, agitated, angry, or hurried manner. These things are often immediately noticeable when someone enters the practice or when you offer them a cup of drink. You miss this when the contact only begins in front of the screen. That is why it is important to coordinate very seriously beforehand so that both have all the information they would have had live.
    • Physical contact
      Physical touch is not the core of hypnotherapy. In fact, many hypnotherapists are very cautious about this within the practice of their profession. Nevertheless, you will have to find a solution to those things that are otherwise so common. You can think of handing out a tissue when someone is crying. But also, how someone’s hand feels when you shake their hand. You will have to get used to the use of physical anchors. As a therapist, you can’t touch your client for that. He will have to do that himself, or you will have to become proficient in working with anchors in a different way. You can draw your client’s attention to a physical feeling that is playing in him, and install that feeling as an anchor. Possibly you can use an auditory anchor or a thought as an anchor. Working through a screen can be a source of creative new possibilities; for example, how do you gather your information, offer comfort, or develop new ways to ‘anchor.’
    • Energetic perception
      Particularly enough, it is precisely this sometimes poorly understood form of ‘feeling’ that suffers the least. It is as if emotions can enter the other person fairly easily via the screen. We empathize and we experience. It is equally unimportant whether this is due to mirror neurons or happens through intuitive tuning. Most therapists will be able to resonate within themselves with the feelings of the client. When that happens, it remains necessary, as always, to ask whether what the therapist feels is a feeling of his client, of himself or of both.
    • The client is unreachable
      You can think of clients falling asleep or going into a very deep trance.
    • Smelling
      It will be clear; as long as there is no scent television, smelling is impossible. So, you won’t be able to perceive a smell of fear – sweat. But you won’t ask yourself the meaning either of why your client has a strong cloud of perfume hanging around him.
    • Tasting
      This is a sense that will not help missed when working through the screen. It is important that the therapist has thought about how to deal with these subjects before he starts working via technology.

1.2 Precautions

There are two types of precautions you can take to best parry a possible disconnection:

  1. Make sure that this disconnection is resolved as smoothly as possible.
  2. Preparing the mindset (way of thinking) of the client.

1.2.1 Precautionary measures in the event of possible disconnection

There is always a chance that the connection will fail in any way. No matter how small this change is, it is wise to always be prepared for this. When the connection is broken, the client is suddenly alone; in the middle of a session. There is no one to support him at that moment. So, you will always have to strive to re-establish contact with the client as soon as possible.

One or more of the following options can be chosen.

Extra standby connection

Make sure there are two ways to be connected:

  • internet
  • telephone

If one of the two breaks down, you can always reach each other via the other. In this way, if the image connection fails, you can call the other immediately via a standby connection. When the session is over the internet, the telephone connection is the standby connection; and vice versa.

There is a chance that someone else will try to call the therapist or the client over the telephone or internet connection. That would be disruptive if it could not be solved:

  • The therapist puts his standby device in another room.
  • The client gives his standby phone to a family member who is in another room.
    If this is not possible now, choose a device that is barely or not used.

Standby support

It is always nice when there is a third person around to provide help in the event that the connection is broken.

The presence of such a person can also come in handy when, for example, the client falls asleep during the session.

  • Make sure that the therapist can reach someone (a family member) around the session who can be called so that this person can be a safe haven for the client.
  • Make sure that this person can always enter the house when called by the therapist.
  • The client tells his housemates what time he can be disturbed again. For example, from 14 o’clock. He asks them to come and see him when he hasn’t shown up for a quarter of an hour afterward. Of course, they do this in a calm way because you are never sure if the session is over.
  • Although the therapist always verifies after each session whether his client is really out of hypnosis, the client (or a housemate) can always call the therapist when he has finished:
    • The client does not seem to be completely awake yet.
    • The client is not (well) reachable.

Environmental conditions

  • Make sure that no one unexpectedly walk into the room during the session.
  • If the client tends to fall asleep more often during a session, you could discuss with him whether it would be a good idea to leave a note at the monitor during the session. It could say: “If I have fallen asleep, will you call my therapist [name: …] [number: …]?”

1.2.2 The mindset (way of thinking) of the client

There are two times when the client can be prepared for an unstable connection where the rapport is maintained in a secure manner even when the image connection is lost.

Waking suggestions during the preparations

Before the session starts, the following instruction is given. A trained therapist recognizes this instruction as a set of suggestions that fit neatly together.

  • It is nice to be able to start the session well prepared.
  • What we are going to do now ensures that we always know that we will stay connected, even if the image connection fails.
  • I know from you that, because everything is well prepared, you can then wait quietly for the moment when contact is made with you again. You can be sure that everything I do is to be able to speak to you again as soon as possible. We both know that even if the image connection is lost, our connection will not be lost.
  • When you begin to wonder ‘why hasn’t my therapist said anything for a long time now,’ that’s the sign for you to come out of hypnosis immediately.
  • I don’t expect the connection to fall away, but I would like to make it as comfortable as possible for you when that happens.

So, these sentences are pronounced while making an extra stand-by connection. Also, call this a standby connection and not a safety connection.

Additional suggestions during treatment via technology

When a client is treated via the monitor, it may be useful to repeat the following suggestions several times during the treatment (especially during induction).

  • Suggestive instruction in the event of a possible loss of the video and/or audio connection
    In the induction, it may be useful to insert the following suggestion: “What I’m about to say to you is almost superfluous…But since your well-being is paramount to me…I’ll make the following arrangements with your subconscious right now…When, for whatever reason, we don’t hear each other anymore…you automatically park what you’re doing to a safe place in your subconscious…as, for example, by losing the image connection…You know, even when the image connection is broken, that our connection still exists…That’s why at that moment you come out of hypnosis as if by yourself, immediately…easily, smoothly, and completely…to the here and now…and you are completely clear and awake again…The first thing you do is call me immediately…so that we can also hear each other again…”
  • Rapport Strengthening Suggestions
    During the induction, you could do some preliminary work to keep the rapport as powerful as possible. You could then make this suggestion a few times: “As long as this session is going on, your subconscious will automatically follow every assignment I lead you to so that I can lead you back from this hypnosis to the waking state at all times.

    Whenever you see (or know) that a client might be dozing off, you again give rapport enhancing suggestions. All suggestions that strengthen the rapport and each time consciously let the client go along with where the therapist leads him, such as: “… and you stay with your attention completely with my voice and follow the words I speak completely…leading you naturally to those areas that are important to you…so that when we’re done there, I can easily take you along the path to your normal clear day consciousness…so you subconsciously follow naturally every assignment I lead you to… so that I can lead you back from this hypnosis to the waking state at all times.”

Before the session and during the induction, the therapist has already ‘set’ his client’s mindset in such a way that the client’s subconscious is prepared for a possible disconnection. The client knows that if the image connection is broken, he still remains connected to the therapist. With this connection, he bridges, as it were, the period in which the image connection is interrupted.

1.3 What to do if the connection fails

It is always possible that the image connection breaks unexpectedly. This is certainly an unpleasant situation for the client. He is then alone, without guidance, with all willingness to follow the therapist.

If you have not taken this into account, the resulting rapport will be rudely disturbed, which can make the client feel quite lonely. It is then as if the person who follows you in full confidence suddenly and unexpectedly abandons you.

In practical terms, all the precautions mentioned in § 1.1 have been taken to prevent this scenario as much as possible. The therapist will soon be in contact with his client again. The questions are now:

  • What about the client?
  • How does the therapist deal with this?

When the connection is suddenly broken, it is not unlikely that this will also affect the therapist’s feelings. He may have been irritated, startled, or disappointed. Fortunately, the client does not see or feel this.

However, when the connection is restored, he will find a client who is probably still in rapport.

A good way can be, when the connection only briefly disappeared, to go back to where you left off fairly quickly. The Dutch hypnotherapist, Petra Koelewijn, tackles such a situation as follows: “I had this last week with a client. The connection was restored and I almost pretended it hadn’t happened. I said: “And back to where we were…” and we immediately picked up the thread again. That went fine.”

The three dots are the most important. This is the moment to discover very well how the client is doing. Is he shocked or is he ready to move on immediately? When the client is ready to move on immediately, that is the best thing to do. In this way, you use a hypnotherapeutic trick. Petra here links the moment of disappearance to the moment of moving on. By doing this, the subconscious ‘story’ continues without interruptions. This is how one of the smartest ways to ‘make someone forget something’ also works.

For the therapist, there is something else going on. Chances are that he is right to quickly shift his attention from his client to solve the problem that has arisen. Possibly he feels touched by the fact that on the other hand, his client is in hypnosis, or he is struggling with his personal emotions around this frustration. In all cases, he will have to recover immediately, even before the connection is re-established. It is professional at such a moment to park one’s own irritations and to be there completely for the client.

In the end, there is a very good chance that through the rapport, the client will experience every emotion of the therapist as if it was meant for him personally.

Once this has happened, he will completely adjust himself to the client he is going to find. Often, this is an open and vulnerable event. The therapist tells him he likes to speak to his client again and asks his client how it was that the connection was so abruptly broken. In this way, communication is brought back to normal. This is the beginning of a well-functioning rapport again. After this, the session can be continued or completed.

If the client decides to stop, the session does not end. It is very likely that there is still a rapport at the subconscious level. Moreover, the hypnosis has not yet formally ended. The therapist activates the initiated hypnosis before each one of them goes his own way. Then he makes a short and clear conclusion, in which he breaks the rapport at the very end. In this conclusion, you can consider suggesting something along the lines of: “Should the connection ever be broken again, we’ve both been trained to deal with it, which will make everything even easier.”

Concrete step-by-step plan when the client calls

As soon as the client calls back, the therapist acts as follows:

  • He draws up a subtle rapport to ensure that his client does not immediately revert to hypnosis when he hears the therapist’s voice.
  • He checks if the client is actually ‘awake’ and has not fallen back into hypnosis again.
  • If permission and if present then he contacts any housemates so that they can keep an eye on him.
  • If the latter is not the case, he agrees that his client will call him back in exactly fifteen minutes after the end of the hypnosis. When this does not happen, the therapist arranges for someone to go to the client.

1.4 What to do if the client is no longer reachable

There’s something else that can play. Actually, it’s more difficult than when the image connection fails during therapy. This is that the therapist can no longer reach his client during the session. This can be the case when:

  1. The client has dozed off
    In this case, the therapist can lovingly wake up his client and try to restore the rapport.
  2. The client has gone too deep into hypnosis
    In this case, the therapist will immediately try to re-establish a rapport so that the session can continue.

It becomes more problematic when these actions fail remotely.

1.4.1 The client has dozed off

One of the recurring discussions among hypnotherapists is whether a client who appears to have fallen asleep during a session still perceives and follows the given suggestions. One therapist assumes that the client’s subconscious perceives and follows everything. The other person expresses the experience that, when someone seems to be asleep, (and maybe even snoring) they are asleep.

As far as I know, they never came up with a good answer. Maybe it’s not even that important to know if someone is asleep or not. What matters is that there is still a rapport. When the client follows the therapist, he will also follow the suggestions given.

Rapport preservation at the screen

When there is no more rapport, chances are that you are talking to a client who is slowly slipping away in a well-deserved good sleep. That’s not useful when you’re not around to gently wake him up. That is why it is very important that the therapist carries out regular check-ups during treatment to make sure that the rapport is still there.

When you see that your client is in danger of falling asleep, it is good to tempt him to answer questions about the subject in question. Then ask them simple yes or no answers. This answer can be given simply by talking, but also by nodding yes or shaking their head. Even answers by means of finger signals are possible.

Once an answer has been given, you expand the rapport again.

When the client stays asleep

Clients who no longer react because they fell asleep during the session are not an unknown phenomenon to most hypnotherapists. As a remote therapist, it is annoying to discover that your client has fallen asleep. You can’t just walk up to him now, say that you are going to put your hand on his shoulder and then after you have done that, wake him up very carefully to guide him back into the hypnotic trance.

What can still work well sometimes is doing a follow-and-lead induction. You tune in with a clear and certain voice to your client. You tell him what he feels in any case (the chair, feeling of relaxation, closed eyelids, breathing), hear (sound of the voice, breathing, other background noises), etc. When there is some recognition to be seen, a careful start can be made with leading, after which a rapport will be made and the client can be taken into the session again.

If this intervention does not work, fortunately, you have taken precautions and there is someone on standby who can be called. You need this person to, on your behalf, touch the client’s shoulder or, if that does not work, gently squeeze his arm.

When this person is present and you can see both of them on the screen, this third person will follow your instructions carefully.

Procedure

The therapist speaks from his natural preponderance; clearly, certainly, and emphatically. He radiates on all sides, that what he says is followed exactly as he says.

“[client’s name], soon [name housemate] is going to put his hand on your shoulder. You’ll be able to see that…”

The one who is present now clearly and surely lays his hand on the client’s shoulder on the instructions of the therapist.

The therapist then says the following:

“[client’s name], I don’t know how you feel this hand on your shoulder, but I do know it’s interesting to find out…[client’s name], nod, but if you feel this hand…”

The moment the client nods or says something, there is a rapport again. If necessary, the therapist can then expand this back to normal short hypnosis, immediately followed by a deduction (replying, extracting from hypnosis). Then, of course, you check carefully whether someone is actually out of hypnosis.

If the hand on the shoulder does not work, this procedure can be repeated in exactly the same way, by squeezing the client firmly (please no bruising) on the upper arm.

When this doesn’t work, there’s little else to do but, like that old hypnotherapist, get on a bike and go to the client.

1.4.2 Very deep trance state

LeCron & Bordeaux (1947) in Hypnotism Today (p. 64) call the deepest state of hypnosis a state of ‘complete trance.’ They describe this as a state of anesthesia in which no spontaneous actions take place. So, you can’t go any deeper.

One of my old teachers once told me with some bravado, that this state is so deep that it is difficult to bring the client back out. In this case, you have nothing left to deepen. He can’t go deeper. According to him, there would only be two possibilities:

  • If he doesn’t do anything, he’ll fall asleep by himself and when he’s asleep, he’ll wake up again by himself.
  • You tell him during the hypnosis: “During the hypnosis, you ended up in this pleasant hypnotic state. I know how you can feel how nice it is to be there…”

    [Usually, there is no possibility to make the client nod in the affirmative at such a moment, because there is often complete catalepsy. Chances are that this alignment has been observed. In that case, there is a rapport].

    “…this pleasant state I brought you to is so nice, that you know that if you follow me, you can end up back there another time…”

It sounded like he had a lot of experience with that.

In my more than thirty years of practice as a hypnotherapist, teacher, and trainer, it only happened to me once or eight times that someone sank so deeply into hypnosis that I had to take action because they didn’t ‘wake up.’ On two occasions, this happened to people who had made a big mistake the night before…except once this happened during group demonstrations, in which I didn’t pay enough attention to each individual.

In all cases, I made sure that the awake bystanders were no longer present and pulled them out of hypnosis one by one, by means of the intervention I described under the heading ‘procedure.’ Often it turned out to be necessary to be extra clear in my certain attitude and sound. I made it so clear what was going to happen and what I expected from them that there was no doubt about it. In the end, I was also the one they were already used to following when I hypnotized them.

It goes without saying that you don’t want to experience this when your client is in hypnosis via technology. Still, it could happen someday, and then as a therapist, you will have to stand your ground. The solution is the same as the one you can apply when someone has fallen asleep. You will have to be decisive and involved in this.

1.4.3 “Hypnosis automatically turns into a natural sleep.”

Once, I was provided advice by one of the many old masters (I regularly use the term ‘old masters’ without specifying. In the ’80s and ’90s, I talked very regularly with very experienced hypnotherapists. This happened in many individual conversations, formal and informal meetings, and sometimes in teaching or training situations. To my regret, I don’t remember which of them gave me the specific information I am sharing here. These old masters, some of whom have died and others are now mostly very old, had no experience at all of working through a screen, but often had the experimental experience of deep trance states, in which clients can also find themselves uninvited and unexpectedly).  “Hypnosis always turns into a natural sleep.” Unfortunately, I don’t remember who told me that. I do know that he told me to just let the client sleep it off. Depending on his sleeping needs, he would wake up sooner or later.

When this is the case, it is important that someone is with him until he wakes up again. When the client is awake, the hypnotherapist has one more thing to do; to finish the session.
This means:

  • Explore if there are any leftovers from the session. When this is the case; finish the session.
  • Undoing process suggestions, such as physical heaviness, tired eyes, and the like.
  • Undoing the rapport, including the suggestions that established the rapport.
  • A good deduction that takes the client out of the hypnosis and makes him focus on the here and now again.

1.5 Inductions and interventions

The screen is the best way to help clients through hypnotherapy. It is even nice that this can help people who are not able to visit a hypnotherapist. However, some coordination is required for the inductions, techniques, and interventions that are used in this way.


Ultimately, there are two major differences with hypnotherapy in practice:

  • The therapist is not physically with his client.
  • The communication runs less undisturbed than in practice.

These two points can influence:

  • Inductions (relaxation induction, interrupted handshake, induction through passes)
  • Techniques and interventions (regression therapy, suggestive therapy, guided visualizations, an invitation to abreact, and some forms of subpersonal therapy and opening questions, etc.).

This section discusses the possibilities and impossibilities.

1.5.1 Actions around the session

There is a chance that the client may end up unescorted in dreamland, the rapport disappears or the client is on a different track than the therapist. To prevent this, it is a good idea to keep in touch with the client more often than usual.

  • Regularly ask what something is like for him, what he feels, and what images he sees. In this way you keep the rapport up to date and ‘the client stays on track.’
  • Regularly check if what you observe as a therapist corresponds with what is happening in the inner world of the client.
  • Be sure that when the session is over, the client is absolutely out of hypnosis.

1.5.2 Which inductions and interventions cannot occur online

It will be clear that any intervention requiring the physical presence of the therapist is an unwanted intervention or technique. Of course, any induction requiring the physical presence of the therapist is also one of the impossibilities. After all, you cannot put your hands and arms through the screen.

Inductions

This, of course, applies to both the time-honored use of hypnotic passes and the interrupted handshake. Nor is it wise to use inductions or floors, where the client is tempted to slip deeper and deeper into immeasurable depths. The chance of the client falling asleep or sinking into an awkwardly deep trance is then quite present.

The use of suggestions such as ‘slipping into a bottomless sleep’ is therefore not really wise. In this case, the words ‘bottomless’ and ‘sleep’ are chosen rather awkwardly.

Interventions

It is important that no orders are given that the therapist can be assumed to know that his physical presence might be required. This could include:

  • associated searches;
  • enhancing physical experiences;
  • kinesthetic bridging techniques in regressions; and
  • associated and physical responses to emotions.

These are all interventions in which you leave the intensity with which the client experiences something or lets it rise to the subconscious. Controlled associative work is one of the possibilities.

1.5.3 Doubts

Inductions that make use of interrupting automatisms will have to be further developed in order to be deployed via the screen. There are also interventions that cannot always be used. These are mainly dissociated or silent versions of regression therapy and emotional release.

Interrupting an automatic pattern as induction

The sudden interruption of automatism, the core of the ‘interrupted handshake,’ may well, be feasible. After suddenly interrupting an automatic pattern, the client falls into a vacuum for a moment. This is a moment of momentary rapport loss. At this moment, the therapist takes over the wheel in a fraction of a second. Usually, he does this by simultaneously ensuring that the client does not ‘fall over.’ In a simultaneous movement, the resulting random movement of their client is captured and this movement is guided in the right direction.

Two things are crucial:

  • The therapist has to induce the rapport in one smooth and quick intervention before the client realizes what is happening.
  • The safety of the client must be guaranteed so that he does not hurt himself.

An induction based on the interruption of automatism should meet the above two conditions. When the client is brought into hypnosis via technology, the therapist will have to devise a way to achieve this. Without having to touch his client, he will have to let four things happen:

  1. Safely, quickly and unexpectedly interrupt an automatism.
  2. Breaking into the moment of ‘vacuum.’
  3. Take over the rapport adequately in one short activity.
  4. At the same time, ensuring the safety of his client so that he does not fall off his chair.

Which automatisms do you find when someone sits behind a screen and looks at his therapist? How do you interrupt this in such a way that it results in a safe rapport? This is a nice job for creative hypnotherapists to develop, train, and transfer new techniques for this.

Suggestive therapy and ordinary visualizations

There are also techniques where there is a reasonable chance that the client will slowly find his own way in the land of dreams. This danger especially exists in the case of:

  • suggestive therapy and
  • ordinary visualizations.

When there is sufficient communication with the client during these sessions, dozing off hardly occurs.

Dissociated: going back to the past and reacting

Dissociated techniques and interventions, such as exploration of the past and silent abreaction, can be used under certain conditions. For example:

  • The ability of the client to ‘control’ his emotions.
  • To what extent is the ego strong enough?

Sufficient experience with the client in similar situations (in the office) provides an opportunity to properly assess this.

Now it is always possible that unexpectedly such a dissociated experience becomes so great for the client that he will express his feelings (violently or not) anyway. It is then important that the therapist has sufficient experience and rapport with this client. He then knows that he can almost certainly rely 100% on his client being able to control himself. In such a situation, it is necessary that both make sure that the client continues to follow his therapist completely.

1.5.4 What type of inductions and interventions are appropriate

In principle, all inductions and interventions, associated and dissociated, that are not excluded, are good and safe to use during a hypnotherapeutic session via a monitor. It is and remains important that the therapist, even more than in his office, ensures that the rapport is not lost.

Some techniques seem to be made to be used in this way.
These are, for example:

  • Guided visualizations.
  • Metaphors, in which a ‘safe place’ can sometimes come in handy.
  • Ego-strengthening.
  • Techniques to tune in to the future.
  • Discovery and training of new behavior.
  • Participant therapy in hypnosis.
  • Hypno-projective techniques, such as theatre, video game, television and film techniques.
  • NLP techniques in which you actively communicate with the client, such as conflict integration, swish, new behavior generator and the like.
  • Suggestive therapy in which you are asked for feedback on a regular basis.
  • Attention exercises such as guided mindfulness in light hypnosis. Keep ‘hammering’ that the client stays in the body and continues to feel it.

1.6 Practical around the session

In terms of preparation, a number of preconditions have been practically taken into account so that the session can take place safely and undisturbed:

  • The client ensures that he is not disturbed during the treatment (housemates, pets, visitors, parcel delivery staff, etc.). He is alone in the room; the door closed.
  • He has prepared for the session:
    • Is a glass of water, tissues, notepad, and pen present?
    • Is the temperature pleasant? Did he/she visit the toilet in advance?
    • Are you ready to let go during the session?
    • Is the standby connection with the therapist ready?
  • The client sits on a comfortable chair on which it is easy to relax. When the chair has a headrest, it is pleasant.
  • The client makes sure that he is completely ready at the agreed time. It is a good habit that the therapist, doctor, or teacher then calls him, because he may have run out of time.

1.7 Conclusion

Hypnotherapy via technology offers unprecedented possibilities and for many people, it brings hypnotherapy even closer, right to the living room.

However, there are a few extra points of attention that need to be met. In that case, the monitor can be used as a good tool if a number of restrictions are taken into account. Hypnotherapy in the office offers more possibilities than a treatment via the monitor. However, when, for whatever reason, it is impossible to meet physically, working via a monitor is an excellent alternative.

1.8 Finally

Which connection

The world of image connectors is still very much under development. In the Netherlands, there is currently a good overview of secure image connections at https://lvvp.info/over/praktijkvoering/coronavirus/corona-opties-beeldbellen/.
There it is also described which connections meet all kinds of legal Dutch requirements in the field of safeguarding privacy.

Word of thanks

Thanks to colleagues Petra Koelewijn and Bertien van Woelderen for giving advice, sharing their experience, and pointing out the necessary corrections.

Jos Olgers
Jos Olgers is originally a social worker. In 1984 he received his first clients in his hypnotherapy practice. A few years later he was asked to give lessons and training in hypnosis and regression therapy and Voice Dialogue. Together with Bertien van Woelderen he founded the 'TranceArt Academy fo Hypno- and Regressiontherapy'. Since 1999 one can study hypnosis and regression therapy at HBO level there. In 2014 the academy changed hands. Jos Olgers has been an honorary member of the NBVH (Dutch Professional Association of Hypnotherapists) since 2017. Jos Olgers is author of 4 handbooks for therapists: 1. Handboek Hypniotherapie (Handbook Hypnotherapy) (3rd edition 2020); 2. Medische Hypnotherapie (Medical Hypnotherapy); 3. De Binnenwereld Spreekt (The inner world speaks); 4. Afvallen met Hypnotherapie (Losing weight with Hypnotherapy); 5. Profiel van de Therapeut (Profile of the Therapist), expected in autumn 2020.