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Phone Hypnosis -- Does It Really Work?

Feb 29, 2008
For over 10 years I have been a hypnotherapist (or "hypnotist"--I'm using the terms interchangeably). In the early years hypnosis by phone simply wasn't on my radar screen. As time passed, I heard about it now and then. Once in a while a client asked if I did it. I said "No."

And then my clients began traveling for business. A few of them said what they hated most of all was missing our weekly or biweekly hypnosis session. "I'm not functioning as well when I don't get that hour of relaxation at least every other week," one client whined. Really, she whined, and she wouldn't mind my saying that.

I wanted to help her, but not at the costs I thought she would incur (and I don't mean the phone bills): inability to concentrate on the session, the loss of information I glean from watching her face during the session, the sense of being together, in the same room, sharing an important moment.

I taught her self-hypnosis, which I like to do anyway, because it lessens dependency and lets clients grow into their own power and self-reliance. I believed it was a fine substitute.

But it isn't for everyone.

"I need your point of view, your objectivity, and your experience," another client pointed out emphatically, "I like self-hypnosis but it's not the same."

So I started doing it when they really pushed. But only for longtime clients, only for specific issues, only if they would combine it with face-to-face hypnosis, and only occasionally.

I was strict about these requirements. I thought I was being wise and controlling quality.

Until one client took me to task: "You're not letting me decide. You're deciding for me. Don't you think that's a little, uh, controlling?"

Ouch!

So I gave it a try. On her next business trip. It worked beautifully. And she said she was ten times more focused in her drab hotel room than in my cheery office with audible hypnotic music and an occasional waft of sage or lavender.

"I was more focused, nothing distracted me," she said, "It was like we were together in a tent like when I was a girl scout, late at night...listening to the words of a scary story and picturing every moment like it was real!"

Hmm. So I gave it a few more tries but only with hypnosis clients I had seen many times before. The results were coming in. And they were decidedly positive.

Now I do phone hypnotherapy fairly regularly for existing clients and those who cannot meet with me in my office. Rules and suggestions are provided up front, and it is up to the client to decide if she or he is willing to follow them.

When should you seriously consider hypnosis by phone session? Here are my thoughts.

Use phone hypnosis when...

1. There are no qualified hypnotists in your area that you feel comfortable with.
2. You can't leave your home to get to a hypnotherapist.
3. You honestly feel you'll focus better in utter privacy.
4. You want to try it as a change of pace from in-office sessions to see if it works differently for you.
5. You want to use it between in-person sessions, when you're traveling.
6. You want to experiment with a particular hypnotherapist who is not in your area and you don't want to travel.
7. Your hypnotist is at least comfortable experimenting with it or using it on an as-needed basis.

Don't use to use phone hypnosis if:

1. You won't feel comfortable unless you see your hypnotist and are in the same room.

2. You believe that your body language gives important information to the practitioner and you don't want to lose the benefit of that.

3. You hate being on the phone. It's really important to you to be in physical proximity with someone you are relating to and confiding in.

4. You have an awful phone connection that will get in the way.

5. You don't feel comfortable paying the phone charges and your practitioner requires it.

6. You are likely to be interrupted by a family member, pet, or circumstance beyond your control. This will irritate you and your practitioner. Try to avoid it.

7. You haven't arranged how you will sit, lie down or keep the headset functional during the session.

Phone hypnosis is great to explore as a change of pace, a way to continue sessions while out of town, and a delightful experiment to increase your options. You may want to try it several times to find out if you can make it comfortable for you. 2008 by Wendy Lapidus-Saltz. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Wendy Lapidus-Saltz is a mind coach who uses hypnosis and other techniques to help people break unproductive habits of thought and action, and create productive new ones. Based in Chicago, she specializes in smoking-cessation and issues of love and relationship. For more info on her programs visit http://www.nonsmoker4life.com and http://www.hypno-attraction.com or call 312-640-1584 for a brief consultation during business hours, Central time
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