A lot of people are surprised that I can use hypnosis over the internet. The common view of hypnosis is that it is a sort of magnetic interaction between the hypnotist and the hypnotee (the person being hypnotised) which depends on the two of them being in the same place. But hypnosis happens in the mind of the hypnotee and as long as that person is comfortable with the situation then they can be hypnotised anywhere. Hypnosis is focused concentration so if the hypnotist can create that focus for the hypnotee then it can happen anywhere.
Hypnosis at a distance has been around for a while but the increased availability of technology is making it easier. Hypnosis CDs are a simple form of remote hypnosis which a lot of people find helpful. The only problem with CDs is that they are a « one size fits all » product so some people find they hit the right spot and others can find them annoying or irrelevant. Sometimes they are a starting point for people, the trigger that sets them off on the path of making a change in their life and for others they provide health & fitness a valuable support that keeps them on track. However, I have met people who have stopped smoking and lost weight just through using a CD and they are a great way of relaxing. You can find hypnosis CDs covering a wide range of subjects. It’s a good idea to listen to a short sample if you can before you buy one because if you find that the person’s voice is very irritating then it will probably not produce the best results. The internet is a good place but many bookshops also stock them.
In the 1990s an American hypnotist who I trained with, Tom Silver, hypnotised a group of people who he had never met before over a satellite link for a TV show. In 2002 a trial was carried out into using hypnosis by video link to help people in the Shetland Isles with insomnia, eating disorders and phobias. The majority of the people involved were happy with the results and over 30% of them said they preferred it to face to face hypnosis.
Obviously hi tech hypnosis won’t be successful with everyone because some people respond better to being in the same room as the hypnotist, but with the increased acceptance and familiarity of instant messaging, webcams and other technology and the ever increasing quality of the technology available then I am sure this is an area that will become more popular.
Being in the same room as the client makes the hypnotist’s job easier because they have instant feedback and in general the process will probably be faster as they have a few more techniques available to them. The speed and quality of the webcam does make a difference but, in my experience, with a few adaptations it has worked well. The first session I did proved that things could work well even if our internet connection was broken because by some fluke we had to reconnect about 4 times but it didn’t distract the client and we still had a good result!
This type of hypnosis deals with exactly the same issues as those dealt with in a face to face session – the only difference might be the type of techniques that the hypnotist would use to take the person into hypnosis as they tend to be slightly slower due to the webcam lag and there is no physical contact.
Why would someone want to use such a system? It’s an ideal solution for people who have anxiety around travelling or being out of their homes and also for people who are unable to visit a therapist due to illness, time constraints or lack of a local therapist.