Updated: Apr 29
The world of therapy changed in March 2020. Suddenly, we started working exclusively online with clients. And, as a training provider, I started delivering my courses online for the first time. The feedback from my students wasn’t what I’d hoped for – which was that the online course offered as good an experience as face-to-face training. It was that online training was so much better.
It's not just training which has changed. People want to access online therapy. They want to be able to find a hypnotherapist who specialises in their needs, no matter what part of the world they’re in. Clients have become so used to accessing high quality therapy online that there is no way things are going to go back to the way they were. I see this only as a positive development, for clients and therapists, who can become a closer fit for each other than has ever been possible.
My own practice has thrived under lockdown. I have built up an international client base, including celebrities throughout the world, who are attracted to my way of working and specialisms. One obvious benefit to this is that I can earn a living which would never have been possible if I’d remained a “local therapist”. But it’s given me so much more in terms of creative fulfilment and the ability to reach into the lives of those who need my support, no matter which continent they live on.
Now that things are back to “normal”, I've chosen not to return to face-to-face teaching in favour of online courses as it feels like a limiting, retrograde step. My Diploma in Positive Hypnotherapy has been born out of two things; my love of Positive Psychology and the deep and meaningful transformations it create in people’s lives, and my desire to create an online course for people who want to become online hypnotherapists. This is a contemporary course in every way which looks towards the future and which embraces technology at its best.
After two years online training, and teaching at the highest level for twenty-years, here's my list of 9 areas where online training beats face-to-face.
I've had would-be students in the past who would have loved to attend face-to-face courses but who have been unable due to mental or physical disabilities or chronic health problems. Online training opens the course up to people in a way which was inconceivable in the past.
My students come from some of the remotest parts of the UK, not to mention the world. I've had students who would never have been able to attend any hypnotherapy training, let alone mine. I lived in Shetland, one of the remotest parts of the British Isles for many years and know how important it is that people in rural areas have equal access to services such as a course which can completely transform their lives.
One of the best parts of delivering training online has been teaching people from as far afield as Asia, Africa and America. It's been fascinating for myself and my students to learn about other people's cultures (not to mention rather nice seeing the sun in the background on a cold winter's day in the UK).
Even prior to Covid, there was an increasing demand for online therapy and my own practice had been moving that way. When you've trained and practice online, you're confident and skilled in doing so. If you haven't, there's a lot of catching up to do. There are particular approaches and techniques which favour online therapists and their clients and being confident in those helps you stand out from the crowd.
Quality teaching experience
The aspect of teaching online which was the biggest surprise for me was how good the teaching experience was. Much as I'd tried, in the past, to allow students to practice with each other in peace, it's very difficult to find a completely private space. It's also difficult for me to properly check in with every single practice group without causing a disturbance. My courses are extremely hands-on, and moving online improved the practical element considerably. Students practice in break-out rooms and I can observe unobtrusively.
Choice of course
In the past, my students tended to choose a course based on one thing; proximity. You might love the look of a course in London, but if you're in Glasgow/ Rome, you're not realistically going to be able to attend. Now, people can do their research and choose a training provider and course which really suits their needs.
There's one thing that's going to make you a really great hypnotherapist, and that's practice. In the past, some students who lived near each other might make the effort to meet up, but they were often stopped in their tracks by bad weather, sick kids in the background, etc. Meeting online allows students to easily meet with each other and every new cohort of students creates their own support group where they share experiences and practice.
In an earlier phase of my life, I worked for an environmental organisation. Fifteen years ago, we were talking about the need to change work practices and avoid unnecessary travel. Training via zoom is a small, but important, part of a shift towards practices which recognise the need to look after our environment. By making tiny changes, we can be a part of a far bigger sea change.
Comfort, relaxation and enjoyment
Getting on a busy train to Glasgow (particularly in the run up to Christmas!) and making my way through the city crowds to a training venue is something I've done many times. Was it fine? Yes. But sitting on my sofa, in a cosy room is just so much nicer. And I dare it is for every student who attends, too! I've noticed a far more relaxed, chilled out atmosphere where people can focus on learning and having fun, without worrying about driving home in the dark.
There are some therapists and trainers whose businesses failed to survive during lockdown. And there are others who thrived. Whilst we all hope we never go back to a Covid lockdown type situation again, it's naive to think that we can ignore what happened. That's why we'll continue to offer our Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy via live zoom classes and hope you'll join us on your hypnotherapy training journey.