The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is now affecting the entire world in many different ways, with businesses reducing their services, meetings and events being postponed, and some people in fear of losing their jobs/income completely. Couple that with the stress of not being allowed to travel, or socialise beyond immediate family, as well as concerns about hygiene, symptoms, food (and toilet roll) rationing and much more, it’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit us hard, and could be here for a while… So, as hypnotherapists, how do we deal with this global crisis? This blog has some tips to help you, the hypnotherapist, make the best of the situation, as well as helping others to do the same.
Seeing clients during the COVID-19 pandemic
As a hypnotherapist, people are your livelihood. Clients pay your bills, therefore you are likely to still want to see clients. What you don’t want to do, however, is put yourself at risk in the process. There are a couple of options that you might consider.
Seeing clients in person
Firstly, if you yourself are experiencing symptoms, please follow the government guidance. Reschedule your clients if you have to. Because, though you may think ‘you just have a cough’ or ‘it’s just a cold’, unless you’ve been tested, you can’t be sure. Also, though you may think that your clients are ‘young, fit and healthy’ enough to cope with getting ill, whether Coronavirus or otherwise, know that your clients will also be in contact with other, more vulnerable people as well as the elderly. Government guidance is there to reduce overall contact in order to give the virus less opportunity to spread, especially to those who are highly vulnerable. Though it’s inconvenient, please do your best to follow the guidelines and help stop the spread of the virus – if in doubt, self-isolate (you can always use the time more productively…more on that shortly).
If you have no symptoms yourself, and you plan on continuing to see your clients ‘in person’, then it’s highly recommended that you screen your clients for COVID-19 symptoms before they attend the session (we’d recommend getting in touch with them 24 hours before the session (or earlier, depending on your cancellation policy), as well as a couple of hours before the session too, to be doubly sure they have no symptoms).
If a client has any symptoms (such as a fever and a cough), suggest that they self-isolate (as per the government guidance) and reschedule their session for a later date. It is worth creating a list of COVID-19 symptoms that you can email/text/read to your clients in order to check with them. Some clients may not be happy being rescheduled due to having a cough, but in this case, they’ll have to suck it up. Remember, it’s your business, so you are in charge of who you see, and when!
If you end up seeing clients in person, ensure you implement additional good hygiene practices. Wash your hands before and after seeing each client. If possible, sit at least 2 meters away from your client and avoid physical contact. Also, assuming you have disinfectant sprays, it can also be worth disinfecting chairs and door handles etc. that are touched by clients, in order to reduce the risk of any infection spreading.
Seeing clients remotely
If you have symptoms, or would prefer to self-isolate and not see clients in person, you have the option of working with your clients remotely online, whether over the internet (ZOOM/Skype) or even over the phone. If this is not something that you have learned to do from your trainers, it can be worth getting additional training in order to work safely and effectively when conducting sessions online/over the phone. Online therapy is something that is taught on our online hypnotherapy course, so if you’re not sure about it and would like some training on how best to work remotely with your clients, definitely check that out! Though a face-to-face session is often the best option for most clients, remote hypnotherapy sessions are becoming ever more popular (and requested), and in situations like this, they can be very helpful.
Optimising self-isolation time
If you’ve chosen to cancel your sessions and reschedule your clients for after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, what can you do now to either earn money, or to improve your business? Well, just because you’re not seeing clients, doesn’t mean you can’t be working on your business, improving your processes, streamlining your admin, or even creating hypnosis products. For example, you might use this time to research a new method of marketing/advertising. Perhaps you’ve thought about running Facebook or Google ads to promote your business but never got round to it. Now might be a great opportunity to get learning. Maybe you’re sick and tired of how much ‘paperwork’ you have to do, or how many emails you have to manually send. Here’s a chance for you to sit down and re-structure your business processes, and research different ways that you can make your admin processes easier. There are many different services (paid and free) that can help you to get information and ‘therapy contracts’ from your clients, as well as that, you might consider creating a file of ’email templates’ so that you don’t have to manually reply to clients every time, and can simply copy/paste a pre-written response. Whatever aspect of your business or skills that you’d like to improve, it’s well worth using this time as an opportunity to develop and grow.
As well further developing your hypnosis skills and improving your business processes, you might take this time to engage more with your social media channels (this means your business social media, not just scrolling through posts on your private Facebook and Instagram feeds)! Imagine how many months-worth of social media posts you could schedule, so that when things are back up and running, you won’t have to worry about posting on Facebook daily, because it’ll already be done and rolling! Maybe, up until this point, you’ve neglected to post very much video content? Now you could get some practice filming yourself, and get some hypnotherapy videos recorded and posted up on your social channels and your website! As well as videos, you might also consider creating some hypnotherapy MP3s, whether to sell online or as ‘free giveaways’ to entice your clients (people love free stuff)! You don’t need to hire a ‘recording studio’ to record a hypnotherapy MP3, in fact you could get one recorded (and edited) with just your smartphone and a quiet room. It is totally possible!
Finally, if you’re a ‘workaholic’ and you usually spend the majority of your time focusing on your business and your clients, you might take this opportunity to simply take a little time for yourself to rest and re-charge. Treat yourself to a nice long bath, read a good book, start a home-exercise routine, learn to cook something new (if you have enough ingredients in the cupboards), spend time with your family (assuming they’re self-isolating with you)! Whatever it is, remember, your health and mental well-being is as important as that of your clients, so take care of yourself in order that you can take care of others!