Communication types in Hypnotherapy

Verbal communication is using speech to exchange information, emotions, and thoughts. Non-verbal communication is conveying and exchanging messages without the use of spoken words.

Our communication with our prospective clients starts at the very first interaction that we have, whether in person, on the phone, email or text. The first opportunity to communicate, may not be verbally or written, it could be when we first see our client walking towards our practice, the way we look and behave at this very first instance, has an effect on the communication that will follow. If we are smiling, with an open posture, maybe we raise our hand to wave, we are giving a positive, welcoming image, which we hope would encourage the client, through the subconscious mine mirroring us, to do the same. A client would find it difficult not to smile in return as the brain would be matching the therapists’ actions in a positive way, allowing the left pre frontal cortex to start to take intellectual control.

Positivity, is the key to positive communication. The therapist should at every opportunity, seek the good in everything and not dwell on the bad. We of course show empathy and we wouldn’t have a smile glued to our faces whilst a client tells us what we can help them with, but we would find the good and compliment them on how strong they have been to take the first steps to making their life better. We would put their minds at ease when they tell us their symptoms and explain how the mind works and why they are feeling like they do and what we can do to help, this in itself lifts the clients’ spirits.

The way we question is important, we can use open questions, when we would like the client to tell us something, for example “how did you find the strength to do that “this allows a broader answer than a closed question when we just need a short answer, for example “are you fearful of dogs”. When we question and receive answers, we use non verbal communication, we smile, we keep eye contact we nod when we agree, we may mirror the clients’ behaviours discretely to reinforce that we are just like they are. We show through body language that we are interested.

Facial expressions are very important, if a client says they are an 8\10 on the happiness scale whilst they are frowning and looking at the floor, then this answer may need a little more questioning. On the other end of the scale, if a client is 1/10 and smiling like a Cheshire cat, this may be a nervous smile, hiding embarrassment, the eyes will often give this away, they will often dart around when a client is not saying what they truly feel. Our facial expressions are important too, we need to show what we feel when we are not speaking, we haven’t always got to have a smile, but an open inquisitive look encourages the client to speak.

Sometimes, saying nothing and looking at the client in an open way encourages the client to speak, no one likes silence and we need the client to do the talking and fill the gaps.

Even when we are communication in a written format, positivity is key, if we are making appointments, we may add at the end of the email or text, “looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday” or “great to see you yesterday, would you like the same slot next week” subtle little comments that are positive and welcoming.

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