Okay here goes, some may ask for what specific reason I as a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist no longer offer Face 2 Face Sessions which I did offer from 2005 onward, firstly working for charities and then opening my Clinic in Leamington Spa in 2006 and subsequently another Clinic in Warwick.
The Background to Going Online Therapy Only:
I loved seeing people Face 2 Face, however, the Pandemic quite frankly changed all that because in March last year I suddenly found like a lot of us, that my premises were shut by my Landlord. They had to close because of the Pandemic and the Lockdown.
At first I continued to pay all of the costs associated with running a Face 2 Face Clinic, whilst at the same time, I had to continue my existing Clients treatment programmes, so I had to go to what is called Online or Remote Therapy, in addition I needed income to live and survive as all my business costs plus living costs continued.
After some months of paying into the Face 2 Face Clinics but seeing no Face 2 Face Clients and not knowing how long the initial Lockdown was going to continue, I decided to cut my losses plus devote all of my time and focus plus attention to Online Therapy.
I am heartened that I did make that very challenging decision because we subsequently had a second plus then a third Lockdown did we not.
In addition no one can predict how this new virus will play out and there may well be the need for further Lock-downs to act as fire-breakers as it were. I am aware of all the so called "hidden costs" of Lock-downs in terms of social isolation, loss of or disruption to education, mental health issues etc, etc.
That said the government are utilising this approach in an effort they believe to control plus limit spread. Other Nations have also implemented this approach too, so we are most certainly not alone. Alongside that other public health measures such as social distancing, mask or face coverings and also increased hand sanitation have become the so called "new normal."
New Rules & Regulations:
Regards Face 2 Face Hypnotherapy the UK Regulator to which I am signed up to is the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care and they implemented guidance for us and the guidance was very detailed plus rigorous and comprehensive in addition to the guidelines of private venues where Clinics are held where the Landlord may well have implemented their own stringent requirements.
As such my Clients were going to have to wait outside, even in the cold or rain, to be monitored with cameras which captured both sound and vision in the communal areas of the building. They were to be temperature checked before entry too. They had to be masked at all times, the Waiting Rooms were closed. All surfaces they touched had to be disinfected, they were not even to be allowed a pen or pencil unless able to keep it, in other words it could not be handed back to the therapist and the list went on and on, with visors between therapist and client too. Now tell me this often I like other Hypnotherapists see clients for phobias or anxiety, just how were all those rules, regulations and limitations going to help to relax an already anxious client??
Client Confidentiality and Contact Tracing??
Now let us look at confidentiality of one's clients.
If they are to be monitored by the Landlord upon entry and recorded with visual plus voice, where is that recording viewed??
In addition in terms of Covid, they had to be listed for Contact Tracing?? Confidentiality of clients is a must is it not. Telling a third party the names and addresses plus telephone numbers of my clients if I tested positive for Covid 19, was simply something I was not prepared to do! In addition if any of my Clients had tested positive then they would have to divulge my name and contact details too. Plus there would have been disruption to treatment through the requirements to self isolate.
I think the confidentiality avenue is one that has not been fully considered by many Hypnotherapists and their Clients.
It is one thing being contact traced for having been in a shop but for being and consulting with a Hypnotherapist??
The Only Logical Solution:
Thus Online or Remote Therapy was the only logical way I could foresee to allow me to continue in the job I love, it was safer for my clients and it meant I did not have to give their details out to third parties for contact tracing.
I therefore continued to gain more and more knowledge on online protocols, I developed new History Intake procedures as well as information leaflets on how to get the best benefits out of my online consultations, plus I developed audio tracks to support my clients in between consultations as well as providing text and email support too. Frankly I think I have developed a comprehensive system to support those that consult with me.
I have had excellent results too in online sessions, I had to adapt some methods and use others but then again I am a highly qualified plus extremely well trained Hypnotherapist with a decade and a half in clinical practice.
I will continue to develop and grow in my knowledge, skills and experience in delivering online therapy whilst at some point in the future I may well return to offering some Face 2 Face sessions but they will be charged at a higher cost to reflect the additional room rental costs plus travel costs etc and they will only be offered when contact tracing is no longer in force because of the rules regarding confidentiality.
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Douglas Clark Master of Hypnotherapy