Are you among the many therapists who just expect your practice to decline over the holidays? Many therapists naturally expect cancellations during certain times of the year (Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, Summer, etc.) and now just begin to plan for that! They try to normalize this with trite phrases such as, “Oh this is just what happens at this time of the year” or “Many other therapists find their practices slowing down during this time of the year.” That does not have to be the case. In fact we may be contributing to this by expecting it and not offering something different.
Are you aware that over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, stress, domestic violence, and depression increase? So logically, as therapists we should know that these are the most important times to be available for our clients. Instead of just expecting and planning for cancellations, let’s look at ways to turn this around in these critical times.
This is especially true when the client is facing issues that might originate with family dynamics or family members.
When someone calls to cancel, this is the time to speak with them directly to find out exactly what is going on:
- If the client just leaves a message on your answering service, call them back and explain that you could hear some emotion in their voice and would like to see what is going on with them.
- Let them know that you care about them and ask them to please call you back. When they do, ask if you can find a better time to reschedule their appointment so they do not have to cancel.
- If they express stress and time pressure, you can offer to do a Skype or Go To Meeting online session for them.
We have found that to be face to face with your clients, as opposed to a telephone call, is much more intimate and easier to read what is happening. It is much easier for clients to lie or cover up their pain or abuse when they are not looking directly into your eyes.
Next, you may feel comfortable enough with them to remind them of their current issues and that often during holidays our issues intensify. Remind them of all the healing work they have accomplished and that this would be a good opportunity to use the skills in real life. As always, some well placed questions are always better than telling them what you think they should do.
Use these questions to help your clients:
Here are some clear-cut questions you can use that will help you insure that your clients dont accidentally, and inadvertently, backslide.
- You may want to ask them, “Remember last Christmas when your father, ex-spouse, boss or sister-in-law got drunk and became abusive with you, your children or your family members?
- Do you want to continue to have these patterns replay year after year in your life without changing them?
- What are some of the tools that you have received from therapy that perhaps you could use to change these patterns?
- Perhaps you can remind them of some situations they have changed and then ask, “How could you see this year being different from the rest?”
How hypnotherapy helps:
Most therapists feel much more confident to heal unhealthy recurring family patterns upon perfecting the skills of hypnotherapy. Once you have learned hypnotherapy from a credible training institute, you can even do a short session over Skype or the phone with stressed out clients. The ability to heal your clients
(Related article: learn the differences between hypnosis and hypnotherapy)
In hypnotherapy, we first give people the tools of instant relaxation. We teach them to create their own resource state and through self-hypnosis, it can be recreated in a matter of minutes anywhere, anytime and in the presence of anyone. Imagine how your relationship with these clients will be if you're able to help them in an emergency situation when they need you most!
Once the deep state of relaxation is achieved, the therapist can ask the client to revisit whatever unhealthy scenes they may fear happening with their families, their ex-spouse or their co-workers. Then using the power of the deep subconscious mind, we can help them to reduce the unhealthy or abusive family patterns and to see a different outcome. These tools will bring power and healing to your client and perhaps even some vicarious healing to the other people involved.
Changing dysfunctional holiday patterns is most permanently done using Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy tools and techniques by qualified therapists. Become one of these healing therapists yourself and watch your practice grow during the holidays rather than decline.
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