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Hypnosis Training Podcast by Cal Banyan #25: How and Why You Should Video Record Your Sessions

Posted Under: Hypnosis Blog,Hypnosis Podcasts,Hypnosis Training,Podcast

How and Why You Should Video Record Your Sessions

I’ve received a number of emails and phone calls asking me about how and why we video record our hypnosis sessions. So I thought I’d make a video blog and share with you why we think it is important, as well as what kind of equipment we use and recommend.


It is simple to set up a good recording system in your office, and it is a low cost project as well. And, since there are so many benefits to recording your sessions, it is well worth the minimal cost, in my opinion.

Here is a list of the main points from this podcast:

  • Professional training in psychology often includes video recordings (hypnosis training should as well).
  • Always get informed consent from clients to record the sessions.
  • When you record your sessions you can improve your skills an abilities by reviewing your sessions.
  • When you record sessions you can receive or provide supervision to improve your skills during your hypnosis training.
  • To get the National Guild of Hypnotists, Journal of Hypnotism contact the NGH, www.NGH.net.
  • The recording can be a kind of insurance where you can prove what happened during the session.
  • Don’t use your families video camera it is too intrusive.
  • Don’t hide the camera(s), but don’t make a big deal about doing the recording either.
  • Use a VCR or DVD recorder to record the signal from the camera(s).
  • You can use two cameras to catch all of the interaction between the client and hypnotist.
  • Recording sessions are rarely a concern for the client.
  • How to handle clients who are concerned about being video recorded.
  • Examples of cameras that you can use.
  • Why you should not use wireless computer type cameras.
  • Extra equipment you need if you use more than one camera.
  • Use a mixer if you want to improve the sound quality.
  • Visit, www.HypnosisCenter.com for hypnosis training information. Find hypnosis training near you.
  • Visit, www.BanyanHypnosisMall.com to see “The good stuff hypnotists want” including books, CDs, DVDs, free articles, free seminars, free scripts and much more. Find hypnosis training near you.

I hope that you found this program to be interesting, useful and informative. Please keep those emails and comments coming in. Use the button below to share this podcast with your friends and colleagues, or to leave a comment.

Correction: In the video I say that we have a State Licensed School. I should have said, “We have a State Registered School.” In Minnesota we had a State Licensed School, and that is why I misspoke. Here in California our school is in the category of being a State Registered School.

5 Reader Comments to Hypnosis Training Podcast by Cal Banyan #25: How and Why You Should Video Record Your Sessions

  1. Dr Bryan Knight March 3, 2007 at 9:31 AM

    I’m curious about how many clients decline to be videotaped — and what you do when they refuse to sign the release form.

    Probably there are very few Americans who don’t want to be on TV but surely there must be some potential clients for whom trust is an issue and who therefore would hesitate to have their innermost secrets revealed for all time on video or DVD?

  2. Cal Banyan, MA, BCH, CI, FNGH March 3, 2007 at 11:39 AM

    Hello Dr. Bryan Knight,

    Thanks for your comment and expressing your concern about the video recording of clients.

    From our experience it is the hypnotherapist who has the most concerns about video recording sessions. After working with thousands of clients, we have learned that very, very few clients (or potential clients) have any concern about it at all, and only 2 or 3 of those clients have refused services because of the recording.

    On the other hand we have also received positive comments from clients, stating that they felt relieved knowing that the sessions were recorded and that they thought that it was a professional thing to do.

    I think that the key is to handle it in a “matter of fact” kind of way, where a full explanation is given to the client in writing.

    Clients don’t typically ask about how long we keep them the videos, but if they do I let them know that it is our policy to destroy the videos and the all clients’ records after the period of liability has expired (which varies from state to state).

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!
    Cal Banyan

  3. Steve R. March 4, 2007 at 10:44 AM

    Hi there. As a newbie 5-PATHer who is just starting out, I followed the advice from your Journal of Hypnotism article about videotaping all sessions. I was a bit worried that maybe clients would be OK with it at the Banyan center because of its established reputation and very professional setting, but maybe would not be so willing to be videotaped by a one-person shop like me.

    Based on the couple dozen clients I have videotaped so far, the range of reactions to the recording has been neutral (typically guys who shrug and say “I don’t care”) to very positive (“That is a great idea” and “That is really thoughtful, I appreciate it” from females). Even with the men, it provides an opportunity to build a bit of rapport because i mention how I have to do it consistently because “i work alone in the office with women and you know how many lawyers are in this town…”, “oh yeah buddy, i hear ya…” etc.

    So, it hasnt been a problem for anyone so far, even though I do not project the authority that is inferred upon someone working at a place like Banyan Hypnosis Center. I suspect it will also make it more likely that a client would be comfortable referring a female friend/coworker/family member to me.

    Also, being able to review the sessions has been very useful for me as a newbie; i have already been able to identify and correct some annoying habits of mine that could make my client’s experience less satisfying (ie. saying “ummm…” alot, rubbing my nose, and using “air-quotes” when doing the pre-talk).

    I use an under-$100 web cam (wired) hooked up to PC, and after each session ZIP up the video file and password-protect it. It’s very easy. Also have an inexpensive digital audio recorder standing by as backup in case the web cam software blows up in middle of session.

    I’m sharing my experience because i now know for sure that its a good idea to consistently follow this recording practice, especially for people just starting out, and i think it could help avoid potential he-said/she-said legal situations that could jeopardize the right to practice for everyone. The risk/reward when considering the remote possibility of scaring a few people away vs. the confidence and self-correction (not to mention legal “insurance”) that recording enables is no contest, especially for people doing regression work.

    PS. Thank you Cal and Maureen for making 5-PATH what it is. Even though I took my basic NGH certification course from a wonderful local trainer, I would not have nearly as much confidence about “what to do next” without the additional 5-PATH training. I know I would be pretty lost and confused about how to best help my clients without a structure and the 5-PATH community to help me along.

  4. Steve R. March 15, 2007 at 9:44 PM

    Hi there, just thought I’d share this little story: I had a female client come in this week, and as usual she was filling out the intake form which also describes the recording policy in order to get consent. I casually pointed that out to her, and said it’s the same policy that’s mentioned on my website. She smiled and said, “I know, that’s why I decided it was OK to come in and go ahead with this.”

    Question: have you ever run into a situation where after the session was over, the client asked that the recording be destroyed (maybe because of what came up during the session)? Hasn’t happened, but just wondering… would you then ask them to sign another document saying that they requested it be deleted/erased?

    Thanks!

  5. Maureen Banyan March 18, 2007 at 8:39 AM

    Hi Steve:

    Thanks for sharing this tidbit. That just goes to show that people are very cautious and they worry about their safety in hypnosis, and she felt better knowing that the session will be taped.

    Regarding your question about a client wanting their recording erased/deleted, we have never had that happened before, and if it did, we would not agree to it even if they were willing to sign another form requesting the deletion. Just let her know that the recording becomes part of her confidential record and will be locked away, no one else will have access to it.

    It is important that you are firm on this, as these recordings will protect you and your business.

    Hope this helps.

    Maureen Banyan

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