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Hypnosis Training Video #358: How Far Should You Go to Accommodate Your Hypnotherapy Clients? (Transcription)

Return to Blog Post, Hypnosis Training Video #358: How Far Should You Go to Accommodate Your Hypnotherapy Clients?

Cal: Hello everybody. Cal Banyan here. Cal Banyan’s Hypnosis Etc. with Meredith Locher. If you’re watching this video anywhere except, you want to go there right now, because right below this video on is additional text, additional graphics, additional content, that just make these podcasts more valuable.

All right. Let me introduce you to Meredith Locher. Meredith Locher is a one percenter, best of the best in the profession. She came to the profession already having some experience as a talk therapist, has a master’s degree in psychology, and she’s got a very successful practice down in Los Angeles. If I had any family in that area, I’d definitely refer them to Meredith. How are you doing Meredith?

Meredith: I am doing great. Happy to be back, Cal, how are you?

Cal: I’m doing so good. I’m thinking about how it’s like 70 something degrees outside, and it’s like November something, or December something, when this podcast comes out, and I’m so happy that I can be out riding my motorcycle. Man, I loved it in North Dakota, Minnesota, best people in the world, great, wholesome people, great, loving, reliable, good people, we built a heck of a hypnosis center out there, and you know what, but it snows. I’m so sick and tired of snow. Please do not send me Christmas cards if they have snow on them, because I’ll just put them flat down. I say “I don’t even want to see that snow.” How’s that? I hate snow.

Meredith: Yeah. Well, when this podcast comes out, I think I’ll be in New York City actually, enjoying some of that cold weather for a weekend.

Cal: Good for you.

Meredith: I know, but we are so spoiled here in California. I mean, I’m actually a slight amount nervous about it. My capacity to dress for it and to be prepared for it and to not freeze my you know what off, so.

Cal: You know what? I see young ladies like yourself out walking around with these big, furry boots on when it’s down to, like, 65 degrees. I’m thinking “You’d never make it in Minnesota.” You know, when its 50 degrees, they start wearing short sleeves and shorts, cut-offs, all that kind of stuff, because they think it’s warm. So, the Californians, you don’t know what cold is.

Meredith: Yeah. I agree. I got sent a picture of an outdoor skating rink, not Rockefeller Center, but a different one, and I had been considering doing it, but it looked so cold I thought “You know, maybe I’ll just sit indoors where I can watch those people skate and drink some nice, warm coffee or tea and enjoy it vicariously through them.”

Cal: Well, you know what? All you people in those snowy, cold places, we love you, but there’s little that could get me back out there again. I’m up to here with snow. Don’t like snow at all.

Meredith: Well, just in case you guys don’t know who Cal is, now that we’re part way into this video, I’m going to make sure you know who he is. He is my trainer. He’s actually somebody that I have sent my own family to. He sees clients in Tustin at the Banyan Hypnosis Center for Training and Services. I think I got that right. And he’s the one that trains the best of the best, the one percenters in the profession.

He has gotten practically every award that the National Guild of Hypnotists gives out, and I say practically because I think there might be one he hasn’t gotten yet of all of the ways that they recognize excellence in this profession.

He is the author of many books. He brought us 5-PATH®. He brought us 7th Path Self-Hypnosis®. He really is one of the best in the world, and he is here offering this free training video week in and week out, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Cal: Thank you very much. All right, now work the heck out of me.

Meredith: Yes. So you and Brenda had done a podcast a little while back ago, number 354, and it was on, you know, kind of your obligations with potential clients before they’re your client. So kind of handling that. Setting boundaries with phone calls, and those kinds of things. And so Les, a friend of ours, posted on, down there, after that video, and he said that “Cal, you said once they’re your client, then you have some obligations,” and so he asked if we would expand on that some and remind everybody of their obligations to a client once they are your client, how far should you be willing to go, and what kinds of boundaries do you need to set with clients? What’s too much and what’s not enough, I guess, is kind of the question.

Cal: Ah, very heavy question here, and you know, you could write a book this thick about this. So, you know, in the podcast, sometimes we just scratch the surface on it, and then sometimes I’ll write bigger articles about it, and sometimes books are written about it. But, as you’re asking this question, one of the things I’m thinking about, not just boundaries is, I want to say, first of all, that once you’ve taken on a client, you have to put their needs above yours within the work you’re going to do.

For example, when the client comes in, you know, you might find that this person has a very interesting life, and maybe they’re a baseball player, and you’re a baseball fan, and you would just love to spend a half hour talking about baseball, but you have to put their needs first. You put your needs in the background, and you put their needs first, and you do the work that they came in for.

The other is, you are obligated to work within your training, and in other words, don’t promise, don’t work on issues that you just don’t have sufficient training to be working in.

For example, just before, and we might talk a little bit more about this, just before we did this video, Meredith was talking about working with multi-personality disorder, and, you know, you really need to be a licensed mental health professional to be doing that kind of work, or at least have a degree and training in psychology or related mental health field to even begin to go there. So you need to work within the limits of your training.

Now as far as boundaries go, and I think this is what, really, the question is about, is how far do you go as far as, you know, session flexibility, as far as letting the client run the session, do you think that’s what the question’s mainly about?

Meredith: Yeah. You know, at what point do you say “Enough is enough,” and what point are you maybe not giving enough? I think it’s really about finding the balance with your clients where you’re giving your all, but you still have something left for you.

Cal: Okay. Yeah. So, I mean, I have days of the week that I see clients, and that’s it, unless, I mean, it’s really an emergency situation. For example, I never do this, never, never, never do this, but I made an exception because it was such an exceptional situation, and that is, I was on vacation in Singapore, and someone really, desperately needed sessions, and I did some sessions with them. Never done that on a vacation before, but I was pleaded, and I thought “Okay. I will do this.” And so that kind of stretched my boundaries.

But, normally, I have the days of the weeks that I see clients. I have a schedule, and I stick to that schedule. If there is some kind of, like Meredith was just saying, it’s balance. Like, if there is a super good reason to be flexible, then go ahead and be flexible, but, I mean, with hours and things like that, but most of the time, the clients have to work within your schedule. And I know there’s all these client-centered therapists and softies out there that are going “Oh, that’s terrible Cal. You should do whatever you can to help somebody.” Well, I will. I’ve set so many days a week free, and certain hours, and I’ll see clients in that time.

Now, if they can’t fit into my schedule, then I’ll refer them to someone like Meredith or Brenda, or Taly, who was here, Elronn who was here, or one of our grads whos in the area, or maybe in their area if they’re from out of the area. Most of the clients I see fly in for sessions.

So, I’m pretty cut and dry about that as far as flexibility. I think that one of the most important things in the hypnosis process is compliance. And that’s the willingness and ability to follow instructions and to comply with requirements.

And when clients, like, let’s say, just for the conversation, that you see clients on the hour, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, and this one client wants you to see them at 3:15. Okay? And that screws up your, at least, two or three client blocks. And, you know, it’s very unlikely I would make that accommodation, you know, because, and especially in the beginning when we don’t have the relationship, we don’t have the history of compliance, because what happens is, if you’re not careful, the client will want to run the session, and that always turns out bad.

Here’s another thing on that topic. Sometimes clients will want you to do things that are different from how you normally do things, and you normally do things the way you do them because they’ve been successful for you in the past. I’ve had hypnotists come in, and, because I’m kind of the hypnotists’ hypnotist. I see a lot of hypnotists, hypnotherapists, make up a significant segment of my clientele, and they’ll say “I want you to do this technique and this technique,” or “I want you to do this process,” and I have to tell them, “Look, I don’t know how to help you, your way. As a matter of fact, you don’t know how to help you your way. In fact, the people that you’ve had do those things didn’t know how to help you, or you wouldn’t be here, and you need to let me do what I do, because I believe I can help you based on my experience and my success. And you need, if you’ve come to see me, you’ve come to do things my way.”

Does that make sense Meredith?

Meredith: Perfect sense. You know, I think if you bend yourself over so backwards that you can’t think straight, then you can’t be your best, then you aren’t going to be your most alert, then if you’re not using tools that are your tools, then you’re going to be no good to anybody.

So, as far as I’m concerned, you know, you need to see clients during the times of day when it works best for you. I happen to do evening sessions because I’m kind of a night person, and it just so happens that that works for a lot of people’s schedules, but I know you tend, Cal, that you tend to do more of, like, a typical day, like, a nine to five kind of a schedule, Monday through Friday. Me? I’m a little alternative, and that works, but it’s mainly because it works for me. If my brain was going to be tired and shut down and my focus was going to be off by seeing clients at night, then I probably shouldn’t see clients at night. And if I do, I’m not really doing them any favors because I’m only half present. Right?

Cal: Exactly. When I, also when this is, the real challenge here is for the people who are still trying to get their practice off the ground. And maybe you’ll say “Okay, I’ll see clients on Saturdays, and I will see, on Thursdays and Fridays” or “Wednesdays and Fridays,” or whatever, “I will see clients up until 8:00 at night.” And for some people that’s what they have to do to get started. But do you see how that was their decision? The therapist said “I,” the hypnotist will say “I am willing to see clients on Saturdays. I am willing to see clients on Tuesday evenings,” or “Friday evenings?” It’s a decision that the hypnotist made, not the client manipulating the hypnotist to try to get him or her to accommodate her hours. Does that make sense?

Meredith: Yeah. You know, the truth is people will put effort into something. People will find the money, they’ll find the time, they’ll rearrange their schedule, if this is something they really value, and they will value it more because they put their time, money and effort into it. So, to be the one, as the hypnotist, that’s bending over backwards to accommodate the client and not let them make any accommodation themselves is actually a dishonoring of the client, their process, and their ability to be successful, right?

Cal: Exactly. And as you were talking about it, I was thinking about, don’t people take time off or arrange their schedule so they can go to the dentist in the dentist’s hours, which are mostly a nine to five? Or if they have to see the lawyer, or if they have to see the doctor, or…you know, all these kinds of professionals tend to work in those kind of hours, and people make that work for them.

So, the thing is, you need to be in charge. If you’re not in charge and if you’re going, letting the clients kind of run you around, then you probably need some hypnosis sessions. I’m just saying. What do you think of that?

Meredith: Yeah. So as far as I’m concerned, you know, your needs as a hypnotist, do have to actually be a priority, if not, come first, because if you’re not meeting your own needs as far as your schedule goes, as far as taking some time off periodically to rest, not over scheduling yourself, you know, not tapping yourself out in sessions and going so long that you’re throwing off your other client sessions, you know, if you’re not really managing yourself, your time well, to over-accommodate the client, you’re going to be exhausted, likely to be resentful, likely to not have as much joy in the work that you’re doing, and are you really being a role model for your clients?

I mean, a whole other part of this is, as far as I’m concerned, I am a role model for my clients, and they’re going to, first of all, trust me if I do what I say I’m going to do, and secondly, I’m teaching them how to take good care of themselves by showing them how I take care of myself.

So, if I’m constantly seeing clients on Sunday mornings when Sundays off are really important to me, am I really being the teacher that I’d like to be through the clarity of my example, or am I teaching my clients that they should never put their own needs first?

Cal: Sounds good to me. So, I think we’ve talked that topic to death. What do you think?

Meredith: I think we have too. No other additions for that? Nothing else to say about that?

Cal: No. Nope. Let’s just wrap it up.

Meredith: Okay. Well, let’s, because we did kind of bring it up, what Cal was talking about with the multiple personality disorders, also known as dissociative identity disorder, there was a question in OurHypnospace a little while back about that, and I just wanted to make sure that we did cover it, and basically this hypnotist has a paraplegic client in a Medicaid rest home, who was raped by a family member from age five until she was able to leave home, and she’s been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, otherwise known as multiple personality disorder, and she believes that age regression would cause too much trauma and apparently already this particular client is going through a lot of trauma, has night terrors every night.

She said that she’s only used direct suggestion, you know, in the hypnotic state with this client, reinforcing a safe space kind of imagery, and reinforcing inner strength, but she’s wondering how we suggest that she proceed with this client, and is there a group or person that she can consult with regarding dissociative identity disorder clients.

So, already Cal talked about this a little bit, and I just want to make sure that we covered it appropriately. So Cal, did you want to say a little bit more about that?

Cal: Okay. Just a little bit more. Most, I mean, unless you are a mental health professional, you really just don’t have the background to be doing that kind of stuff, and even mental health professionals usually don’t work with a severe a case as this without being part of a treatment team. There’s going to be a psychiatrist, a psychologist, perhaps a psychiatric nurse, a social worker, a case worker, all these people working together.

Now, if that kind of team came to me and said “Would you help with this?” or “Do you think hypnosis would work?” I would say “Well, yes. A particular kind of hypnosis would work,” and that would be, like, 5-PATH and I would do 5-PATH with the individual. But the team has to understand that we’re going to be dredging up some stuff from the past, some ugly stuff, and they may get worse before they get better, and it may not be effective at all. So they may not get better.

But if the person is stuck in this situation, a hopeless situation, then I would happily do the work and I’d do the work that I do now with this individual, and age regression work, I think it was Jack Frost that first said “The way out is through.” And that was quoted by another hypnotist, oh gosh, what’s her name right now? I’m trying to think. Do you remember her name that wrote, oh gosh, it’ll come to me. I’ll put it in the notes. Let’s see, that just because the event was traumatic, or we believe that it was traumatic, that may have been part of the cause of a problem, does not mean you can’t go there.

If they lived through the actuality of the event, then the way out is through. They need to, if they would be willing to go through the event now, knowing what they didn’t know then, then we can completely transform the individual.

So, with, so age-aggression-based techniques, like 5-PATH, we can go through, have them relive these events knowing that they’re going to grow up, that they weren’t at fault, or that it’s okay to be angry, or whatever insights are needed. So I would have no problem doing that, so long as I was part of the treatment team.

But your average hypnotist who doesn’t have a mental health background, really needs to stick to helping normal, every day people with normal, every day problems. You want to add anything to that Meredith?

Meredith: Yeah. I mean if, for those of you who are actually trained as a teacher of 7th Path, that would be a wonderful thing to teach a client like this, and maybe even a good place to start, and allow that process to engage, maybe, before you dive into some of the other 5-PATH work. 7th Path is self-hypnosis and it is a process that, for those of you who don’t know, is taught, typically, in the hypnotic state, or, well, started, pre-hypnosis interview as well as in the hypnotic state. But it’s something that she would do on her own, and it could help to do some of the work for you, for her. And that would be one of my major recommendations.

Anything else, Cal?

Cal: That’s it. Let’s wrap it up.

Meredith: All right. Thank you guys so much for tuning in. Thank you for your questions. We always appreciate them. Please continue to post your comments, your feedback, your topic ideas., right down there, you can post it on Facebook, at the Hypnosis Etc. page. You can also post them on our, the Ask Cal group. So many places. You can send them to me directly, Thank you so much. See you next time.

Meredith Locher signing off.

Cal: Thank you so much Meredith. I’m Cal Banyan at, and I want to ask you a little favor. Right above this video,, it looks like this. Please tweet us. Please like us, share us, Google Plus us. It helps to get the word out. Looks like that. It’s right up there.

Okay. That’s it. So honored to be a part of your life in this little way, and together we will help more people to overcome more problems and live a happier, healthier life. We will improve families. We’ll improve people in the way that they express themselves at work or in their sport, and just because we did this great thing together.

All right. That’s it.

Copyright 2013 Calvin D. Banyan . All rights reserved.

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