Sunday, July 8, 2007

Friends and Family

As a hypnotist, how do you handle working with friends and family?

Do you refer them to someone else? Do you charge them (more/less or not at all)? Do you find them receptive to you as a hypnotist? Any thoughts?

It has often been said that friends and family are the hardest people to hypnotize. However, I have worked with both. As it turned out, my father, who was very protective of me, turned out to be one of the most hypnotically receptive people I have ever known. Had I not "practiced" on him, I would have thought it would have been the opposite, but it turned out to be a wonderful thing for us. I learned a lot more about my father (all positive) and it brought us closer. Plus, it is very empowering to have helped someone who had spent his lifetime "helping" me.

But on the other hand, one of my first paying clients was a friend. It was so frustrating I almost threw in the towel with being a hypnotist. He giggled through the first session, and was totally resistant afterwards. However that which does not kill you, makes you stronger (I hate that cliche, but find it most appropriate to struggles). I learned an awful lot from all that, such as dealing with giggles and nerves of clients, continued (as I still do) to develop better "pre-talk," tried different techniques, and that sometimes it seems to pay when you play hard-to-get. After three sessions, I refused to work with him anymore, telling him he did not take me or hypnosis seriously. He was wasting both of our time. Suddenly, he became very serious about it and for weeks begged me to work with him. However, I sent him to another hypnotist.

Please feel free to share your stories here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Coming late to this one, but I suppose that beats never.

As a general rule I don't do hypnotherapy with family. I've taught my kids self hypnosis and encouraged them to use it, but when one of my kids has a serious need I tend to refer them to my teacher. It just feels right, ethically, to do that.

Now if we're talking just demonstration or teaching self-hypnosis, I'll do that for a relative if they ask. They tend not to, probably because they're not really used to thinking of me in that role.

When it comes to friends I tend to do the sessions for free. There are some who say that people have to pay something to feel committed, but I find that my friends recognize the value of my time and their own and they respect that time enough to benefit from it. By not charging them I can chalk the time up to 'practice' and not feel as though I'm risking a conflict of interest.

-Michael Raugh, C.H.