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The Building of a Rapport Is Often Considered one of the Most Important Aspects of a Hypnotherapists Work

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“The building of a rapport is often considered one of the most important aspects of a hypnotherapists work”

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Building a rapport literally means to understand fully what a person is thinking and feeling, to a point where there is nothing more to be found out. It is where a trusting relationship is formed between two people, being on the same “wavelength” as one another. Within counselling and hypnotherapy, it is important to gain as much of a rapport with the clients as possible so that they can be helped in the best way that suits them. The better the rapport, the more likely it is that a hypnotherapist will be able to gain access to a client’s subconscious mind and make positive change within a person.  Usually an initial consultation with the client is where the hypnotherapist will try to build this rapport. In this essay I will talk about how important it is to build a rapport and how the notation form can both improve and prevent a rapport from developing.

Trust is a very important part of a good rapport. A therapist who has a clients trust will find it much easier to hypnotise a client and alter beliefs, get rid of bad emotions or whatever else it is the client wants to change(http://uruniq.co.uk/hypnotherapy/). This is due to the fact the barrier between the conscious and subconscious mind is much more relaxed and open to suggestion when trust is obtained by the therapist. This means that the more trust a client has, the more likely it is that the therapist can access the subconscious mind and positively change the clients mind in the way they want. Having a client’s trust does not necessarily mean that they must like you but usually a good rapport and trust in the therapist comes hand in hand with the client liking the therapist.

An initial consultation with a client is very important as first impressions have a massive effect on how we view people. No matter who the person is, an assumption will be made by the clients deductive and logic parts of the brain upon meeting someone. They will look at appearances, body language and overall speech patterns.  Therefor first presentations of a therapist are of utmost importance to building a rapport. A therapist must look confident in what they are talking about and they must make sure that they portray themselves as confident in what they are doing. If a client doesn’t think the therapist is confident then they are not going to listen or believe in what the therapist is saying, making it much harder to help them. The way in which a therapist is dressed is also very important. Wearing a suit, may stop the client from fully relaxing as it may add an element of pressure that the client does not need. Wearing jeans and a t shirt may look too casual and have the opposite effect, causing the client to not believe the therapist is fully qualified for what they are doing and is being unprofessional in their role. It is therefore imperative that the therapist is wearing smart-casual attire to give a relaxed but confident approach to the sessions. Being prepared for a session is also something that must be done by a therapist. This prevents the session feeling rushed and means there is a lot less pressure on the client. The therapist must make sure they are calm and ready to deal with a clients problems, while at the same time any problem they are having themselves must be put out of the way for the duration of the session (http://counsellingtutor.com/basic-counselling-skills/rapport/).

The way in which a room is set up can be crucial in gaining a good rapport with a client also. For example; a room which is not too small, has nice pleasant pictures and nice lighting (but not too bright) brings about a calming environment where a client can feel relaxed. If the room was to be cluttered, dark and very small it is most likely going to distract the client or make them feel uncomfortable. There must be no interferences. The temperature being normal and preferably having a box of tissues in arms reach are a few more things that will help to build a good rapport with a client upon arrival for a session.

The relationship between a therapist and client must be one of mutual respect. In the first meeting a notation form will most likely be filled out. On this notation form, details such as; occupation, previous medical conditions and family life can be written down. This notation form can be good and bad for building a rapport, so it is imperative to know what is positive and what is negative about using one. On the plus side it gives you a written copy of facts about the client and clear goals that have been set for the future sessions. This is useful for reminding the therapist of the client and allowing them to remember all the details about previous sessions.  It is also useful at showing the client you are listening and taking an interest in their day to day life. The downside to a notation form is it can be very distracting for both the therapist and client. If the therapist is constantly writing notes, they may miss important details in what the client is saying. Also, as a client if someone is constantly taking notes about what you are saying it may make you feel conscious of saying what you really want to say.

When meeting a client for the first time, it is best to shake their hand and take them to the seat in which you want them to sit. Once seated, a brief description of the therapists’ background should be given to the client to allow for trust to build. Talking about confidentiality at the beginning also allows trust to build. It is then important for the hypnotherapist to find out why the client has decided to seek the help and what exactly it is they want to change. This allows for the hypnotherapist to have clear goals of where the client wants to be by the end of the sessions. There are many different behaviours that are believed to help in building a good rapport. They are categorised as attentive and non-attentive behaviours, which show how body language can really affect the building of rapport.

Behaviours such as having good eye contact (but not staring constantly) shows that you are listening to what the client has to say. If you are looking around the room too often is looks as though you are thinking about something else or disinterested in what the client has to say. Also sitting too close is uncomfortable for the client, but too far away or with a table in the middle creates barriers. This could then stop the client from talking about what exactly it is they are at the sessions for. As a therapist, you should not cross your arms or legs as this also makes it look as though you are not interested in what they have to say. Leaning slightly forward shows that you are actively listening to what the client has to say. Leaning too far forward though can be seen as invading their personal space and will be uncomfortable for the client, so it is important to get the set up of the chairs and your body posture correct.  Adding encouraging body movements such as nodding and smiling (when appropriate) also helps show that you are actively listening to what a client is saying.

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