I have just completed 4 individual hypnobirthing courses via Zoom. Four couples. Four babies. Ten hours each. All via Zoom. And pretty much without a glitch. Amazing. Never would I have thought it possible but it works it really does.
It meant that we never once sat in the same room or shook hands or had any physical connection at all but we were able to deeply connect as well as, if not better than before Covid 19.
I am very much learning this but would like to share my 5 top tips for using Zoom: Don’t fidget. Keep eye contact. Listen attentively. Keep the sessions shorter. Have set questions to involve discussion.
Don’t fidget. Nothing more annoying than trying to listen or connect with someone who continually moves or fidgets, or touches their face and hair. If you have a swivel chair (like me) don’t be tempted to use it while engaging with your clients.
Keep eye contact. By this I mean a healthy relaxed eye contact rather than a head teachers’ glare. Try not to have distractions going on behind the computer screen where your gaze will wander off to middle and far distance.
Listen attentively. The one thing I feel I missed out on by not being in the same room as my clients is the nuances of how the couple interact with each other. How close they sit. How they refer/defer to each other. How they look at each other. This tells me different things about each of them that words would not convey. And so listen to the words they use with each other, to each other, how they address each other. It all paints a picture.
Keep the sessions shorter. The average concentration span is 20 minutes. So think about planning your sessions around this. I do 1 hour sessions. I have lots of interactive things ie word associations, what’s the first word that comes into your head when I say Labour: Birth: Being a parent..etc.
Have set questions to involve discussion. I would do this without Zoom but it is even more important now I feel to make a connection and keep the energy active. One of the things I do is I send a questionnaire asking why they want to do hypnobirthing. The points that are raised in this is always worth having a conversation about.
Going forward I can see using Zoom is definitely something that will stay as more than an alternative to travelling to and from clients and finding larger blocks of time even when this horrible Covid 19 is under control. Until then I am grateful I can reach out to couples and individuals becoming parents.