I am a great proponent of face to face therapy. It is not simply a question of bias (since I provide that service) but mostly due to the experience it provides. As a customer, I feel it’s essential to have a relationship with my therapist as I learn more. I know they are speaking to me and me alone, and so the sessions are tailored to my needs.
Nevertheless, I understand that our daily lives do not always fit that. In fact, it’s very common for hypnotherapists to offer recordings of therapy sessions so the clients can benefit from them after they leave.
The explosion in technology around us has brought other options. As a professional, I am naturally curious of their effectiveness. So I will be trying out a few of the new apps being launched aiming mental health.
Today I start with the Mindset app, only available for iOS.
As I launch the app, I am given the option to create a profile or proceed without one. That’s a really nice touch, since you may not be immediately confident to share your mental state with a complete stranger!
The introduction screen is nicely laid out, explaining the basic concepts of hypnosis and how it can be used. To be honest, perhaps it’s a little basic – you will have likely found the app by searching hypnotherapy, and so likely to understand a little about it.
There are a few programmes offered right at the start. To note that this is a paid app, via an annual subscription around GBP 50 per year (with a 7 day trial). That is very cheap for something that could change one’s wellness!
Overall, the app looks slick and modern. There’s a chat button at the top but didn’t work for me, so don’t know what it was intended to do.
The developers considered the different applications of hypnotherapy by creating several programmes.
Clicking in each, there’s a brief description of what they aim, and some will show the psychologist behind its creation. I would have liked the same touch to be in all programmes, as at least it puts a face to the therapy.
As you’d expect, the programmes consist of voice recordings. These are different throughout the app, the two examples I listened to were male, with a soft American voice. Some people would likely prefer to have the choice of course – it would be a way to feel better connected.
I am concerned that counter indications were not shared in any of the recordings I’ve seen. This is a big no-no, and it could damage not only the experience but make the patient feel worse. The “get energy now” incited the listener to raise their heart rate which would not be good for someone that experiences anxiety or panic attacks.
Another flag for me was the lack of goal setting. One could argue that by the recordings or programmes chosen you’ve done that already. However, it’s not infrequent that clients have the wrong thing in mind that needs addressing, so that is an weak argument.
Some programmes may be misleading, one calls itself the “insomnia cure”. Really, that’s not a promise anyone should make. There are so many reasons behind insomnia that even if the recording helps you relax enough to fall asleep when you couldn’t before, in no way that would be a cure.
None of the programmes induced me to trance, including the longer programme of 27 mins. The short 7 mins assumed you did, even though it says at the start that it isn’t needed. What was interesting is that it kept stating at one point “you feel very hypnotised” – a complete novice would not even know what that feels!
That’s magnified as aside from the intro in what is hypnosis, it did not have a first steps type of thing. Without encouraging people to go through a particular practice route, I would say that this app is more adequate for people who’ve done hypnotherapy before.
And so that’s my conclusion. Looks good, may have some use, but don’t expect it to achieve the type of results that you’d get with a face-to-face consultation.