The issue of noise disruption.
So you’ve been working as a therapist for while now, and you’ve got a good client base. Things are going well, until you find next door begin renovations. Being in an area where most properties are of the same age, you find others doing the same. All of a sudden you have a DIY hotspot. Angle grinders, concrete mixers, deliveries being made – there’s a lot of scaffolding going on too. That quiet peaceful location you decided would be ideal to set up in business becomes somewhat less attractive and you end up wishing you never chose it in the first place.
You try and sit it out, thinking it can’t continue on indefinitely. Yes, you get the odd day when things are really quiet, but on the whole when one finishes another begins. Do you consider a temporary relocation with all the associated costs and upheaval? Maybe even stop trading and restart once its all quietened down? Or is there a better solution?
Well, a few years ago I was at a Mind Body Soul fayre and I saw a hypnotherapist with an audio system. He could provide short 15min sessions there and then in a busy hall without disruption. He spoke into a headset whilst his client would sit back in a chair. They had a pair of headphones on and were oblivious to the general noise. At the time I thought that was a really good idea, and that was that.
So fast forward to DIY central.. as with anything I do I always like to do a little research before taking the plunge. Clearly the product I saw should be available, and indeed a quick search on google finds the Hypno-Com 5 unit. Alongside a couple of others if you do a little more digging. Considering it was retailing at over £300 I wanted to understand the mechanics behind it. I looked into seeing just how much a basic system would end up costing me.
The basic constituents I thought were as follows:
- An audio mixer
- 2 x pairs of headphones (with mic)
- mp3 player for background music (usually found at the back of an old drawer)
- Associated leads / cables to connect it all together.
Considering that after costing it up, I could get that for under £100 I decided to try it out. I plumped for a basic audio mixer being the Behringer Xenyx 502 mixer. It’s small enough but offered plenty of connections to do the job.
So, what exactly does this setup have to achieve?
- Take input from a vocal microphone.
- Receive input from an external music source (mp3 player)
- Balance adjustment for both voice and music separately.
- Produce good quality output to headphones not just for your client, but to yourself too.
- Allows for output to a separate recording device to provide clients with a recording.
Hypno-Com 5 Professional.
At this point, I discovered a second hand Hypno-Com 5 was being offered at a knock-down price. My basic system I had put together looked somewhat untidy compared to the bespoke Hypno-Com 5. It was an opportunity I couldn’t miss so I purchased it. Just one word of warning if you are going to go down the route of putting a system together yourself make sure you do your homework. And that means specifically the cables / microphones / headphones you choose. Some will require adaptors to be able to plug into the audio mixer. You really need to get that right or you have a non-functioning system.
Compare the two and I would plump for the Hypno-com 5 every time. It just works and the sound quality is just right. You won’t have all the adjustments of an audio mixer but it’s ready to go and has only the controls you really need, straight out of the box.
If you can find a second hand unit, they’re usually well looked after but they rarely appear. Personally, I would ask around your local therapists.
Its important to remember that background music, a microphone and headphones are not a necessity for carrying out hypnotherapy. But, they do add an element of professionalism to your sessions. Let’s not forget about the disturbance of DIY too!
Why choose the Hypno-Com 5?
Your clients will love it. Results speak for themselves and if you compare a standard delivery compared to through headphones, you will find most clients opt for the headphones. Find a decent pair of comfortable headphones, they’ll want to know they didn’t notice they had them on at the end.
Although I haven’t made use of the option to record sessions, you can do this quite easily with the right equipment. All the connections are ready to use on the Hypno-com so it should be simply a case of plugging a recording device into it. And let’s not forget because you already have some background music feeding in, you won’t have to worry about adding some to the recording later.
As you can see, my client found it much easier to begin the relaxation process using this system. It was an interesting observation as this client had previously experienced sessions using conventional techniques without a microphone.
There will be a short time spent doing a sound check to allow the client to find the correct volume levels. But just imagine those with slight hearing loss, no longer an issue with these headphones.
It’s important to consider that this setup is meant to sit in your treatment room. There are cables, and they’re long. Yes, they are unsightly but they’re no good if they’re too short.
WHY NOT GO wireless?
You may be tempted to use a wireless or a Bluetooth microphone, headset, or headphones, especially because being free from all those wires seems really sensible. I admit, I’d love to not have to deal with the headphone wires. The fact is there isn’t a bluetooth feature on the Hypno-Com 5. But, broadcasting your sessions without protection from potential other bluetooth units picking it up is a potential confidentiality issue. One for the future that will no doubt be delivered in one way or another. There is one over-riding issue I have to make and that’s that since a recent relocation to a business centre I have noticed that I pickup some elements of interference. I suspect some mobile phone signals and also WIFI possibly. Now, being the ever resourceful chap I am, I decided to grab some kitchen foil and wrapped it over the audio unit. It’s not ideal but would you believe it….it works crystal clear audio again! I suspect it simply needs a bit of shielding from modern electronic devices.
It’s not designed to look modern, it’s just meant to get the job done. That said, I’m very pleased with it. In my opinion, the system sounds just as good as anything you can put together with more expensive equipment.
Of course, none of this equipment is really necessary, but then again neither is a dedicated therapy room. As you know, I’ve done effective hypnotherapy sessions in the middle of “DIY central”. But like having a comfy reclining armchair and a quiet area helps your practice, so does having an audio setup that lets your client know something more immersive is happening. And its always reassuring you have that option when its needed.