learning self development

Self-efficacy and the online hypnotherapy client

Self-efficacy meaning and what it means for many of our clients

Self-efficacy, expounded by (Bandura, 1977)] can mean different things in different contexts, but for discussing it in relation to the hypnotherapist-client personal transactional relationship, could be described as:

The capacity to improve a real sense of self. Or, the extent to which an individual is able to apply and continuously improve their self-development skills (Grantham, 2023)

A helpful explanation and research history of self efficacy (Schwarzer & Jerusalem, n.d.) can be found here

Many clients come for hypnotherapy who, by their nature of seeking help, would score low on a self assessment of self development skills. Such assessments are available in the public domain and as an example of a self efficacy assessment, that you are welcome to try for yourself.

Self-efficacy as presented by our clients and its implications for online hypnotherapy

By way of example, (Hawkins,2023) gives helpful information to potential low-scoring hypnotherapy clients in this self-efficacy regard, explaining the potential fear of a visit, the importance of turning up for sessions and practising what they have been taught – in contrast to the hypnotherapist “magic wand” phenomenon that clients might choose to believe – and by contrast – skills that clients with higher self efficacy scores would have more of an understanding of what is involved.

A more detailed discussion of self-efficacy skills (Miles, 2022) notes characteristics such as; a strong sense of self-confidence, self-evaluation and self-awareness are high, motivated to reach goals. [(Miles, 2022)] goes further to helpfully explain ways in which self-efficacy skills can be promoted and developed in terms of and by way of example, self-reflection and goal-setting and a commitment to self-development.

It is in the context of a client consulting a hypnotherapist that the opportunity to provide a client with a lifelong learning opportunity to upskill their self-development skills exists.

An opportunity that online hypnotherapy has the potential to provide

When a client seeks a consultation with a hypnotherapist, there is a unique opportunity to provide them with a unique beginning of a lifelong learning experience aimed at enhancing their self-development skills as an integral and embedded part of the work we do with them.

Hypnotherapists may do this without consciously realising that that is what they are trying to do for their own clients – for them to achieve the ability to ‘develop self’ without the need to see a therapist any longer – what I sometimes as explaining to my clients as

holding your hand – and, when we both really know now that the time is right… letting go

Online hypnotherapy provides a unique opportunity to provide and facilitate a client’s self-efficacy skills by combining therapeutic and coaching models with the digital tools we have at our disposal. Which, if done properly, makes online hypnotherapy and coaching much more effective than traditional face-to-face therapy. By way of example (the list could be almost infinite):

  • SMART(ER) goal setting – a text explanation and video explaining how to set them, specific to the client’s needs, and therapist-provided feedback on efficacy, complete with tracking of goals
  • GROW-model discussion and objectives setting – video recorded, and transcribed, for the client to access anytime they like. Facilitates self-independent learning of almost any therapeutic model you care to name.
  • Journalling – a daily or weekly reflective journal for example, with video/audio guidance on how to complete it with specific questions that meet the client’s specific needs

Continuing the therapeutic and coaching process at the most critical time – the time when the most critical and important learning and self development take place; that is to say – from the moment your client would otherwise have walked out of your office, to be seen again one, to two, weeks later when the most important successes have been lost.

online smart goal setting


Online video, agreed activities and review and revision – Online hypnotherapy provides a unique opportunity to provide and facilitate a client’s self-efficacy skills by combining therapeutic and coaching models with the digital tools we have at our disposal.




Online hypnotherapy has little to do with the convenience of replacing the need for an in-person session BUT on the contrary, it has everything to do with promoting and integrating the most important thing – what I term the ‘interpersonal connection’ of the therapist and client, coupled with the expertise and of therapeutic techniques and approaches with embedded digital tools that the client will use to support ongoing self-development.

Learning to set and track goals, engage in reflective practices, for example, all of which contributes to lifelong learning in developing self. With expert interventions and guidance, it empowers clients to learn self-efficacy properly. How? By learning for themselves, through the vehicle of real-life experience, guided by the expertise of the therapist.


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About Oliver Grantham

Founder and Practice Manager of the online hypnotherapy.online virtual clinic. With a background in professional teaching and training management and advanced hypnotherapy and life coaching, I lead the team members of clinical practitioners and associate members that contribute to the resources and live therapy, counselling and life coaching services that that are provided in this virtual private clinic. Quals: LL.B (Hons), (Solicitors), PGCE, D.Hyp (NCH)