How To Video Record Your Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Sessions

This how to guide was created out of necessity. There is not much information out there on how to properly video record hypnosis and hypnotherapy sessions. I created this guide after multiple colleagues asked me how I figured out how to do it.

Background on me

I'm a pretty technical person, having spent over 15 years in the high-tech industry. I thought it would be pretty straight forward to record hypnotherapy sessions. What I learned is that the solutions for video recording are not designed for what I wanted to do which was enable seamless recording of video in 2 locations without a lot of extra work transferring data at the end of the day. It should be secure, and handle more than one hypnotherapist working out of my office. It shouldn't require much setup and not be too expensive.

Goals of the Video Recording System

  • Seamlessly record 2 locations : time at the desk (the pre-hypnosis interview), and during the hypnosis session in the hypnosis chair.
  • Completely Secure : no one could "hack" into it and watch sessions live.
  • Easily save individual sessions for long-term storage : I did not want to have to burn dvd's from a smart card after the fact, or split a day's recordings into multiple files at the end of each day.
  • Viewable by a DVD player : Some systems record in a proprietary format that have to be exported then encoded in a format for viewing on a dvd player. I wanted a solution that is ready to be viewed by me using my computer right away.
  • Relatively small and unobtrusive : this is for client comfort and my own.
  • Easily record sessions for multiple practitioners separately. I have multiple hypnotherapists in my office and want each one to have private access to their own recordings.
  • Affordable : less than $800

Problems with Current Technology

The main problems with the current video and recording technology are that there were no solutions that met my goals or needs. The current solutions seem to fall into one of two categories :

  • Surveillance based solutions : these solutions are intended for basic surveillance needs. The problem with these solutions is they tend to include poorer quality cameras, poor quality or no audio, and record to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) that is set to overwrite itself weekly. It would require a different solution for saving the recordings for the long-term.
  • Baby monitor solutions : these solutions are for the mom and dad who want to easily monitor their baby from another room. Usually they come with the intent of streaming video over a wireless network, which is not secure. Even with newer ones that you could turn the wireless option off and use integrated storage, like a smart-card, it would not solve the issue of a 2 camera solution. You'd need to purchase 2 of these, then leave both running and half of each session recording would be empty space. It would take a lot of time each day to trim and transfer this data to a hard drive and then burn to a dvd for long-term storage if you wanted to do that.
  • More reasons why a baby-monitor solution won't work for me :
    • Wifi is insecure on Baby Monitors : Baby monitors are notorious for the ability to hack into them, so for me and my business it's not worth giving someone the ability to watch a live broadcast of a session. Plus if you have more than one person working in your office it creates even more of a security issue. Let me clarify why it won't work if you have more than one person using it. These types of systems work by giving you control over them via an app on a smart phone. They also give you the ability to remotely view from the app on your smart phone. So if you have more than one person in your office using this device, you would need to give them access to the camera via their own app on their smart phone, which means at any time they could watch your hypnosis sessions, via their phone. That type of camera is designed to work that way, so unless you're the only one in your office, I don't recommend it. And even then I believe it's risky as it's possible someone could hack into it. It was out of the question for me since I have more than one person in my office.
    • Poor sound quality : Also, and this is extremely critical, the mic/sound may not be of a high enough quality to make for a decent recording. That would depend on where it is in your office. You would need to try it out.
    • Need to upload/transfer files every time : You would need to remember to upload your recording every time, and/or if you had multiple sessions on one recording split them per client. I didn't want this additional work added to my regular process. With the DVD I just write the name of the client and the date, and put in their file and it's done. No uploading, storing on my computer (which you'd want to protect), or splitting / encoding required.

The solution

The solution I finally came up with includes the following (with product links to Amazon so you can just buy each if you choose, and quantity of my system) :

Item

Description

Product

Quantity

Panlong 4-Way AV Switch

 Allows you to switch recording from one camera to the other. When your client arrives at your office you have it on camera 1, then when you move to the chair, seamlessly press the button on the switch and video and audio recording switches to camera 2. Note you could have up to 4 cameras in this solution.

1

Sony VRDMC6 DVDirect Compact Size DVD Burner

Direct to DVD recorder.All sessions are recorded directly to DVD that will play in any regular DVD player (in the US).

 1

Q-See QSPMIC Powered Microphone with Power Supply and Cable

Powered microphone - you can use up to 4 (2 at each camera location).

 2, 3 or 4

VideoSecu Video & Power 50 Feet Pre-made All-in-One BNC RCA Cable for Security Cameras 1JD

This is basically just an extension cord for the video camera and microphone. You may or may not need it depending on the size of your room and location of camera and microphone to the switch.

 2

VideoSecu 12V DC CCTV Security Camera Power Supply Adapter with 4 (2.1mm) Channel Connectors Port PW154 1I0

 Power supply adapter. This allows you to plug in your camera to to the wall (normally it could plug into a DVR but this solution does not us a DVR).

 2

So this is the solution that works for me and is in my office now.

The only downside is that you have to format DVDs to be recorded prior to recording. This can take up to 3 minutes. So you'll want to do that before your client arrives. Once the session is over you have to "finish" the DVD which basically just writes data into any remaining unused space. Then your dvd can be viewed on your computer, or in your DVD player.

I hope this helps, send me your questions on this solution below I'm happy to answer them.

Questions from Readers

I received a number of questions via email from readers, so I've updated this article with the questions and answers below.

  • If I only need one camera, do I still need to purchase the AV switch?
  • No, you won't need the switch. However, this camera is static - meaning it does not move. Although it has a wide viewing angle, it may not actually cover the entire room, so you'd need to try it out. The primary cost of this solution is in the DVD recorder, the extra cameras and switch are minimal in comparison. I think it's really important to be able to record both the Hypnosis pre-talk and Pre-Hypnosis Interview plus the hypnosis session. In my office I have a desk (and camera #1) and the hypnosis chair (and camera #2), so even though my office is only 149 square feet, I still need 2 cameras.
  • Is the dvd recorder also a dvr?
  • No, it only records to DVD. However it can burn a dvd from an SD card, or create DVDs from some other input (like a VHS), so it does have other purposes you may find useful - like transferring old VHS tapes to DVD.
  • Do you make a dvd for every session?
  • Yes, and DVDs cost about .25 cents each, so they're very affordable. It takes a few minutes for each DVD to format it before the client arrives, then again to save the DVD to be viewed in a DVD player after the session is over.
  • Does the dvd recorder record in any other formats, like sd card that I can upload to computer (instead of making DVDs) ?
  • No, it only records to a DVD
  • Would something like this work?Vimtag (Fujikam) 361 HD, IP/Network ,Wireless, Video Monitoring, Surveillance, security camera,plug/play, Pan/Tilt with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision
  • That type of camera falls into the baby monitor solution described above, and I already determined why that style won't work for me. It may be just fine for you if you're the only one in your office. Here are reasons why it won't work for me :
    • Wifi is insecure on Baby Monitors : Baby monitors are notorious for the ability to hack into them, so for me and my business it's not worth giving someone the ability to watch a live broadcast of a session. Plus if you have more than one person working in your office it creates even more of a security issue. Let me clarify why it won't work if you have more than one person using it. These types of systems work by giving you control over them via an app on a smart phone. They also give you the ability to remotely view from the app on your smart phone. So if you have more than one person in your office using this device, you would need to give them access to the camera via their own app on their smart phone, which means at any time they could watch your hypnosis sessions, via their phone. That type of camera is designed to work that way, so unless you're the only one in your office, I don't recommend it. And even then I believe it's risky as it's possible someone could hack into it. It was out of the question for me since I have more than one person in my office.
    • Poor sound quality : Also, and this is extremely critical, the mic/sound may not be of a high enough quality to make for a decent recording. That would depend on where it is in your office. You would need to try it out.
    • Need to upload/transfer files every time : You would need to remember to upload your recording every time, and/or if you had multiple sessions on one recording split them per client. I didn't want this additional work added to my regular process. With the DVD I just write the name of the client and the date, and put in their file and it's done. No uploading, storing on my computer (which you'd want to protect), or splitting / encoding required.