Can Hypnotherapy be used with Children?
Yes it can
Hypnotherapists who work with children make use of a very light state of hypnosis, where the child may not seem at first sight to be in anything other than in a light ‘day dreamy’ state. Children often experience this kind of state many times a day quite naturally. This can be when they are waking from sleep or falling asleep. It may occur when they are absorbed in thought or in imaginative play. Children have a well-developed sense of imagination and frequently imagine and create very dramatic and colourful events or people in their mind. By utilising this kind of state, a hypnotherapist allows their minds creativity and receptiveness to positive suggestions, come up with solutions to the issues they want to change.
Usually children from ten upwards are quite happy to close their eyes and relax and enjoy a guided daydream packed full of positive suggestions for them to ‘act out’ in their imagination. All sessions will certainly always include positive suggestions for confidence and self-esteem whatever problem is being addressed.
Parents are encouraged to stay in the room, so a child will feel more at ease. It also puts the mind of the parent at ease, to see that the process is safe and positive. Sometimes older children prefer to be on their own so they don’t have a sense of ‘being observed’. They will be helped to relax just in a similar way to adults, but using appropriate language for age or understanding. They may close their eyes or they may just seem wide awake; whatever they do will be perfect for each individual. The hypnotherapist will encourage the child to relax, feel at ease and feel safe to go a little day dreamy. They do not go to sleep and they do hear everything that is said, albeit in a possibly dreamy sort of way.
Issues, Symptoms & Sessions
The kinds of issue or symptoms which hypnotherapy will help are wide-ranging and include: fears, anxieties, worries, bed-wetting, soiling, sleeping difficulties, coping with being bullied, thumb-sucking, nail-biting, lack of confidence or lack of self-esteem.
The amount of time, the number of sessions or the techniques used by the hypnotherapist varies according to the issue or symptom. So to the age of the child, but the hypnotherapist will always include positive suggestions for strengthening self-esteem and confidence with guided imagery, so the child can vividly imagine themselves overcoming their problem with ease.
Like their adult counterparts, an individual child’s experience of hypnotherapy ranges from those who can’t quite get into the process and many others who totally get engrossed. It is the child that can let go and allow themself to use their imagination which will be the one who gets the most from the sessions. Some children really take to hypnotherapy and are able to make the changes to how they feel or how they behave.
The hypnotherapist will do everything in a gentle and positive way to help them overcome their present difficulty. Everything that is done by the therapist is done to help and support the process of change. Any concerns a parent may have about ‘messing with their child mind’, is just not the case. In any case the parent will be there with their child, so they can see and hear what is being done and said. They can then be completely reassured that the process is natural and safe.
About the writer
I have been working with children and young people therapeutically since 1982. I have been utilising the therapeutic process of hypnosis in my work since 2006. There are very few symptoms or issues which I have not helped a child or young person manage or overcome. I am dedicated to helping parents find the appropriate course of action needed to support their child.
If after reading this you have any further questions or a question that has not been answered on my website, please give me a call or e-mail me and I will answer your questions to the best of my ability. All communications are dealt with in the strictest confidence.
Tel: 01225 317 813