Hypnotherapy And Young Children
help young children?
Children almost always report having enjoyed their sessions and look forward to the next one. This is key as the whole idea is to help children to enjoy being who they are, to recognise their strengths and to feel pleased about themselves.
These common childhood problems usually respond
well to hypnotherapy:
General anxiety, lack of self-confidence, repetitive negative thoughts, phobias of all kinds, bedwetting, difficulties with being on their own, fear of separation from a parent, school-related issues, school refusal, bullying, exam related stress, selective eating, sleep disturbances, thumb sucking, nail biting, childhood tics, persistent feelings of sadness, various obsessive or compulsive habits, body image anxiety, anger problems either towards self or others.
What is hypnotherapy like for children?
With over twenty years experience in teaching, I connect easily with children and am extremely well practiced at tuning in to their individual needs and preferences. Younger children typically communicate more through showing and doing rather than by talking. Therapy will involve engaging your child in focused active attention, such as through playing or drawing, as much as or perhaps more than through the relaxation inductions commonly used with older children and adults.
What happens in a session?
Even with very young children, it is important to take time to understand the problem from their perspective and how it is affecting them at the moment. We discover how they would like things to be instead and what important differences this would make to their every day experience.
I will choose from a range of techniques so that your child's treatment is tailor made to be effective for them.
I can use lots of imaginative activities, stories, and even simple tasks like colouring in or throwing and catching a ball in order to lead your child into the state of focused attention in which hypnotic suggestions will be most beneficial. Activities will best match your child's individual interests and personality. I sometimes use African drumming to build rapport and energise the session with feelings of added enjoyment. The priority is to connect in the way which best suits your child and his or her unique preferences and needs.
It could be for example that I guide your child into imagining their brain as a super computer. They begin by deleting the negative words and worries and then instead download a
powerful self-confidence program. I will give your child strengthening techniques such as visualisations or breathing exercises to use between sessions, and we can anchor positive feelings to a favourite toy or other small object which they can use at any time to help access a relaxed and calm state.
Usually the latter part of the session involves your child enjoying a guided visualisation where they will experience themselves feeling, thinking and behaving just like they really want to be.
Is it safe and are there any side-effects?
In the hands of a qualified hypnotherapist, this therapy is completely natural and safe. Hypnotherapy is known for its 'butterfly effect' meaning that very often, when one problem is treated, there can be many other positive outcomes too. Some of these can be quite unexpected, for example believe it or not, I have known children who have suddenly started to enjoy keeping their rooms tidy though this was never the aim of treatment!
How will I be involved in supporting my child?
Your involvement as parent or guardian will be key in supporting the therapy. Before meeting your child, I will invite you to meet or have a phone conversation with me first. This will be invaluable to me as I begin learning about your child, and is a time for you to gain confidence and understanding about how I work. You are very welcome to be with us during sessions and younger children usually prefer you to be there. We will communicate between sessions when I can answer any questions which you have and can guide you as to how best to support your child to maximise the benefits of the therapy.