What can be helped using hypnotherapy with children?
A wide range of childhood problems can be treated with hypnosis, including anxiety, academic performance, asthma, concentration, fear of the dentist, eating disorders, bed-wetting, soiling, exam and test nerves, headaches, nail-biting, sucking thumb, overactive or shy bladder, pain, phobias, sleep problems and sports performance.
Children tend to learn hypnosis more easily than adults because as part of their natural development they are imagining, daydreaming, fantasising, and pretending many times a day, on a daily basis. Children are easily entranced by television, stories, computer games, as you may have already noticed!
Hypnosis can be used with children from under 5 to age 17, (I work with children aged 5 and over). Studies have shown that when a child is around age 9, they are at their peak and most susceptible to hypnosis, and then reducing slightly to age 12, and remaining fairly constant throughout adolescence and adulthood.
With younger children there is no advantage in spending time explaining what hypnosis is, as we would with an adult, instead we describe it as:-
- Pretending or imagining
- Spending a bit of time daydreaming
- Pretending to be somewhere else
- Something that you already know how to do, but maybe you didn’t know you knew
Can I stay with my child during the session?
When in session with a child, I will consider the impact of the adult’s presence or non-presence on the child. I normally work with what the child wants depending on age and maturity, but this will be decided at the session after discussion.
- The child may feel more comfortable with the adult present
- The child may feel inhibited with the adult present
- The adult may speak on behalf of, or over the child, if present
- The adult may feel more at ease if present with the child
- The child may ‘own’ therapy more if unaccompanied
My waiting room has big patio doors into the therapy room, so your child is always in your view. With younger children, I like the adult to hear the session too, so they can carry on at home what is being learnt in the session. There is normally homework to do, whether it be storytelling, or playing a game, practising what they have learnt, or keeping a star chart.
If you have any other questions about hypnotherapy and children please feel free to contact me.