Hypnotherapy is a great form of therapy for children. Here are the two reasons why:
1. Children are very familiar with the hypnotic state already. Every time your child is play-pretending, chasing a friend around the playground, or even daydreaming, he/she is immersed in a hypnotic state. Meaning that all their focus is on the task at hand, while the world outside disappears.
2. Children are more open than adults to imagination and playfulness, which are two key ingredients of a successful hypnosis session. A typical hypnotherapy session will involve lots of imaginative activities, where the child becomes the hero of his/her own story, and is faced with many obstacles that he/she will surmount thanks to newfound resources and skills. A skilled hypnotherapist will make the story age-appropriate and tailor it to your child’s interests, attention span and personality.
What kind of childhood problems respond well to hypnotherapy?
1. Fears, insecurities, phobias and anxieties.
Many children and their parents are seeking treatment for fears, insecurities, phobias, and anxieties. The hypnotic trance state is characterized by feelings of relaxation, calm, and safety. In this state, the child is able to face their fears in a safe setting and discover new ways of relating to them. In this way, the child and therapist can find collaborative solutions to the problem states more easily than if they are simply talked about. In addition, the hypnotic state will also make it easier for your child to accept helpful and positive suggestions such as “you are safe, you are loved, you are very strong and confident”.
2. Enuresis (bedwetting)
There are many reasons for bedwetting so check out with your medical practitioner that there is no underlying medical cause. If there is not, habit and mindset can play important parts in perpetuating bedwetting. Children who have had the problem for many years go to sleep with the mindset that there is a problem over which they have no control: their expectation is that they will wet the bed. This is where treatment with hypnosis can be particularly focused. A typical hypnosis session will focus on changing the child’s mindset by increasing positivity, self esteem and feeling of control. Several techniques may be used during the treatment, including guided visualizations of successfully handling the problem, along with healing stories where the child is encouraged to talk to, or lock his/her bladder with a very big and bright key before going to bed.
Hudson, Lynda. (2009) Scripts & Strategies in Hypnotherapy with Children. Crown House Publishers.
Olness, Karen and Kohen, Daniel. (1996) Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy with Children. The Guildford Press.