Hypnotherapy for Children
I'm often asked if hypnotherapy is suitable for children and the answer is a resounding YES!
Children have such amazing imaginations and curiosity and so they really are brilliant at hypnosis. In addition, children, unlike adults, do not usually have any misleading or pre-conceived views about what hypnosis is and are eager to discover something new and interesting.
In general, hypnosis is suitable for children from the age of 6, although this does depend on each individual child's development. For hypnosis to be effective, a child needs to have a 'sense of self', to be able to listen to and follow instructions and be able to communicate.
Before I agree to work with children and young people, I like to meet them so that they can get to know me and that I can properly assess if they are suitable for Hypnotherapy. This initial consultation takes about thirty minutes and is free of charge. During the consultation, I will talk to your child and find out what it is about their problem that they don’t like, how it’s affecting them and how they would like to feel. Our focus is always on the solution, not the problem. I'll often do some fun demonstrations too, this helps me assess the child's level of engagement and ability to follow my instructions and of course helps build that all important rapport. And it's fun too! Of course I will also discuss with the parent how hypnosis can help their child and set their minds at rest if they have any worries themselves.
I ask that your child does some tasks at home between sessions, I will also teach them self hypnosis - how to hypnotise themselves. If your child is old enough to take responsibility to do the task on their own, I ask that parents to allow them to do just that. If not, I’ll show the parent how to help them just enough, but not too much. Your child will be learning self mastery - how to master and overcome the problem themselves. In my experience, even quite young children really enjoy this. Self hypnosis is safe and very effective, I actually consider it an essential life skill. I have a client who was taught self hypnosis over 30 years ago when she was a seriously ill young patient in Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. To this day she still uses her self hypnosis skills, especially in new situations when she may be a feeling nervous. That’s what I mean by Self Hypnosis being a life skill.
As a parent you must be absolutely committed to your child’s course of therapy. There will often be quite a fine line to balance, giving your child responsibility to learn self mastery but also making sure they are actually doing the tasks. In the case of nocturnal enuresis, bedwetting, you will need to be very committed and involved - and often very patient! For example, I will ask you to discontinue using night pants and use mattress protectors instead because it’s essential your child learns the difference between dry and comfortable and wet and uncomfortable. If your child is all snug and dry, they simply do not know when they are starting to release their bladder, they can not interpret the signal. There will be some washing to do in the early stages, so as you can see, it really is important that parents are committed and encourage their child all the way.
How can Hypnotherapy help my child?
Along with Bedwetting, there are so many problems that hypnotherapy can help your child to overcome. Here’s just a few:
School Anxiety - school, going to big school..., exams, University interviews
Doctor’s visits, needles, dentists
Anger - quite common!
Bad habits - Thumb sucking, nail biting, etc
Phobias & Fears
Lack of confidence
I very often work with adults who tell me that the phobia they have is ‘exactly the same as their mums or dads fear’. Think about it, if you have a phobia, your child might just pick up on it & display the same fears. The phobia is not hereditary, it's the environment - and that just could be you!
Imagine, a child who experiences anxiety, maybe going to a new school. Each day is an ordeal, the anxiety grows unchecked year by year, until that child becomes an anxious adult. As adults we have a lot more to worry about, work, mortgage, our pensions....
That anxious child is now a very anxious - and quite possibly depressed adult. He has taken on that identity. Anxious, fearful, sleep deprived, you get the picture.
If that child had help in childhood, learnt to become confident, learnt coping skills, those self mastery skills follow all their life.
And isn’t that a wonderful gift to give them!
To learn more about Hypnotherapy for Children,
Contact Lindsay Shepherd 01202 511096