The refusal is not simply a ploy to get out of maths but a genuine condition which has been named ‘school phobia’ and is currently estimated to affect between one and five children in 100.
Unfortunately the condition is little known and has only recently been highlighted in the press when a judge ordered Suffolk County Council to apologise to parents of a 16 year old boy for prosecuting them for keeping their son off school, despite evidence from his GP and psychologist that he had a genuine phobia of school.
Parents of children who have been diagnosed usually try various treatment options such as counselling, behavioural therapy, home schooling and hypnotherapy.
For many years hypnotherapy has been used to tackle a myriad of phobias ranging in severity. Hypnotherapy works through accessing the subconscious mind where the practitioner will be able to establish the underlying causes of the phobia. In doing this they will then be able to reprogramme the mind to react to any stimuli in a different way. For example, if a child’s morning alarm clock and the thought of getting dressed and going to school would usually start a panic attack, a hypnotherapist will help the sufferer to respond the the stimuli in a different way, for instance taking deep breaths and drinking water upon hearing the alarm.
Other techniques may also be implemented, such as positive suggestion and visualisation, which will see the child envisaging themselves enjoying their school day etc. For more information on phobias, their causes and their treatment please visit the hypnotherapy areas of this site. Alternatively if you would like to contact a hypnotherapist who deals with phobias directly then please use the search tool and filter feature to locate a qualified professional in your local area.
View additional information about school phobia and its treatment here.
Original article featured in You magazine (29/08/10)