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Four things hypnotherapy can help your child with (right now)

No matter what our age, we all experience periods where we struggle, be that due to our confidence in ourselves, outside stressors, or any number of things in between. Hypnotherapy as a method to help children overcome common problems and challenges isn’t a new trend, however it can be an effective method of helping them with a wide number of problems.

As hypnotherapist Les Roberts explains, “Hypnotherapy’s non-invasive approaches to treating children are being welcomed more and more by parents as results are usually relatively quick. Hypnotherapy can be an extremely effective method with problems such as bedwetting (enuresis), confidence, anxieties, [and more]. Unlike adults, children are mostly unaware of the unusual misconceptions and myths surrounding hypnotherapy and respond to change better.” 

As with all forms of hypnotherapy, it’s important to remember that it can only be successful if the individual wants to make positive changes in their life. Unlike some other forms of treatment, hypnotherapy doesn’t have any side-effects, making it an attractive choice for many. 

Is hypnotherapy effective for children?

Hypnotherapy can have a positive effect for many individuals. If you are considering hypnotherapy for your child, it’s important to look for someone who is experienced and trained to work with children. 

“The truth is that hypnotherapy is not for adults alone, the process will work on an individual regardless of their age.” Hypnotherapist Biodun Ogunyemi explains. “Children are generally more receptive to hypnotherapy because they are easily suggestible with more vivid imaginations and a much more accessible unconsciousness. This makes it easier to effect the desired change. 

“Children make great candidates for hypnosis because they have not been subject to the years of conditioning and resistance that adults have. Hypnosis is recognised clinically as an effective therapy which can help resolve many issues that impact upon a child, allowing the child to be happier and fulfil their potential.”

Can hypnosis help my child with…

Hypnotherapy can help with a wide range of issues, including:

Anxiety

Hypnotherapy for anxiety can help children to uncover what is causing them to feel anxious, nervous, or worried. Together with the help of a hypnotherapist, they can change their relationship with anxiety, and learn new ways to deal with situations that are causing them to feel anxious before it can significantly impact their day-to-day lives. 

Working with a hypnotherapist can help children to learn breathing and meditation techniques to help them learn to stop internalising any negative thoughts or feelings they may have that could contribute to how they are feeling. A hypnotherapist can also help children learn to recognise common signs and symptoms of anxiety, how to re-frame their thoughts and handle situations causing them worry in new ways. 

Children can also learn how to boost their feelings of confidence and self-belief, whilst reducing any feelings of fear or worry. This can help them to better develop the ability to create the relaxed state of mind needed to help counter the overwhelming feelings that can come with anxiety.

Stress

We all experience stress from time to time, but when those feelings become overwhelming, they can have a bigger impact on our overall well-being, physical and mental health. For children, big changes at home or school, increased responsibilities, or exams can all lead to feeling stressed, under pressure, and unable to cope.

Common symptoms of stress can include feelings of anxiety or overwhelm, becoming easily irritated, angry or tearful, as well as a low sense of self-worth or self-esteem. A child under stress may have more difficulty focusing, could seem constantly worried, or have more trouble making decisions than would be typical. Physical symptoms can also manifest, including headaches, trouble sleeping, or changes in appetite. 

Working with a hypnotherapist for stress can help children to learn how to increase their communication skills, allowing them to learn how to be more assertive and to let others know what is bothering them. A hypnotherapist can also teach them relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing, as well as introducing them to self-care. 

Hypnotherapy for stress can help them to break negative thought patterns, retraining negative responses to stress to create a healthier, more sustainable reaction that can benefit them in the long run. Through putting your child in a deep state of relaxation, a hypnotherapist is able to open your child’s subconscious to suggestion, helping them to learn different ways of responding to stress. 

If your child is particularly stressed about exams, hypnotherapy for exam stress can help them to learn how to control their nerves, boost their confidence, and reduce overall feelings of anxiety. It can also help them learn how to create a calmer state of mind to better prepare them for their exams, as well as to cope with potentially overwhelming situations. 

Sleep

Ensuring children are getting enough sleep can have a huge impact on their health and well-being. Depending on your child’s age, they could need anywhere between 9-12 hours’ sleep each night. When they don’t get enough sleep, they can be left feeling exhausted, lacking motivation, and could be at risk of being more easily overwhelmed by stress.

While for many, practising good sleep hygiene can have a significant impact, others may need more help. Going screen-free for at least an hour, taking a relaxing warm bath, and removing electronic devices from their room can all help. However, if they are experiencing a common sleep problem such as insomnia, nightmares, night terrors, or sleep walking, working with a hypnotherapist may be able to help.

Sleep disorders can often have links with anxiety, stress, and other unhealthy habits. Hypnotherapy can help to uncover what may be causing your child to have difficulty getting a restful night’s sleep. Using a number of different techniques, they may be able to help replace fear or anxiety around bedtime with more positive suggestions to help your child feel calmer and to change their reaction to sleep.     

Low self-confidence and low self-esteem

‘Confidence is key’ isn’t just a saying – how we feel about ourselves can have a significant impact on our overall mental health and well-being. When your child doesn’t feel confident, they can become stressed, feel anxious, and unhappy. This in turn can lead to low self-esteem, increased feelings of worry, and concern over how others may see them. In time, this can hold them back in their personal and academic development. 

While our reasons for developing low self-confidence can vary, it is often influenced by past and everyday experiences. This could be through interactions with friends, family, classmates, teachers, or even through what they see online or in popular culture. 

Hypnotherapy for self-confidence can help children to access their unconscious minds. Using the power of suggestion, a hypnotherapist can help them to make positive changes tailored towards their specific situation. This can allow children to start to take back control of how they are feeling about themselves, challenging their negative inner-voice, and helping them to overcome negative thoughts and feelings. 

Many see an immediate improvement with their confidence levels, whilst others may need to reinforce these new ideas with the help of maintenance sessions or using self-hypnosis techniques.

If your child is experiencing low self-esteem, it’s important to know that this is, effectively, a learnt behaviour. Often the result of repetitive thinking, something as simple as struggling with a subject such as maths may lead them to develop automatic negative thoughts on the subject. Over time, this can lead them to trying to avoid anything to do with the subject – such as avoiding homework, feeling anxiety when faced with the subject or, later in life, struggling to deal with their finances. 

Overcoming automatic negative thoughts can be tough. Hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool to help them to change negative thinking patterns, and replace them with more positive responses so that their subconscious begins offering encouragement and support, rather than fear. 

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Bonnie Gifford

Written by Bonnie Gifford

Bonnie Evie Gifford is a Senior Writer at Happiful.

Written by Bonnie Gifford

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