Can hypnotherapy help with ADHD?
Although there is no scientific evidence that hypnotherapy can help, a literary review (Carbonell, (2003) found that hypnotherapy along with other therapies such as psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), can teach children that they are in control of their behaviour, increase their focus and use relaxation to reduce the hyperactivity facet of the condition.
The difficulty with any condition such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the complexity of the condition and the diversity of the children with it. Barabasz and Barabasz (1999) concluded that lots of children are overdiagnosed because many of the symptoms overlap other conditions.
As everyone is different, it could be a mistake to discount a therapy without trying it. Children between four and 16 are exceptional hypnotic subjects due to their developing brain and imagination. As with any therapy, if hypnosis is used early enough, it could well improve symptoms, improve relationships with teachers and students, as well as give a better understanding to the child's way of thinking, reducing need for negative reinforcement at school through misunderstanding and ignorance.
One of the known problems with ADHD is the slowed social development, a child could be in the body of a 12 year old but have the social maturity of a nine year old, the difficulties this causes in school are perhaps more pronounced the older the child gets. Competent use of hypnotherapy could bridge the gap between child and educator and more importantly between child and parent.
The drugs used to control the symptoms of ADHD have a wide range of negative side effects such as decreased appetite, slowed growth, memory problems and insomnia. It is a possibility that hypnotherapy could help with reducing the impact of the side effects such as insomnia and memory problems, as it would in normal circumstances.
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About Karen Lee
Karen Lee has always had an interest in helping others help themselves, after two years online voluntary work in a group she set up herself, she is now a qualified hypnotherapist, EMDR specialist and is studying to achieve a BSc hons degree in psychology, looking to become a psychologist in the next few years.