Can hypnotherapy help young children navigate childhood anxiety?

Hypnotherapy, often regarded as a treatment primarily for adults, is gaining traction as an effective tool for helping children navigate their emotions, behaviours, and habits. But does it really work for the younger demographic? Let’s explore children's hypnotherapy!


As a practitioner who works with both adults and children, I've found various methods to conduct hypnotherapy sessions. One traditional approach is face-to-face sessions. Situated in my sanctuary office in the Midlands, clients of all ages, including children, find themselves instantly at ease in the tranquil atmosphere. Before I begin my session, I conduct a brief pre-consultation to understand the client's needs and explain the process. My sessions are akin to deep relaxation experiences, enhanced by soothing scents, reclining chairs, tranquil music, and optional eye masks to ensure uninterrupted focus.

During the session, clients are guided into a state of relaxation where personalised visualisations help them understand and alter their thought patterns. Post-session, we review what felt easy and what might need adjustment, reassuring clients that there are various techniques to suit their preferences. I often provide generic recordings for at-home reinforcement, understanding that finding time for self-care can be challenging in today's fast-paced world.

When working with children under 10, personalised recordings tailored to their needs and bedtime routines prove invaluable. By incorporating metaphors, visualisations and positive suggestions, these recordings empower children to achieve desired results from the comfort of home. Follow-up progress meetings, conducted online, allow both children and parents to connect with me, ensuring continuity of care and growing strong client relationships. Often children younger than 10 find it difficult to relax in an office with a person they have never met before. Of course, this comes as no surprise which is why this method is so successful for this age group. It also allows me to reach much further afield where many of my clients are now international.

In addition to face-to-face and recorded sessions, online sessions have become increasingly popular and accessible. Despite the virtual setting, clients report similar results to in-person sessions, highlighting the flexibility and effectiveness of this approach. This helps when clients are trying to find a "children's or paediatric hypnotherapist near me".

While the number of sessions required varies for each individual, I typically advise clients to expect significant benefits after three or four sessions. Through this journey, clients experience gradual yet profound changes, leading to enhanced well-being and personal growth.

Exploring different types of anxiety in children and how hypnotherapy can help

Anxiety is a common experience for children, manifesting in various forms as they navigate the challenges of growing up. From separation anxiety during the early years to exam anxiety and social anxiety as they enter adolescence, these concerns can significantly impact a child's well-being and daily functioning. Below are some of the most prevalent types of anxiety experienced by children aged six to 18, and how hypnotherapy can offer effective support and relief.

Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety often occurs in younger children when they are separated from their primary caregiver, typically during preschool or reception years. The fear of being apart from loved ones can lead to distress, clinginess, tummy aches, headaches, and reluctance to engage in activities outside the home. For example, a child may become anxious when dropped off at school, fearing that something bad will happen to their parent or caregiver while they are apart.

Hypnotherapy offers a gentle approach to addressing separation anxiety by helping children reframe their thoughts and emotions surrounding separation. Through guided visualisations and positive suggestions, hypnotherapy can instil a sense of security and confidence in children, allowing them to feel more comfortable and at ease when separated from their caregivers.

Exam anxiety

As children progress through school, they often encounter exam anxiety, especially during important assessments or standardised tests. The fear of failure, performance pressure, and worries about academic performance can trigger intense anxiety symptoms, including physical discomfort, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances.

Hypnotherapy can be particularly beneficial for alleviating exam anxiety by helping children develop relaxation techniques, enhance focus and concentration and build confidence in their abilities. By reframing negative beliefs and instilling a sense of calmness and self-assurance, hypnotherapy empowers children to approach exams with a positive mindset and resilience.

Phobias and driving test anxiety

Children and teenagers may also experience anxiety related to specific phobias, such as fear of heights, animals, or medical procedures. Additionally, the prospect of taking the driving test can evoke anxiety and apprehension in adolescents as they prepare to transition into adulthood.

Hypnotherapy provides a safe and effective method for addressing phobias and driving test anxiety by gradually desensitising children to their fears and helping them develop coping strategies. Through systematic desensitisation and relaxation techniques, hypnotherapy can reduce the intensity of phobic reactions and build confidence in facing challenging situations, such as driving tests.

Social anxiety

Social anxiety, characterised by fear of judgment, embarrassment, or rejection in social situations, is common among children and adolescents. Whether it's speaking in front of classmates, participating in group activities, or making new friends, social anxiety can impair a child's social interactions and self-esteem.

Hypnotherapy offers valuable tools for managing social anxiety by addressing underlying insecurities and negative self-beliefs. By helping to increase self-acceptance, enhancing social skills, and promoting relaxation in social settings, hypnotherapy empowers children to overcome their fears and engage more confidently with others.

Anxiety in children manifests in various forms, from separation anxiety to social anxiety, affecting daily routines and interactions. Through hypnotherapy, these anxieties can be reframed, empowering children to navigate life's challenges with confidence and resilience.

In conclusion, hypnotherapy holds promise as a valuable tool for addressing anxiety and behavioural issues in young children. Whether through face-to-face sessions, personalised recordings, or online consultations, the benefits extend beyond the therapy room, empowering children to lead happier, more fulfilling lives.

"Your journey isn't shown on any map", said Big Panda. "You must discover your own path".

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Solihull, B91
Written by Angela Cain, D.M.H, D.Hyp, CPNLP - Clinical Hypnotherapist
Solihull, B91

Angela Cain Clinical Hypnotherapist
D.M.H, D.Hyp, CPNLP,

I specialise in stress and anxiety, especially in teenagers and young adults. I use a unique combination of treatments and therapies including E.M.D.R, NLP, Meridian Tapping, and Hypnotherapy. I have a clinic in The Midlands and I am an Associate within a Harley Street practice.

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