Hypnotherapy for children
At a young age, a child will often live in the world of their imagination. We see them playing out the roles of teachers, doctors, firemen, train drivers, and the list could go on and on. This world of their imagination can be utilised by the hypnotherapist and can indeed work in their favour.
It means they often need much less time in a session to work towards a solution to their issue. After talking in detail to the child, the hypnotherapist should be able to use the child’s own language and areas of interest to connect with their world.
How does hypnotherapy work for children?
It is vital that the child feels comfortable with their therapist and this ensures that they are willing to engage fully in the process. This engagement may not look as if they are in a hypnotic state – they may have their eyes open and even be acting out the suggestions being given to them. That is not to say that some children won’t sit sleepily in the chair, enjoying their period of relaxation!
Should I ask my child if they want help to make a positive change?
Parents need to ensure that the child wants to come to their sessions and they should not be brought along against their will. The choice should be given to the child along the lines of, ‘I know someone who has helped lots of children who (insert problem) and they think they can help you too. What do you think?’
Parents, of course, are a vital part of the treatment plan and should be encouraged to be fully involved. However, the main relationship is between the therapist and the child.
What sorts of children’s issues can be treated with hypnotherapy?
Some of the problems children endure are very similar to those suffered by adults. However, some are much more unique to their age group. These include separation anxiety, being bullied, learning problems and exam fears, behaviour difficulties, motor and vocal tics, nighttime fears and sleep problems, pulling hair out, thumb sucking, nail-biting etc.
They may also suffer from nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) and encopresis (soiling). Both of these issues require a visit to a GP/specialist prior to any hypnotherapy so that any medical problems can be ruled out. This list is not exhaustive and many issues can respond well to hypnotherapy.