The benefits of hypnotherapy with CBT for autistic children

What are the benefits of hypnotherapy with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for autistic children and young adults?


Hypnotherapy, combined with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), is a therapeutic approach that offers unique benefits for individuals on the autism spectrum.

This article highlights the advantages of utilising hypnotherapy with CBT techniques to support and empower autistic individuals in their personal growth, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life.

1. Enhanced self-awareness and emotional regulation

Hypnotherapy with CBT can assist autistic individuals in developing a deeper understanding of their own thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. It helps identify triggers and develop strategies to manage and regulate emotions effectively.

This enhanced self-awareness fosters emotional resilience and empowers individuals to grow in self-esteem, authenticity and self-efficacy.

2. Reduced anxiety and stress

Anxiety and stress can be significant challenges for autistic individuals. Hypnotherapy with CBT offers techniques to manage anxiety symptoms by promoting relaxation, visualisation, and positive self-talk.

It aids in reframing negative thoughts and replacing them with more constructive and empowering beliefs, leading to reduced anxiety and stress levels.

3. Improved social skills and communication

Autistic children and young people often face difficulties in processing social interactions and communication. Hypnotherapy combined with CBT can provide valuable tools to enhance social skills, such as understanding non-verbal cues, initiating conversations, processing the intentions and meaning of interactions, and developing and expressing congruent empathy.

It assists in building confidence and facilitating effective communication, leading to improved relationships and increased social engagement.

4. Overcoming phobias and fears

Many autistic people experience specific phobias or fears that can significantly impact their daily lives. Hypnotherapy with CBT techniques helps individuals confront and overcome these fears in a controlled and supportive environment.

It enables individuals to develop coping mechanisms and build resilience, leading to a reduction in phobic responses.

5. Enhancing focus and concentration

Attention difficulties and hyperactivity can be common challenges for autistic children and those with ADD and ADHD presentation. This is largely impacted by stress and pressure, which keeps the brain in 'survival' mode and increases the production of cortisol and adrenalin. 

Hypnotherapy combined with CBT techniques can help improve focus and concentration by teaching children relaxation exercises and mental imagery techniques which reduce the overproduction of stress hormones and increase the release of endorphins and dopamine. This relaxes the brain and helps the child to access memory and retained information as well as think and rationalise more clearly. It assists in reducing overwhelm and distractions and promoting ultimately enhancing cognitive abilities and overall performance.

This therapy is a useful tool to explore their stressors and warning signs, to help children build healthy and productive coping strategies, and be better able to understand and articulate their needs to adults. 

6. Building self-confidence and self-esteem

Autistic children may struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem due to challenges they face in daily life. Hypnotherapy with CBT provides tools to challenge negative self-perceptions and cultivate a positive self-image.

It assists individuals in developing confidence, assertiveness, and a sense of self-worth, leading to improved self-esteem and a greater sense of personal empowerment. The positive insights are reinforced through hypnotherapy so they become accepted by the subconscious for transformational results.

7. Encouraging positive psychology

Hypnotherapy with CBT techniques can facilitate change by helping autistic individuals set goals, identify barriers, and develop strategies to overcome them. It assists in exploring positive alternatives through visualisation, scripting, rehearsing and reinforcement techniques. This approach promotes personal growth and fosters positive change in various areas of life.

Hypnotherapy combined with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) offers numerous benefits for autistic children and young adults. By utilising these approaches, individuals can enhance self-awareness, regulate emotions, reduce anxiety, improve social skills, overcome fears, enhance focus, build self-confidence, and foster positive psychology.

It is essential to work with qualified professionals experienced in working with autism to ensure a personalised and effective treatment plan.

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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Beverley HU17 & Sheffield S36
Written by Evalynne Charmer, Dip. Hypnotherapy (Paediatrics) MHS; TISPH; CNHC Registered
Beverley HU17 & Sheffield S36

Evalynne Charmer Dip Hyp (Paediatrics) is a leading therapist and the founder of double-award winning Ed Elf Child Therapy and the Child Hypnotherapy Institute, specialising in children and young adults of all neurotypes. She also produces & presents the podcast 'Autistic Voices' on all major platforms

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