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Hypnosis for children and young adults

Children respond easily to hypnosis, mainly because their engaging their already active imaginations. They tend to be quick, cooperative and superior in creative visualisation.

From an early age, we are encouraged to play 'pretend'. Children imagine being their favourite action hero or footballer and scoring the winning goal. They can see themselves in space ships, forests, on a cloud or flying like Harry Potter. They are experts at creating what and how they would like to be.

It is only fitting that a process like hypnosis could be used to help children holistically, engaging the subconscious mind and allowing change to take place naturally both psychologically and physiologically.

Here is a list of problems that can be helped with hypnosis:

Whilst Hypnosis can be of help, it is often suggested that other forms of therapy such as counselling, anger management, and psychotherapy are explored to help reach a goal, or to work through difficult  and complex situations. Please contact me regarding these alternatives.

I have listed below some frequently asked questions about a hypnotherapy with children.

1. How young can my child be to benefit from hypnosis?

I will treat as young as 6 years of age. Problems that have developed before this age are frequently outgrown. If by this age a child is still bed-wetting or having night terrors, or has his first trip to the dentist and is fearful, for example, then hypnosis can help.

2. Can I attend a session with my child?

Of course,and this is one of my requirements. My experience is that after the first session, the child is comfortable and may want to attend on their own. But also, it is always helpful for you, the parent, to see how I work and the process itself. You will then feel more at ease with the hypnotherapy. Overall, I would encourage the parent to remain with the child during the session.

I do explain to both of you that the therapy is with your child, not with you. This is their session and their time. I will ask you and your child to complete a form. But they are in the 'chair'. It is very helpful for the child to see that 'we are addressing the problem'. I want to know how he/she feels, thinks and what they want to happen. I need to hear from them.

During the first & second sessions, I may ask for your feedback, with your child's permission. However, if a child is experiencing difficulties and would like to discuss this with me in private, we can discuss this and if appropriate, agree that the child attend on their own. As in keeping with the code of ethics and conduct of both the NCS and the GHR, if I find that the child is in any danger either to him/herself or others, then I will take the appropriate action necessary for the safety of all involved. The same would apply if the child were to reveal any other information that was a cause for concern.

3. What if my child can't relax? Does this mean it won't work?

Children rarely keep still in a normal waking state. Whilst in hypnosis it is only natural that they may move, open and close their eyes, scratch, stretch, yawn, etc. They will still be in a trance state. One of the biggest misconceptions about hypnosis in general is that EVERYONE is completely catatonic. Whilst in trance, you can move and do all sorts of things, including opening your eyes. Once trust is built and we are both very comfortable, a child is usually quite happy to close their eyes whilst visualising, although they do not have to.

4. What actually happens in a session and is it different from a session for an adult?

The same processes take place with children as with adults. Care is taken with the explanation of what we will be doing, so as to eliminate any fear or misconceptions they may have. The session time is the same.

Children will visualise in detail, the same as adults. But they have less 'active noise' in the background. They are not thinking about shopping lists, or what they have to do tomorrow or how their boss treated them at work. They are totally focused on what I am saying and asking them to see and do.

I also use age appropriate language. I will not use psycho-babble or hard to understand concepts. I have found storytelling, among other great visual techniques to be extremely effective.

5. Can they be asked to do things they do not want to do?

The same applications and responses of hypnosis apply to children as they do to adults. Whilst in trance, you cannot be made to do anything against your will. Your subconscious mind protects you from this.

Also, as you would check the qualifications of any professional consultant, you should always ensure that a therapist has experience in working with children, and is registered with a professional organisation.

6. How many sessions does my child need?

Again, this would depend upon the nature of the problem and the constitution of the child. On occasion, I will give a CD to the child so that they can listen to this on a daily basis, preferably at night when they are at their most relaxed. Although my experience has been that they want to listen to it during the daytime as well. They can listen as much as they like. My recordings will always include confidence boosters and self-esteem enhancers.

Sometimes hypnotherapy and counselling is effectively combined to help children and young adults. All of the possibilities are discussed in detail at our consultation. At this time, any questions or concerns can be explored and answered.

Young Adults

Teenagers and young adults respond very well to hypnosis.

Adolescence and puberty can be a quite emotional and challenging time, and coupled with a physical, behavioural or emotional problem it can sometimes take its toll on the teenager's well-being.

The young adult mind will be just as creative and innovative in hypnosis, but it will be a cross between the child and the adult mind. There will be much more concern about how they are relating to the world outside the parental parameters.

If a young adult is still suffering from child-like symptoms like bed-wetting, thumb sucking, hair pulling, etc., the discomfort associated with the social acceptance of their peers will be tested during this time, and therefore, they will be quite willing to tackle the problem itself.

Parental consent is not needed for treatment if the teen is over 18 years old.
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Enuresis (bed wetting)
Night terrors | Sleep problems
Thumb sucking
Memory enhancement
Nail biting
Self-esteem | Confidence building
Nose picking
Performance (public speaking, acting, singing, reciting.
Hair pulling
Exam nerves
Skin picking
Body acceptance
Phobias (animals, swimming, flying
Nervous tension | Anxiety
Effects of bullying