Welcome to my first post about children’s hypnotherapy! Whether you’re a parent or primary carer looking for information about your child or a therapist who wishes to use hypnosis with children, you’ll find plenty of useful information about children’s hypnotherapy here. If there are any topics you’d like me to cover, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I guess a useful starting point is, why hypnotherapy for children? I’ve long had an interest in hypnotherapy and have been working as a hypnotherapist for over ten years now. In the early days – despite having two children and despite receiving requests for child hypnosis – I didn’t work with children. Why? Firstly, I hadn’t received any training into how to working hypnotherapeutically with children. Secondly, I was worried about the legal issues of working with children – it was a case of, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Finally, when I did work with a friend’s child using hypnosis for a phobia, the session didn’t go that brilliantly. Somehow, I’d expected the child to respond to hypnotherapy like a ‘mini-adult’ and – when they didn’t and I felt that the session hadn’t been fully successful – I didn’t work with children again for some time.
I still received enquiries though and, as I saw the huge benefit hypnosis brought to my own children when facing a range of issues, I decided to research into children’s hypnotherapy. And I’m so glad I did!
Working with children in a state of hypnosis is very different to working with adults (which is probably why my first attempt wasn’t that successful). But when a hypnotherapist has been trained and knows what he or she is doing, it’s possible to receive the most incredible results with children. In fact, hypnotherapy is so well suited to working with children it would be hard to imagine a better way of treating them therapeutically.
Hypnosis – contrary to popular depictions on film and television – is not about mind control or making a child do anything against their own will. In fact, working with a child in a state of hypnosis, allows them to access their own inner resources and come up with solutions in a way which is incredibly empowering for them. Hypnotherapy works with the creative, imaginative mind and stimulates this aspect of the mind to come up with ideas and solutions which are sometimes rejected by the more ‘logical’ mind. Hypnotherapy also involves the hypnotherapist making positive suggestions – based on what a parent and child has told the hypnotherapist they wish to achieve – which are more readily accepted in a state of hypnosis. For instance, if a hypnotherapist told a child that they would feel more and more confident during their next exam (as part of a wider hypnotherapy session) the child would be more ready to accept this as fact than if they were told this in their normal, everyday state of consciousness.
Because hypnotherapy works by utilising the creative, imaginative mind and introducing suggestions when clients are in a receptive state, children make the most ideal clients of all! Spend any time at all with a child and you will notice how they quickly enter in and out of highly imaginative worlds. Notice a child playing with cars, dolls, teddies or pretty much any other toy and see how these toys become characters, with names, goals and stories. You can quickly enter into this world, simply by showing an interest and joining in.
Therapeutically, there is a wealth of potential when you work with children in their imaginative worlds. Instead of just ‘playing’, you can help a child to identify with positive traits in imaginary characters, you can get them to be the hero of their own video game or change the story in their favourite book or film. Using hypnosis, and encouraging children to enter into their imaginative states at a deep level, you can encourage them to identify and work towards a more empowered and positive state.
When I, or my KidsMatters™ therapists, work with children using hypnosis I help them to access their own inner superhero power so that whenever they are in a difficult situation, they imagine and access this inner power. So many kids have found this the most rewarding part of their hypnotherapy session – and it’s a secret power which they can have for the rest of their lives (adults really benefit from having a superpower too!).
Children are so receptive to hearing positive messages as they lack the self-conscious which comes later in life. Personally, I find working with children as rewarding a way to spend my time as I can imagine – what an amazing thought that we can help kids using hypnosis at such an early stage in their lives, and give them the skills which will accompany them into adulthood.
If you would like any more information on becoming a KidsMatters™ hypnotherapist or would like to arrange an appointment for you child, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.