Working with Children using Hypnotherapy
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is completely safe to use with children. I can work with children aged 7 years and older, helping with a wide variety of issues including: Bedwetting†, General anxiety, Separation anxiety, Various fears and phobias, Study and exam related stress, Bullying, School Phobia, Thumb sucking, Nail biting and other compulsive habits, Childhood Tics, Selective eating, Anger problems, Feelings of Shame and Blame, Lack of confidence and Poor Self-esteem, Depression, Self-harm and body image issues. † It is always best to have seen a GP for advice for some issues such as bedwetting to rule out any medical reasons.
What will happen?
With teenagers, the process is similar to that used with adults. With children the process is much more about active engagement of the mind. It is not unusual for children to keep their eyes open and move around. Hypnotherapy with children is very similar to what we could call an active daydream. I use stories, metaphors and activities that the child will enjoy, and I include details that are specific to the child’s interests. We might be imagining superheroes, unicorns, star wars or anything else that the child is passionate about.
Your first session
Before meeting with the child I will talk to the parent or carer about the presenting issue, I find it is best to do this without the child present so you feel you can talk freely without concern. I will help you to understand how I can help your child and what will be involved.
During our first session with the child I will talk to them about what they would like to be different, I will help them to understand what is happening in their brain that can make them think, feel and behave in the way they do and I will explain to them what will happen in each session.
Each session that will follow will start with a discussion on what has been good about their previous week. We will explore how they want things to be different and what things they can do to help move themselves in that direction. We will then use stories, metaphors and visualisation. This can be a fun way of accepting positive suggestions and making creative changes.
How can I support my child in between sessions?
I will give you a download that your child should listen to before they go to sleep at night. This will help with the process, it will help to calm their mind before sleep and it will reinforce the work that we do each time we meet. It will also be most useful if you can help your child to make a note of all the good things they have experienced in between each session and we will talk about those things each time we meet.
I also offer Solution Focused Family Sessions. This would follow a schedule that incorporates members of the child’s family into the sessions with the child on a fortnightly basis. One week I will see the child on their own, the following week I will see the child with family members. This can help to break the cycle of negative thinking that family members can also find they get trapped in when having to manage the challenges their child presents with on a daily basis. It can help to reinforce the work I do with the child if family members also feel more positive, calmer, in control, confident and motivated.
Are there any side effects with hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is completely safe and natural. The general side effects that most children report are feeling more confident and happier than they did before.
Can I be with my child during each session?
Of course, this can be particularly helpful for younger children who may be more anxious if you leave. However, it is important that I take the child’s lead on this one and if they would prefer to see me on my own, there is a room next door that you can wait in. This can be more relevant for older children and teenagers.
Whilst you can be present in each session my focus and attention will be on the child. It is important that I hear in their own words what they want to focus on as I will use this when helping them to visualise something more positive.