Hypnotherapy for children in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset
There are so many children’s problems that hypnotherapy can help with. Best of all is that children are usually excellent hypnotic clients. They have great imaginations which means that they can experience the state of hypnosis often without having to close their eyes or go through a standard relaxation process as some adults might.
If asked to imagine riding on a magic carpet or being their favourite film character, children usually have no trouble whatsoever and we can use this mental agility to help them create healthier thoughts and feelings.
For example, one 8 year old boy I saw for anxiety was able to feel more confident by imagining his hero, Superman teaching him about being a superhero. In his mind I helped him swap the old frightened image of himself with a new mental movie of him looking and feeling just as confident and commanding as his comic book hero. Relatively simple but really effective!
Mental Health problems in Children
There can be a whole host of stressful events in a child’s life such as relations with siblings, bullying or a specific traumatic event which can contribute to chronic stress, general anxiety or unhealthy habits.
A surprisingly large number of childhood problems stem from unresolved emotional issues. Many children for example, who suffer from Bronchial Asthma are anxious, lack confidence and are dependent on one or both of their parents to an extreme degree.
Allergies are another common problem and allergic reactions are often associated with stress.
The benefits of using Hypnotherapy for children
Along with these physical problems, unhealthy habits such as nail biting, stuttering, and bed wetting can all be addressed by hypnotherapy and although treatment is not always successful, I have seen significant improvements in the vast majority of cases I have dealt with so far at my hypnotherapy practice in Bournemouth.
Sometimes therapy with children moves more quickly for the reason that, unlike adult clients, children have no misconceptions about hypnosis (especially the younger ones) and are therefore a lot more open-minded and less anxious about the process.
What’s really critical is that a good hypnotherapist can teach your child a new and healthier way of coping with the challenges of occasional stress and anxiety.
Children can be taught exactly how to use their imagination to think about problems much more positively. They can also easily learn self-hypnosis and relaxation skills to help them feel happier for the rest of their lives.
Most importantly, as a therapist specializing in anxiety in children, my main goal is to help young people feel more in control of their thoughts and feelings.
Once they have learned the tools and techniques with which to deal more effectively with stress and anxiety, children make remarkable progress in therapy.
My approach to hypnosis for children
Generally speaking the way I work with children is to use a solution-focused therapy approach. This means that I focus on the here and now and what the child wants to experience in the future.
By following a solution focused framework, hypnotherapy for children is entirely safe as there is no ‘going back to the past’ or time spent uncovering past memories.
Some solution-focused questions that I might ask your child (depending on their age of course) in the first session might be:
• In a perfect world what would you like me to help you do?
• If you had three wishes to change the way things are, what would you wish for?
• Suppose Father Christmas came early this year and sorted out this problem and that was his present to you. What would be different in your life?
Therapy for children at Natural Mind Hypnotherapy is all about helping your child understand how they themselves have the ability to make changes to their thoughts and feelings.
The Hypnotherapy session:
Generally speaking, hypnosis for children takes place more quickly than with adults. For very young children I usually find that 30-45 minutes is sufficient but of course it all depends on your child and their concentration and boredom threshold limits!
One thing I have learned is that although a treatment plan is important, working with children is filled with surprises and flexibility is essential. I never presume that an 8 year old will have a short attention span and won’t be able to relax. Sometimes younger children are fantastic at mind and body relaxation and can put their parents to shame!
How many hypnotherapy sessions does a child need?
As with adults, it’s difficult to put an exact number on sessions but an average number would be 3-6. It is not unusual for a child to make tremendous progress after just one or two sessions. Bed-wetting for instance can often be resolved within 3 sessions as can bad habits such as thumb-sucking.
Is there a minimum age?
Hypnotherapy is generally suitable for children aged 5 years and up.
Therapy for Children – tips for parents
• Don’t ever drag your child along to a hypnosis or therapy session! It is vital for parents to set up the appointment so that the child wants to come. I normally suggest that parents say something like;
‘We have spoken to someone who has helped lots of other children stop wetting their bed (or other problem behaviour) and he thinks he could help you too, but only if you want him to help you’
• Do you and your child want the same thing or do you have different agendas? Just as in therapy for adults, if a child lacks the motivation and desire to change then progress is very difficult.
• Use positive language. Never tell a child that he is going ‘back to square one’ if the occasional set-back happens. Saying that your child ‘used’ to have a problem is also so much more helpful than saying that they ‘always wet the bed’ for example.
Hypnotherapy for children is safe, fun and amazingly rewarding for parents, children and therapist. If you would like to talk about your child’s individual challenges why not give me a call or book your free consultation today.
For a taste of what hypnosis feels like and for a free anxiety and stress tip-sheet, you can also download these on the website:)