“Will my child be unconscious?”

“Will my child be in a trance?”

“Will my child remember everything afterwards?”

“Will hypnotherapy for my child be dangerous?”

These, and many more, are the type of questions I get asked about my therapy for children every single day! But it’s natural isn’t it. I mean, we want our child to be safe in the hands of a therapist just as we would if the child were having his appendix out, safe in the hands of the surgeon!

Watching various TV programmes over the years, about stage hypnosis and hypnosis for entertainment etc. It’s no wonder parents would be wary of sending their little one to me! Therefore, I always ensure I have explained EVERYTHING about hypnotherapy to them before they arrive in my clinic!

So, what is hypnosis?

The dictionary states:

“the induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction. Its use in therapy, typically to recover suppressed memories or to allow modification of behaviour by suggestion, has been revived but is still controversial.”

However, a much simpler explanation is:

When you drive on a motorway and reach your exit junction but don’t remember passing the last two or three junctions, you think “where the heck has my mind been for the past ten minutes?”

That’s hypnosis!

So how do I convince parents that it’s safe to work with children?

Well, I explain to them that children up to the age of about 8 or 9 – live mainly in their subconscious minds. They are quite often in what mum or dad would call “a bit of a dream world” which is great isn’t it! So, when I work with kids, I can just ask them to go into their imagination and imagine something wonderful – they can go on a journey to a wonderful place – and of course, whilst they are doing that and relaxing, I can then put really positive suggestions to them.

Most of the children I treat are suffering with some form of anxiety. They may present with symptoms such as bedwetting, or stool holding, picky eating, fears and phobias, but the deep root cause is usually anxiety.

It’s my job then to establish what is causing the anxiety. It could be that the child has seen something on the news, or, heard something on the radio with regard to terrorism or war – then becomes totally fearful about his loved ones dying or being really ill.  Perhaps, someone has been bullying him at school and he doesn’t know how to deal with it, so he starts wetting the bed at night. There are so many different reasons!

However, these are all little problems that can be treated rapidly with hypnotherapy. It’s when they are left – things can get out of hand.

Parents worry that I am going to “take control of their child’s mind” but, what I’m doing is giving the child the control back that they have lost!

The best way of describing hypnosis is as a state of complete emotional engagement in some activity – like when you see a little child totally transfixed by a story or a film or even on an iPad! They may be extremely calm and relaxed, or they could be quite fidgety, but they are totally living in their imagination!

Of course, hypnotherapy is not always about curing a phobia or getting rid of the anxiety – it can also be great for motivating a child to study or being able to do that movement on the beam at the gym club that he’s been a little wary of doing! Putting positive suggestions into the subconscious mind and allowing the child to move forward is what its all about!

I first knew that I really wanted to work with children and their little minds many years ago whilst I was a registered nurse, specialising in paediatrics. I used to watch how the child reacted all the time and I made a point of really noticing if he was scared or missing his mummy – even then at the ripe old age of 21 I was very aware of the psychological needs of children, especially in hospital. I would play with some little glove puppets with the child whilst the doctor may have been taking his blood or giving him an injection of some sort. What do I do now during a hypnotherapy session with a child? You got it – I use glove puppets and do role play!

So you see, hypnotherapy in children isn’t scary, it’s the most gentle, safest therapy for children that you could possibly have and the results speak for themselves!

If you’d like any more information on childhood hypnotherapy then make sure to get in touch on 0203 888 7173, I’d love to discuss how it might help your family!

Thanks to Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash for the image.

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