How does it work?
Children are generally very open to the process of hypnotherapy due to their willingness to use their creative imagination. One minute they might be Harry Potter, the next minute a Dalek or a dinosaur. This creativity and immersion in their inner world is utilised within hypnotherapy and is used to help the child focus on changing any unwanted behaviour or habit.
Childhood anxiety, which according to some authorities is on the rise, could also be seen as a by-product of an active imagination which focuses on negative imagery. A skilled hypnotherapist is able to harness that ability and support a child in learning how some thoughts and images are unhelpful and give them tools to refocus in a positive way.
Do make sure that your child is comfortable with the therapist as this is vital in engaging them fully in the process. Some children are not comfortable with closed eyed hypnosis and this is not always necessary. Open eyed hypnosis is just as effective as long as the child is focused on and sometimes even acting out positive suggestions for change. Other children are happy to sit back and get all sleepy, enjoying a time for relaxation and daydreaming.
As a parent, what should you do first?
If you are considering approaching a hypnotherapist for any issue related to your child, it is best to speak to the therapist first about whether they can help before the initial visit with your child. As for developing a willingness from your child, I would encourage parents to say something along the lines of ” I know a lady/man who has helped a lot of children with (insert the issue) and she/he really thinks she/he could help you too. What do you think? Would you like to try a visit just to see if you feel good about trying this? ”
A child really needs to be open to seeing a therapist, any force or coercion will produce resistance to the process which is very difficult to overcome.
What childhood issues can be treated with clinical hypnotherapy?
Many physical and emotional childhood conditions can respond favourably to hypnotherapy including:
Nocturnal Enuresis (Bedwetting)
Learning and Exams
Obsessive Thoughts and Compulsive Actions
Encopresis (Soiling underwear or passing faeces in inappropriate places)
Thumb or Finger Sucking
This list is not exhaustive as many other conditions respond well to hypnotherapy.
For any physical condition, or severe psychological condition, it is highly advisable to visit your GP first to rule out any medical treatment. When you decide on an intervention using hypnotherapy it is best to inform your GP to see if they consider any reason why it could be inappropriate.