Working with Children
It is fairly well known amongst hypnotherapists that children are excellent hypnotic subjects. As adults, we lose much of our ability to fantasise and daydream – something children are experts at. Up until around 10 years old, children have little distinction between fantasy and reality, and can usually create imaginative stories and tales with ease. Their imaginative capabilities are, therefore, incredibly useful when it comes to using hypnosis to help a wide range of problems.
Our minds are made up of the conscious mind (logical, rational) and subconscious mind (emotion, behaviour), which are separated by a kind of gatekeeper called the Conscious Critical Faculty (CCF). The CCF filters out anything unwanted that it perceives might harm us (although sometimes it also gets it wrong and filters out the good things!). However, children don’t develop the CCF until between 10 and 12 years. As a result, up to this age they accept everything at face value and their belief systems are very susceptible to suggestion.
Think of the situation whereby a child has fallen over and hurt their knee – the mother calms them by giving them a “healing kiss” and, as if by magic, the child’s knee automatically begins to feel better. This is an example of waking hypnosis being used by a mother, whether she consciously realises it or not.
In children over 12 years old, behavioural change can still take place, as the beauty of hypnotherapy as a treatment method is that it bypasses the CCF and communicates directly with the subconscious, that is, the part of the mind responsible for the behaviour or symptom in the first place. As a rule, hypnosis will generally not be effective with children under the age of 5. This is due to the inability to build the necessary rapport, as well as the fact that children of this age prefer not to close their eyes or sit still for long periods of time.
When we consider that many emotional problems we suffer from as adults have their root in childhood experiences and environment, it makes sense to ensure our children’s issues are dealt with as and when they arise. As a child’s mind is not fully developed, they believe that anything bad that happens is somehow their fault in one way or another: the father who leaves home, the mother who pays them no attention, the child who does badly in their school grades.
Some examples of the way hypnosis can help children and adolescents are:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Lack of self-esteem
- Learning difficulties, including dyslexia
- Destructive behaviour
- Fears and phobias, particularly injections or visiting the dentist
- Habits, including bedwetting and thumb sucking
- Chronic pain
- Weight control
- Relationship problems, perhaps with a step-parent or sibling
This is just a small selection of symptoms & conditions that hypnosis can help with, we can help with many more.
The benefits of hypnotherapy don’t just end when the child begins feeling better. Self-hypnosis techniques can be taught to both parents and children alike and children can be taught to express themselves, either verbally, or through creative methods, such as drawing or writing.
Hypnosis works by empowering the child, rather than taking any control away from them, by allowing them to develop the necessarily skills to deal with any difficulties they may face in the future.
Please call our therapist to discuss your concerns and see how we can help on:
01252 216 166