Friday, 30 December 2011

Hypnosis for Children and Teenagers

There are many ill informed opinions in circulation regarding hypnotherapy and hypnosis (read about some of them here) and for that reason hypnosis is not a common treatment for helping young people and children with their problems. However hypnotherapy with children has produced some fantastic results in incredibly rapid treatment times, partly because children have great imaginations and are very suggestible to new ideas meaning healthy and productive instructions can be taken on board both naturally and quickly. Ailsa Frank is a hypnotherapist experienced in working with children and the below post was taken from her excellent website For the full article click here

Hypnotherapy is a safe relaxation which allows children and teenagers to release deep rooted negative beliefs which may have been picked up from television, media, school or family.  These bad feelings can manifest in the child causing bad habits such as nail biting.  Often children worry about things from the news such a robberies and murder working it up in their minds to fear of it happening to them or their family.  Boys and girls from an early age are influenced by body images in the media and begin to aspire to looking a certain way.  This can mean they compare themselves to others often leaving them feeling insecure about themselves. Added to this is exam stress, peer pressure,  sibling rivalry and feeling they don’t fit within the family, this can really affect their performance and confidence.  Hypnosis is a great way to get children back on track with their thinking allowing them to feel good about themselves and the environment they live in.
Up to the age of 5 all children are in a kind of hypnotic state where they believe what they are told as the critical filter in their mind has not developed.  This means every time a child is told they are naughty it is forming part of their core belief system that will shape them for the rest of their lives.  Parents do their best to be positive but there will still be some things that negatively program their children.  Even older children and teens often accept what they are told as the truth. 


A granny can innocently say how a child is chubby which can set a belief of being fat in their mind that can start a life of yoyo diets or eating issues. A teacher may tell a child they are not good at a particular mathematical sum this can knock the child's confidence with mathematics for the rest of their school life and in the end the child may struggle with maths as their self belief is so low. A child that is constantly pushed to work harder or perform better by over keen parents can push the child into a life of never being happy or satisfied with themselves. Hypnotherapy allows these negative beliefs to be released allowing the child or teenager to get on with living a full and rewarding life.  Almost every child can benefit from hypnotherapy.
Many children or teenagers I see have begun to develop physical issues such as tummy pains, headaches, migraines or  fatigue.  Once these are checked by a doctor and no cause is found but the symptoms remain then the aches and pains will usually be stress or emotionally based. Often during a hypnotherapy session the root cause will not be discussed by the child but during the session I work through a series of exercises which will put everything back into prospective and back in place so they can feel comfortable being themselves. One little girl I saw had tummy pains and was off school feeling sick after investigation by the GP it was found she was physically fine. The girl came for hypnotherapy and after one session she was back at school and happy singing at home playing with her sister. The session allowed her to let go of the fears she had at her new school and feel as though she fitted within her class.  She was unaware before the session that this was even a problem but the worries had manifested physically in her body.

What can parents do?

Children pick up your fears and stresses so the first thing you can do is be aware that your words and actions  will be influencing them on a daily basis. Be selective in the material your children see on the television, newspapers, magazines, internet and the way you react to them. Children may appear to be unaffected by scary programmes but they may be lieing awake worrying about death, monsters, burglars or the world ending through global warming.  It is common for children to be troubled by nightmares which they keep secret from everyone. Children want to please parents and often do things they do not like just to make a parent happy, make sure you teach them to be themselves and have their own ideas about what activities they want to do. Learning to make a simple decision at an early age will teach them the skills they need to be able to make decisions as an adult and have confidence in their own opinions and choices. A simple decision on what to wear or which after school activity to do as a child will grow confidence in them to make the right decision on which property to buy and which job to take when they grow up. You learnt your parenting skills from your parents or carers some of which will have been good and other parts will not have been for your benefit so be aware not to pass on the negative traits to your children.
An 8 year old girl who came to me about anxiety turned out to be worried about burglars, when i asked her why she told me that her Mum was constantly checking the doors and windows were locked as she feared the house would be broken into. From the parents point of view checking the doors was a natural thing to do but from the childs point of view the mothers nervousness around the task had stressed the child who now no longer felt safe.  It is easy to see this from this example but in everyday busy lives it is not so easy to identify the problem.
Teach your children to cook.  I believe one of the most rewarding experiences for children is cooking and it is an important life skill for their good health.  If you can't cook yourself then join a class together. All children want is quality time with parents.  If you have more than one child make arrangements to spend time individually with each one this will bond your relationship forever.

Examples of what not to do:

"I was made to learn an instrument as a child so you will have to get on with it as I did"  You hated it so don't make them do things they hate it will cause resentment and will damage your relationship when they grow up.
"My son hates martial arts but it is good for his confidence."  This will knock his confidence as he needs to do something he believes in and do it for himself not for you. Learning to be hurt by knocks and be thrown to the floor is only confidence building if the child enjoys it otherwise it is just terrifying.
"You are so talented you must carry on"  Just because a child has a talent in something it is not right to push them if they really don't want to do the activity.  Find something they do want to do and you will see they have other talents.  Parents fears getting in the way of what is right for a child.  The childs instinct is the best judge of all.  Listen to your child and hear what they say. 
"I always use positive language with my children I told my daughter it is not a tumour in your tummy so you can stop worrying." The child never thought it could be a tumour but now she is worrying that it was a possibility, she may lie awake thinking she might get ill. I recommend parents have a hypnotherapy session for themselves to restore balance to their stress levels and get their mind working in a positive way to bring the best out of themselves and their children creating a harmonious home. The biggest influence on your child is yourself and how you interact with the world and respond to life.

Common reasons for children to seek help with hypnotherapy: 

  • Fears and Phobias
  • Loss of a loved one such as a Grandparent
  • Worries/stress (worries of the world, environment, news, safety of themselves and their family)
  • M.E./ Fatigue symdrome
  • Exam/Study  (Good exam memory recall and study focus)
  • Common entrance exam confidence
  • School entry exam confidence
  • Audition confidence
  • Confidence
  • Sports performance
  • Body image
  • Eating issues
  • Stress and fatigue
  • Bullying
  • Low self esteem
  • Peer pressure
  • Wanting to please parents
  • Sibling rivalry
  • Stuttering
  • Fears (thunderstorms)
  • Nail biting
  • Dentist fears
  • Bad dreams/ nightmares
  • Emotional issues
  • Anger

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