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  • Jenna @ North Park Hypnotherapy

Is Hypnotherapy safe for children?

Short answer YES!

Generally it is easier to work with children and adolescents because they have fewer misconceptions about hypnotherapy than adults and have great imaginations for metaphors and visualisations. This means the sessions often progress quicker than those with adults. After all children are constantly role playing and imagining they are knights or nurses.

The biggest difference is the structure of the sessions and how long the sessions can realistically be which is determined by the age of the child. Younger children are less likely to be able to stay relaxed for long periods of time and so the techniques used are more conversational in style as the interactions keeps them interested and helps build a stronger rapport. Sessions can be unpredictable like children are and sometimes they will be able to reach a deep relaxed condition and then the next session they may want to have a more active interaction. It will work all the same.

The main point is that the child needs to want to come to a session, if they feel like they are being dragged along they are more likely to resist any treatment offered. So parents should try saying to a child that they have found someone who helps lots of other children to stop sucking their thumb or helping them keep their beds dry at night (whatever the presenting issue is) and that they believe they can help you too, but only if you want to. By allowing the child to choose will result in the child being more willing to participate. Older children are more capable of understanding the concept of a ‘inner mind’ so the language you use to explain is very important.

For parents the biggest hurdle is understanding that the hypnotherapist ultimately is there to help the child and what they would like to achieve and this may be different to what the parent wants. For example a child may be happy to improve their behaviour at school so as not to get in trouble, whereas the parents may want to stop the behaviour at home as well. It would be unlikely for the child to accept the parents suggestion as it is different to what they want to achieve. So the therapist would work collaboratively with children and parents to discuss any discrepancies beforehand.

Like adults hypnotherapy for children can help in many areas from self-esteem, sleeping problems, tics and habits, anxiety, nocturnal enuresis and behavioural problems. It can also help with learning and exams which seems to be an increasing issue experienced by older children. It’s also safe to use for children as young as 4-5 depending on the child and the presenting Issue. Hypnotherapy for some children can be a more effective therapy especially if they are struggling with physical symptoms or find it difficult to express their needs or wants. It can also support children through challenges as a release for intense emotions which they may be struggling to deal with and find difficult to talk about.

So whatever the presenting issue is, hypnotherapy may be able to support you and your child.

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