There are many children’s problems that hypnosis can help with. And the great thing is that children are usually excellent hypnotic subjects. They have such wonderful imaginations that you can induce the hypnotic state easily and rapidly by getting them, for example, to imagine taking off in a space craft or taking part in their favourite television program or video game.
A surprisingly large percentage of childhood complaints are the result of unresolved emotional issues. Many children are anxiety-ridden, lack confidence and are dependent on one or both of their parents to an extreme degree.
Children are great candidates for hypnosis because they don’t have the years of conditioning and resistance which adults have. Because they are used to learning they are often more receptive to trying something new, such as hypnosis. Children are not as prone to question the process. These things make it very easy for a hypnotist to work with them.
Hypnosis can be effective for a large variety of problems, issues and disorders in children. Common ones include learning problems, academic performance, anxiety, bedwetting, self-esteem issues, homework struggles, thumb sucking, and fear of the dark. Also, coping with a traumatic event such as the death of parent or dealing with parents who are divorcing are challenges, which can be helped with hypnosis. Children who struggle with frequent nightmares may benefit from hypnosis too. Hypnosis can also help children feel less anxious when facing a serious medical procedure such as surgery.
Helping Kids Help Themselves with Hypnotherapy
WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?
Hypnosis is a natural mental state of focused attention. Both children and adults experience a hypnotic like state when they are daydreaming. Children also experience this state of mind during imaginative play and story time. Adults may experience similar states during deep prayer, meditation, listening to music, intense exercise, and yoga practice. People report feeling calm and relaxed during hypnosis. Athletes and actors find hypnosis useful to improve their performance. Physical changes in breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure may happen during hypnosis and pleasant sensations of calm and relaxation typically occur. Children and teens can learn to use guided, focused imagery to do self hypnosis if they are self motivated to learn this technique for a concern they want to change, and are open to practicing this approach at home.
In movies and other performance situations, hypnosis is misrepresented to indicate a person is controlling another’s mind and all usual awareness is lost during hypnosis. This is a false depiction of what happens during hypnosis. A person experiencing hypnotherapy will remain self controlled and will not speak or act in a way that is frightening or embarrassing. Hypnotherapy cannot turn anyone into a zombie or change personalities. Consider hypnosis as learning to “daydream on purpose”, and hypnotherapy as an approach that may help simplify and enable achievement of a desired goal by modifying aspects of experience and/or behaviors.
WHAT IS HYPNOTHERAPY?
Hypnosis alone has beneficial effects including stress reduction. Hypnotherapy is a method of treatment that uses hypnosis to accomplish a specific goal by suggesting ways through suggestions, imagery, and metaphors to shift experience, perspective, and self control for desired changes. Guided imagery is a comparable approach. Hypnotherapy gives young people an empowering method to strengthen self control over physical and behavioral problems.
Hypnotherapy is used for a wide range of pediatric issues including behavioral concerns, pain management and coping with chronic disease.
Fears and phobias
Bed Wetting (Nocturnal Enuresis) over 8 years old
Habits such as thumb sucking, nail biting, hair pulling
Tics both motor and vocal/ Tourette’s
Tolerating procedures such as shots, blood tests or other procedures
Recurrent stomach aches
Other chronic pain
COPING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS:
Asthma (to reduce wheezing/stress cycle)
Cancer (for stress, tolerating procedures, pain, nausea)
Typically, skills are learned in the first few visits. Office hypnotherapy is recorded on a family device as practice with listening at home is encouraged along with learning to do self hypnosis independently.
Dr. Elena Man, MD specialist in hypnosis for children.
Here are some links to reseach on the topic of children and hypnosis: