Caring for Children ~ Hypnotherapy and Counselling
Children are at their most imaginative and creative when at a young age and are therefore good candidates for the successful use of hypnotherapy. Inspiring children to use their sense of wonder whilst gently guiding them forward on their own journey can bring positive results, particularly in areas such as bed wetting, aggressive behaviour and speech problems such as stutters (for which I also use vocal coaching). When children have their first difficult experiences, they have no core belief to refer back to and can believe that a statement made about them is true or that an action taken against them, such as a bee sting, will always happen. They will pick up behavioural patterns from those around them which can manifest in later life. They connect with negative feelings far better than adults do and at a time when their physiological and psychological growth are not always at the same point of development, they take on anxiety which is often displayed in unusual behaviour. Hypnotherapy can allow the child to relax, play and daydream in informal trance, whilst working towards a satisfying solution and a happy well-adjusted child and relieved parents.
During a visit to your chosen therapist, children may jump up and move around, act out stories, role playing and generally enjoy themselves under subtly controlled conditions. It is a misconception to believe that hypnotherapy means being deeply in trance, so as to make good progress and children thrive when a more informal approach is used.
What to expect when bringing a child to a hypnotherapy session:
- Step one is for a trusted adult to explain to the child that, just as a doctor looks after their body, the hypnotherapist will be looking after their feelings, that this is a ‘happy place’ to go.
- A responsible and appropriate adult will need to be with the child but at a social distance whilst therapy takes place.
- Once your child has settled, having been made to feel at ease, has had a little chat and asked any questionsthat they might have, then the process can begin. Children will easily drift towards an altered state and connect with the issues to besolved
- Younger children may choose to bring a familiar toy with them, which can be a great comfort and a useful tool within the relating process. Drawing is often used as a helpful medium, for when children find a situation hard to put into words. Also reassuring are as are items which can be ‘felt’ and ‘squeezed’. Some issues may be too painful to express but with the aid of comfort items, those problems may then be sympathetically reached with the aid of such props.
- Many children respond well to cuddly animals when needing to feel secure and time with a gentle, affectionate pet can be provided by us when appropriate, provided the child is allergy free.For those who like sound as a relief to problems, there are fun sound making facilities and I also use singing as a pathway to both relaxation, careful breathing and a feeling of lightness and joyfulness.
- After the ‘exploring’ part pf the appointment, time will be taken to calm and awaken the child with a sense of well-being and comfort. Dependant on the issue, further help may be needed from the therapist in being with the child in another location. For instance, if helping them overcome a fear of something in the outside world.
- If a therapist feels that they are not the right therapist for your child’s situation then all good therapist will refer you to the best colleague possible for your needs.
How young is too young? This should be determined on an individual basis but here are the guidelines that I would follow.
- a) Rising 8 years and over is fine. Children are physiologically able at this age.
- b) Key stage 1 – If the little boy or girl is able to hold a good conversation, has interests and engages well, then hypnotherapy is suitable.
- c) Reception year – Certain techniques might not be used but certainly some children will be able to benefit.
As an EARLY LEARNING YEARS (EYFS) teacher I have covered the care and tuition of all school age children, encountering some alarming issues in those as young as Nursery year. As in all cases, occasionally a referral from a GP to a specialist may be necessary.
PATENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO FILL IN MEDICAL DETAILS FORMS
These will be retained whilst the child continues to have treatment and for as long as the Child Welfare office require them to be kept. We are GDPR safety compliant and certified. We operate ‘BEST PRACTICE’ as advised by the authorities.
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Parents bringing younger people to therapy may be surprised to find that they have passed on the emotional concerns to their child, but the child needs to be able to express their anxiety or anger in their own words or pictures, since they will be experiencing them very differently.
Often with teens and younger children, a yoga, ballet class or martial arts will be of enormous support because the breathing and lift through the body enhances the relaxation process whilst strengthening the core and improving muscle memory.
Please enquire about our dance for anxiety classes and other suggestions for activities which may assist your child.
Opinions differ about download and self-help material but since a child’s personality is still developing, they can be unpredictable. One should consider that a child’s concentration span can vary vastly from one day to the next and that without a therapist present they could be influenced or mis-interpret the intention of the programme.
CBT: This is sometimes used in schools as well as in therapy. It is suitable for some young people but not all. My older students have sometimes expressed that for the more creative natured teenagers, they have felt more stress in being asked to compress their thoughts and feeling into one area, than being able to deal with them in an abstract way. Therapy is always about finding the right treatment for the individual, according to the circumstances and emotions of that child at that specific time of life.