Hypnotherapy can be used to deal with a wide range of issues. It’s particularly effective with children and adolescents because it can tap into their imagination and utilise their ability to create vivid imaginary experiences to facilitate change.
Using a gentle state of hypnotic relaxation similar to a day-dream state the child’s boundless creativity is engaged to create solutions to problems they may be experiencing and to help them recognise alternative ways of perceiving events and processing emotions. While in this state the child will respond acceptingly to positive suggestions about topics that were discussed during the counselling portion of the session.
Hypnotherapy can be used to increase the child’s awareness of their body’s signals and has had remarkable success in helping children overcome bed-wetting. In rare cases bedwetting can be a sign of a medical problem such as urinary infection, so it’s important to have it checked for an underlying physical cause just in case. Bed-wetting can run in families, it may be happening because the child is not yet producing enough of the hormone which reduces the amount of urine produced by the body overnight. Bed-wetting can become a source of anxiety with the child worrying about wetting the bed, avoiding sleepovers, dreading school camps, and anxiety can then exacerbate the problem.
If bed-wetting has occurred suddenly after the child has been dry at night for an extensive period there is almost always either a physical reason or emotional stress or anxiety. Some examples of background issues that trigger bed-wetting are: a new baby, bullying/problems at school, breakdown of a friendship, family issues, a death of someone close or even a family pet, a change of home or school. Children love routine and familiarity, anything which disrupts the stability of their lives can potentially be a trigger for changes in their behaviour.
If you keep a record of what’s happening you may detect a pattern that wasn’t immediately obvious. It may be routine related e.g. does it happen the night before gym class, is it related to bed time, who put them to bed.
The important thing to recognise is that it’s not deliberate, so it’s important not to make it a big issue to the child, as frustrating as it may be.
Hypnotherapy will help the child to feel less anxious, boost their self-esteem and build a confidence in their ability to control their body even when asleep, by building an awareness of their bodies signals and their facility to respond to them.
Nail biting is another issue that Hypnotherapy can effectively be used to eliminate, again through awareness, sense of control and reduction in anxiety.
Behavioural issues can be addressed in Hypnotherapy through exploring the consequences of behaviour in a safe controlled environment through guided imagery and story. The hypnotherapist can facilitate stories and provide alternative plot lines and endings, which open the child’s mind to the benefits of alternative behaviours. In my experience reinforcing positive behaviour is far more effective than aversion therapy.
A lot of childhood issues and habits stem from problems with confidence and anxiety. Hypnotherapy can be used to boost your child’s self-esteem through positive affirmation and ego strengthening. This is done through the power of story while the child is in their most suggestible state. The counselling part of the session is used to understand the childs issue from their perspective and to hear it described in their language. This information is then reframed in solution based language and communicated back to the child in their own language during the hypnosis component of the session. Children respond extremely well to metaphors, so often the suggestions made to them during hypnosis are indirect but highly meaningful because they incorporate stories and characters that the child relates to.
Did you know that children are highly suggestible as they are falling asleep? A good tip to boosting your child’s confidence is to be there as they are falling asleep, telling them how much they are loved and affirming that their world is a secure safe place. Your words will resonate more with your child at this time than at any other because as they drift off to sleep their critical factor is switching off and they are more open to suggestions that align with their values.
Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina spent many years working in senior management in the Corporate world, before leaving to pursue her passion to become a Therapist.
Melbourne Hypnotherapy Blog
Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person