Children possess an openness to the unknown and embrace the power of their imagination, making child hypnotherapy a powerful tool for positive change. As we get older, childhood fantasies often give way for the practical demands of logic and evidence. Child hypnotherapy taps into this imaginative world to bolster self-esteem and confidence by crafting engaging narratives, guiding young minds through empowering journeys.
Understanding children's challenges
Children perceive the world uniquely as they develop emotionally and cognitively. Some lack the vocabulary, while others fear consequences of speaking out. As children often struggle to express emotions, this can to behavioural issues such as bedwetting or perceived ‘bad behaviour’.
Our unconscious minds store learned behaviours, both positive and negative. Our brains seek to protect us, forming pathways based on available evidence. Emotional connections, like using sweet things as a treat or a way to soothe sadness, can lead to patterns like emotional eating in later life.
When parents separate the child to blame themselves and issues may take root early that can have a long-lasting impact.
Child hypnotherapy can intervene at the right time, offering alternative pathways to reframe thinking.
Reflect on your habits—how many trace back to your childhood?
The benefits of child hypnotherapy
Child hypnotherapy addresses a range of challenges—both mental and physical. It assists with issues such as bedwetting, family transitions like divorce, selective eating, OCD, phobias, stress, anxiety, grief, addictions, exam anxiety, confidence, traumas, self-esteem, and anger.
As always consulting a GP first is recommended as there may be deeper psychological issues or medical conditions. Hypnotherapy introduces fresh perspectives, encouraging change. Working with children differs from adults. Children lack decision-making autonomy, relying on caregivers.
Hypnotherapists need skills to create safe spaces, explain processes without inducing fear, and tailor sessions accordingly using activities that the young person can engage with easily.
Hypnotising children: Practical insights
Child hypnosis generally focuses on those aged 6 to 12. Most children in this range are direct receivers—highly suggestible. They enter hypnosis quickly and easily. However, willingness to change is crucial, just as with adults.
Children older than 12 typically benefit from standard hypnotherapy or perhaps a bended approach, and it varies from person to person. Children spend much time in an alpha brainwave state, similar to hypnosis, especially up to age 8.
Children's vivid imaginations lend well to hypnosis. Play, hand puppets, and stuffed animals effectively engage children, and they are always using their imagination and can quickly and easily go with the suggestions provided. They find it easy to imagine for example their mind-body control room, where they can make changes and adjustments! They describe this place in great detail without much prompting.
Prior to any hypnosis, we have a chat, perhaps directly about the challenge they face, or about life more generally, what they like how they want to feel etc. We build trust by explaining the process it is essential both parent/caregivers and the child comprehend hypnotherapy's potential and expectations are managed.
Sessions are typically a bit shorter (approximately 45 minutes).
Prioritizing child safety
Safety and ethical practices are vital so always select a hypnotherapist with Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Certificates and that are accredited by a body such as the National Council for Hypnotherapy that ensures adherence to ethical codes and standards.
Empowering children through hypnotherapy
Acting early to address negative thoughts and behaviours can be hugely beneficial in the longer term. Engaging in open communication with young people, whether through hypnotherapy or talking therapies, cam help reshape perspectives.
Child hypnotherapy bridges imagination and reality, leading to genuine change. It empowers children to face challenges with resilience and creativity and can make a big difference.
Get in touch to learn more about child hypnotherapy and its benefits.
Malcolm Struthers Hypnotherapy - Dumfries & Galloway and online