While young people of every generation have inevitably had to face the ongoing challenges of life. In recent years these challenges have taken on new unprecedented forms. These include bullying and cyber bullying, virtual rather than real friendships, sexual abuse, families fragmenting and other social pressures.
The mental health statistics reveal the consequences of these relentless stresses in our children. Thousands of children are on psychiatric medication, especially anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs that are themselves problematic because of their side-effects and largely unknown effects on children’s neurological, physical and social development.
The use of hypnosis with children allows the therapist to absorb and join children in an imaginative experience, working together to alter sensations, change perceptions, shift perspectives, and discover a solution together.
This imaginative experience, combined with the use of post hypnotic suggestions and exercises, helps children learn to apply these new skills and perspectives to future situations.
Clinical hypnosis with children is best described as the deliberate utilisation of this naturally occurring trance-like state – this developmental mandate to use absorption, fantasy and imagination rehearsal – as a way to help a child move forward by discovering his own resources and capabilities, and then more specifically to learn new skills and apply them.
Hypnosis promotes mastery
One of the most tenacious misconceptions about hypnosis is that the person doing the hypnosis is controlling person receiving it. This is based on media depictions and stage hypnotists, swinging pendulum a convincing seemingly reasonable people to do silly things. The opposite tenet is what makes hypnosis with children so powerful: hypnosis is in fact a vehicle that promotes mastery and creates self-control. Using hypnosis, a child can mentally rehearse, physiologically change, cognitively shift, and emotionally regulate. A child who discovers the capacity to go inside and pull out what he needs moves into our uncertain world saying, “I don’t know exactly what will happen next, but I can handle it.”
Hypnosis creates problem solvers who can cope more independently with a variety of challenges, both physical and emotional. A child who must endure repeated blood tests-and has no choice in the matter-can master the ability to make his arm numb, or feel the needle and respond to it in a different way. A child who becomes anxious when a parent leaves them at school can learn independence and find that going to school can be fun. A child who becomes overwhelmed by the chaos and noise level of the typical school bus ride learn how to shift her focus away from the background noise and absorb herself in a positive experience of her choosing. A child who must adapt to her parents’ divorce can, in the context of a session with an attentive therapist, recall the loving support that have helped her in the past, and visualise how she will use them again in her present situation. These abilities taught to a child set the stage for future successes throughout life.
Kenneth is an experienced Paediatric Hypnotherapist who quickly builds rapport with children and understands their unique situations. If you are interested how hypnotherapy can help your child speak to Kenneth now by calling 0431 959 204.