How does hypnosis work for older children?
In a very similar way to how it works with adults. When our body relaxes comfortably and the mind is in a calm, ‘day dreamy’ state, we are said to be in a light state of hypnotic relaxation. Children experience this kind of state many times a day quite naturally; when they are waking from sleep or falling asleep, or just becoming absorbed in thought or in imaginative play. Children have a well-developed sense of imagination and frequently imagine they are Harry Potter, or Spiderman, or whichever hero is currently in vogue.
In this kind of state the inner part of our mind is really receptive to positive suggestion and can come up with creative solutions to problems.
Usually children from ten upwards (sometimes several years younger too) are quite happy to close their eyes and relax and enjoy a guided daydream packed full of positive suggestions for them to ‘act out’ in their imagination. All sessions also include positive suggestions for confidence and self-esteem.
How does hypnosis work with young children?
Basically in a similar way except that younger children don’t necessarily relax much at all; they just see/ feel /hear things in their imagination as guided by me, the therapist. The process is more like engaging in active imagination games which they do with the greatest of ease. Ask them to see their problem as a shape or a color and shrink it or change it, they just do it! Children spend half their lives in their imaginations and here in the consulting room I just get them to use them in a positive way in order to help overcome their problems
Can I come in to the session with them?
Yes, certainly. In the case of young children I always encourage parents to stay, especially for the first session, so your child will feel more at ease. It also puts your mind (as the parent) at ease to see that the process is safe and positive; gentle or fun as appropriate. Sometimes older children prefer to be on their own so they don’t have a sense of ‘being observed’. I recommend you to have a chat with your child and go along with their preferences as even some younger children are quite happy on their own after a first or second session. Also remember that children mature quite differently and can often seem considerably older or younger than their chronological age.
I talk directly to your child rather than just ask you questions about them and generally I ask you to let them answer for themselves rather than jumping in to help them.
How many sessions will they need?
This depends on what the problem is but, in general, hypnotherapy is thought of as a brief strategy with lasting results and most people attend for between two and four sessions. Some issues need only one and others more. We cannot specify in advance exactly how many sessions they will need as it depends on their individual progress but we can give you an estimate based on general response. After each appointment, I will discuss your child’s progress and make a recommendation. They are never asked to come for more sessions than you and I jointly decide they need.