Helping Children with Hypnosis
I completed a hypnosis course a year or so ago and although I haven't really attempted to hypnotize anyone apart from my two adult children, I still imagine that I will get an opportunity and the confidence to try one day. Hypnosis can be used to help people overcome phobias and help them give up unwanted habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption overeating etc. When the hypnotist is able to encourage the client into a suitably deep trance suggestions made can be absorbed more readily by the subconscious mind.
Children can be easy to engage as they have great imaginations. When describing visual scenes to them they often see these without any trouble. That being said some children are not so easy to keep on track and can be rather frustrating for the hypnotherapist. It is important to always have a parent present if attempting to hypnotize a child.
Often it is better to get the parent to perform the hypnotic suggestions themselves when the child is drifting off to sleep. This is called 'sleep talk'. I did try this at times on one of my children when he was young long before I did the course. I'm not sure whether I had seen it on TV or just thought it might work. I have been interested in hypnosis for many years and always enjoyed watching the likes of Paul McKenna.
Sleep talk can be employed for problems such as be wetting and fear of dogs. The best time to try this is a few minutes after the child has closed their eyes to go to sleep. They should still have enough awareness to hear what you are saying but not wake up. To check if he/she is at the right stage say "Stay asleep - child's name - keep your eyes closed and listen to me. Stay asleep and listen to me. Nod if you can hear me. Keep going until he/she nods his head. If he doesn't nod he may be too far asleep, but it wouldn't hurt to try anyway.
The suggestions you make need to be in the present tense and positive. Use a quiet kind but confident voice.
Continue on with something like - "That's good - child's name - please listen to me very carefully. Tonight and every night after this when you need to go to the toilet, you find you can wake easily, get up and walk to the toilet and go there, instead of in your bed. You want to keep your bed dry and now that you are growing up you find it much easier to wake up enough to get out of bed any time you feel like you need to go to the toilet.
Every time you have a dry night you are feeling very pleased with yourself for knowing when you need to wake up and go the the toilet during the night. You are proud that you are keeping clean and dry. You are trying much harder and you are doing much better now.
Child's name - have a comfortable sleep and sleep lightly now, knowing that in the morning you will wake up being very happy with yourself for trying so hard, doing really well and waking up to visit the toilet whenever you need to during the night. Sleep now - child's name.
You can adjust the language to suit your child, but always remember to keep the suggestions in the present tense, as if these changes are already taking place and keep them positive. Use do words instead of don't.
In the case of fear of dogs there needs to be a balance between being too friendly with them and being petrified. You would start off the same checking how asleep the child is and then make suggestions like...
You are beginning to like dogs now, the nice friendly ones - whose owners say its alright for you to pat them. Dogs can fun to play with if you play nicely with them. You are always very careful when you meet a new dog. You only pat the dog if the owner is there and they say you can. Some dogs are not friendly so you keep away from the unfriendly dogs or any dogs that are eating or sleeping.
Sleep comfortably now - child's name- knowing that in the morning you will wake up feeling happy and very pleased with yourself for learning to like the friendly fun dogs more and more each day.
You will probably need to repeat this process for a few nights or many until you start to see some positive progress. Its worth trying as it is costing you nothing but time.
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