Do you know that children are highly responsive to hypnosis? Many people don’t realise that hypnotherapists like myself see many children in their practice. Not all hypnotherapists see children but I have a particular interest in children, being a mom of small children myself. We use a very different technique when working with children.

Hypnotherapy works with children from about the age of 4 up to about 12. After the age of 12 we use a blended technique that incorporates some of the techniques used with adults with the techniques used for children. From approximately the age of 16 most teenagers will do a regular session that is tailored to their experiences.

The younger age groups are highly responsive to hypnosis. This is partially because they don’t have all the “stuff” that we have and they tend to work more clearly to their subconscious. They also have quicker and more easily accessible imaginations and this helps the process along. We usually will do 1 – 2 sessions with a small child and that is sufficient.

The technique that I like to use with children is the “story time” technique. In these sessions we discover all the interests and hobbies of the child, their favourite superheros, story characters, princesses or animals. I then weave their favourite characters and themselves into a story that is just for them. The story contains all the helpful suggestions for the presenting issue. The experience of the child is that they are in relaxed state and hearing a really nice story that they really enjoy. The technique is so gentle and beautiful and yields excellent results.

Some of the presenting concerns that parents bring children to hypnosis for are: concentration issues, anxiety, depression, compulsive habits, behaviour. A major issue that I see often is bed wetting and children often will stop bed wetting about 90% of the time with hypnosis. I also give an audio for the child so they can have reinforcement before they go to sleep at night.

There are many different presenting concerns that hypnosis can help with. I once saw a 6 year old child, who due to family trauma, had stopped speaking and had not spoken for over a year. It was such a sad case. Happily, after the hypnosis, the little one started talking again, hesitantly, but the speech had returned and was able to be built upon. This was such a wonderful moment for everyone.

Hypnosis can also be used for fears and phobias in children – such as fear of the dentist or recurrent nightmares.

When working with children I take a case history from the parents but we ultimately use the words and concerns of the child in the actual hypnosis. This is because all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and using this technique the child feels in control and empowered and this contributes to a good result.