Hypnosis And Children
Did you know that children as young as three years old can respond to hypnosis – often even more effectively than adults! Hypnosis is very natural and comfortable for children, due to the fact that they tend to have such vivid imaginations, and are very comfortable using them. Children are constantly “exercising” their imaginations – such as when playing “pretend” or reading stories.
Being asked to “imagine” a favorite scenario is calming and soothing for them. Unlike some adults, children do not see anything strange or unusual about using their imagination for age-appropriate visualization. They generally enjoy the relaxation techniques that are used to establish a hypnotic trance.
Supportive positive suggestions also work well with young ones, who will respond quickly and easily to guidance while under hypnosis. A qualified, experienced hypnotherapist, who is comfortable and familiar working with children, will produce the best results.
According to Robert Shacter*, a clinical psychologist at New York‘s Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, a trained hypnotherapist may start attempting hypnosis with children at 5 years of age, although it is possible to achieve positive results with even younger children. Common childhood issues such as bedwetting, separation anxiety, and pain control are among the many issues that can easily be controlled with hypnosis.
He points out that parents can play a valuable role in supporting their children. Some children respond so well to hypnosis sessions, that they can be taught to self-hypnotize, using specially designed hypnosis scripts that are written for young children. Children who are hyperactive can also benefit from hypnosis scripts – as this provides them with a drug-free method of focusing their mind, and gently calming themselves down.
It seems extraordinary that such an incredibly useful tool such as hypnosis is not more readily available – especially for children whose small, maturing bodies are especially vulnerable to the harmful side effects of medication. Although still viewed by many as an obscure alternative therapy, hypnotherapy is slowly becoming mainstream as more and more parents are searching for a holistic way of providing treatment and care for their children.
Just ask Rick and Linda. Their two boys aged 10 and 8 both suffer from attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity. Even on stimulant medication, the pair struggled at school, often getting into trouble due to their inability to sit still and concentrate. Finally, desperate to find something that would help, Rick and Linda took their boys to a licensed hypnotherapist.
Although they still take the drug Ritalin, both boys have improved considerably. “They’re no longer bouncing out of their seats,” says Linda. “The calming techniques they learned during hypnosis have made an incredible difference at school!”