Hypnotherapy for children and teenagers

What sorts of problems are typical for children?

These problems are very common and, depending on the cause, usually respond very well to hypnotherapy:
Bedwetting, General anxiety, Separation anxiety, Various fears and phobias with fear of dogs being the most common, Study and exam related stress, School bullying, Thumb sucking, Nail biting and various compulsive habits, Childhood Tics, Selective eating, Anger problems, Lack of confidence and Poor Self-esteem.

These are less common but, sadly, increasingly seen in my consulting room:
Body image anxiety, School refusal, Selective mutism, Depression, Self-harm, Various OCD behaviours, Severe constipation and withholding, Defecating in underwear

Thank you so much for stopping my panic attacks Lynda!
You’re amazing!

I think Lynda’s the best!
She helps me get to sleep every night listening to her!’

How does hypnotherapy work with children?

With teenagers, the process is fairly similar to that used with adults. With children and very young ones the process is much more about active engagement of the mind. You could describe it as a highly focused, daydream-like state which is sometimes relaxing but it is also very common that eyes are open with plenty of wriggling around!

I use lots of imaginative activities, metaphors and stories. All of these need to be age-appropriate of course and also matched to a particular child’s interests, attention span and personality. And, naturally, difficulties such as ADHD and high functioning autism also need to be taken very much into account when choosing the type of activity.

Is there any on-going support between sessions?

I am passionate about recording tailor-made audios (CDs or MP3s) for on-going support at home for no extra fee. I record the positive suggestions and guided visualisation element of the session to reinforce the effect. The more they listen, usually at bedtime, the more effective the result. Regular listening helps them drift off to sleep calmly and peacefully and can also reduce the number of face-to-face visits required. It is also possible to purchase my published MP3s and CDs from our online shop

How do I choose the right hypnotherapist for my child?

You should always choose a hypnotherapist who has training and experience in working with children and belongs to a well-respected professional association. Read more detail in the FAQs

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FAQ Hypnotherapy for Children

What experience do you have in working with children?

I am a former teacher and have more than 20 years’ experience in clinical hypnosis with children and teenagers. I also train other hypnotherapists how to work with children so you can be sure your child will be in safe hands.
I am also the author of the book for professionals ‘Scripts & Strategies in Hypnotherapy with Children’. Read the praise from other experts on the Books page.

Is hypnotherapy safe? Are there any side-effects?

In the hands of an expert, hypnotherapy is completely natural and safe. Generally, the side effects noticed are that children report feeling happier and more confident than ever before.

Can I speak to you about my child before making an appointment?

Yes, I have a talk with you on the phone about whatever problem your child is experiencing and we discuss how I can help. I’m very happy to answer your questions. I explain what we will be doing in the session so you know what to expect and also explain how you can support the work I do between sessions.

How do children and young people respond?

They are normally great to work with because they are in the learning phase of their lives, open-minded and imaginative.

Can I be in the session with my child?

Yes, certainly. You are very welcome to be with us so you know just what is happening and usually younger children prefer you to be there. It has to be said though that teenagers often feel more comfortable and less self-conscious on their own.

Do I actually take part in the session?

Although you are with us, my focus is actually on chatting directly to your child, so please don’t be offended! I need to listen to what they themselves are thinking and feeling about things. At the same time I’m picking up on the language they use to express themselves so I can make the imaginative visualisations more meaningful to them.

What happens in the session?

I allow plenty of time for us to talk about the problem and how that is affecting them at the moment and, very importantly, how they would really like things to be instead. We talk about how that would be different and so much better for them.
Then I choose from a range of techniques to tailor-make the treatment for your child / teenager. These could include metaphors, stories and visualisations, for example imagining their brain is like a super powerful iPad and getting them to delete all unwanted worries and download a new improved confidence program. This can be an active and fun way of accepting positive suggestions and making creative changes … and good news for the lively, wriggly ones!
I normally record the second part which is more relaxing, gentle and ‘day-dreamy’ when their minds are completely engaged in a guided visualisation, seeing themselves thinking, feeling and behaving just like they really want to.

How do I choose the right hypnotherapist for my child?

You should always choose a hypnotherapist who has training and experience in working with children and belongs to a well-respected professional association such as the ones I belong to below. Have a chat with them first as it is important for you, and particularly for your child, to feel comfortable and at ease Any reputable therapist will be very happy to discuss their experience, training and qualifications with you.

British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH), National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH),
The Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, (APHP) General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR).