In my experience this is definitely the best way to go!
Last week I was explaining that for very young children I record tailor-made hypnotic stories for them to listen to at bedtime and I said that these stories would contain some different specific elements.
So, what are some of these different elements?
Let’s have a look at some of them with a few examples.
Tone of voice, rhythm, emphasis on certain words, and the power of linked suggestion are crucial elements
I use a gentle tone of voice with a subtle change of emphasis when a sentence contains an important suggestion. For example with a child who is frightened of sleeping alone in their bed I might include ‘each time you put your head on the pillow you will feel safe and relaxed’. Or for a child who is anxious about going into the park, ‘as soon as you see the park gate you begin to feel happy and excited’. The words in bold and italics would be more firmly stressed even though they themselves might not be consciously aware of it.
And there will be a natural rhythm to the story that helps lull them into a state of calm and relaxation
And did you notice in the example above that I linked ‘safe and relaxed feelings’ to putting their head on the pillow? And ‘happy and excited feelings’ to the park gate?
This linking of positive feelings works even better when you can remind them of an actual time when they were genuinely feeling very safe and relaxed such as … ‘every time your head touches the pillow some of those lovely comfy safe lying-on-the-sofa feelings will spread all over you’.
Breaking up scary mental images and replacing them with something funny, or calm or brave is very effective
Let’s suppose that a child is terrified of the dentist … First of all I’d get them to play about with those negative pictures of the dentist in their mind … maybe shrinking them down, giving them a yellow face with green stripes, putting pink ribbons in the dentist’s hair, turning him into a kitten or a cartoon … all in their imagination of course!
This just seems like a fun game but what I’m actually doing is breaking up the negative images that they would have stored in their minds and then later substituting a much more positive set of images.
Visualisation of successfully carrying out the desired behaviour is a crucial ending element
I might get them to imagine looking at themselves on a television screen where they see themselves happy and relaxed on the way to the dentist, then happily chatting to the dentist while they are sitting in the dentist chair. As they are busy imagining I would be saying things like “Hey, look at you so relaxed in the chair … look at the dentist smiling at you saying how brilliant you are!
All my language will assume that the new behaviour has already happened
Then I might follow on with something like this … ‘Wow! I wonder what Daddy is going to say when Mummy tells him how amazing you were at the dentist when you opened your mouth so wide and let the dentist have a really good look in your mouth with the little mirror and the little silver wand? I bet he’s going to be very proud of you!’
Repetition is another really important element of a hypnotic story
Within the bedtime story itself there will be lots of repetition of ideas and key phrases so that they ‘sink in’ and regular listening is the secret of success!
Creating a story like this with many or all of these elements is quite a craft but all the listener knows is that they feel comfy and relaxed, and they are really enjoying the story and ‘magically’ they begin to feel better and happier every day!
In addition to these tailor made audios I have a wide range of published MP3s and CDs you can choose from in our on-line shop.