In a nutshell, what’s the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy and how does it work with children?

Essentially, Hypnosis is a state of mind and Hypnotherapy is how we use that state of mind to bring about positive change.

Hypnosis is not sleep!

There are plenty of myths surrounding hypnosis with people of any age, for example people often think it is a kind of sleep. This isn’t surprising really since Hypnosis comes from ‘Hypnos’, Greek word for sleep or God of sleep! But actually I think it is a very misleading choice of name really because we don’t actually go to sleep in hypnosis.

A kind of daydream

I think the best way to describe it as used with children is that it’s like a kind of daydream where they are fully engaged with an idea in their minds. Look at a child while they are watching a film or reading a book where they are completely immersed in a story and you can see that they appear for a while to be completely ‘’in their own little world’’. You can speak to them but if they are totally engrossed in the world of Harry Potter or Doctor Who or the Minions they just don’t appear to hear you. The same thing if they are playing a game with their friends or are ‘breeding dragons’ on Dragon Island on their iPads!

This is what I, as a children’s hypnotherapist would call a trance state and in this creative and receptive state, I can help them to use their amazing imaginations to create and ‘rehearse’ positive solutions to all sorts of problems they may be experiencing.

Common anxiety problems

I see children wo are feeling anxious about speaking in front of the class or moving to a new school, or being so nervous about exams that their ‘brains freeze up’ and they can’t even understand the question let alone give an answer! I see others who want to cope better with bullying children at school, or feel more confident about sleeping in their own room instead of in their parents’ bed or actually enjoy going on a school trip rather than being overcome with nerves!

In the Hypnotherapy session

I allow plenty of time for us to talk about the problem and how that is negatively affecting them at the moment but, really importantly, I spend much more time getting them to tell me how they would really like things to be instead. Lots of detailed imagining of how it will be different and so much better for them without the problem. It’s actually a really enjoyable process!

Range of techniques

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!

Effective Downloads and CDs for home use

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 and just like we have talked about in the beginning of the session. The more they listen to this at home, usually as they drift off to sleep, the more effective the treatment will be!

So that’s my nutshell for today … more next week!