One of the most uplifting aspects of my work is helping children and adolescents let go of their worries and anxieties and watch them ‘blossom’ as they begin to believe in themselves and engage in life again. I understand that you, as parents, want the very best for your child, so I am very inclusive in my approach. I welcome you in the therapy room if this makes your child more comfortable. I believe that working with young people is very different from working with adults both with regard to the type of issues involved and the ethics, methods, and techniques used
My approach involves listening to the young person and engaging their imagination in a ‘day dreamy’ way to support them in letting the problem go. It is essential to co-construct a solution with the young person that rings true to them at a gut level, something positive, and something that is at least as strong as the worst part of their problem to enable them to visualise their success. To do this, I involve them in imaginative metaphors such as magic carpets, a palace of possibilities, or an energising confidence beam. I always try to find something meaningful to them, for example, iPads, or Minecraft … the more meaningful, the more effective!
Depending on the cause, many very common problems usually respond very well to hypnotherapy, such as bedwetting, general anxiety, separation anxiety, various fears, and phobias, with fear of dogs being the most common. For older children, study and exam-related stress, school bullying, different compulsive habits, selective eating, anger problems, lack of confidence, and poor self-esteem are frequently seen.
Less common but, sadly, increasingly seen in my consulting room: issues around body image anxiety, self-harm, and various OCD behaviours.
With teenagers, the process is relatively similar to that used with adults. With children and very young ones, the process is much more about the 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 moving around or playing with the toys in the room.
I am passionate about recording tailor-made audios (MP3s) for ongoing support at home for no extra fee. I sometimes record the positive suggestions and guided visualisation elements 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.