Working with Children & Parents - Anxiety, Depression & Phobias.
One of the things I love about working with children is that because I work with the parent and child together they both learn more about how a child’s brain works.
"Children must be taught how to think, not what to think."
Margaret Mead – cultural anthropologist
As part of growing up, children will experience uncomfortable and sometimes confusing feelings and emotions. And mostly they can cope with them. Unfortunately, sometimes the feelings become overwhelming and can start to affect many areas of their life. They may be lacking in confidence, worrying about everything, struggling to get enough sleep, having temper tantrums or finding it difficult to try new things or even go to school.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy helps children to understand how their brain works, why we experience feelings of worry, anger and withdrawal. They learn about the front of their brain (pre-frontal cortex), the sensible, brave, happy part (The Boss) and their primitive brain, the fight, flight, freeze part (The Guard). They also learn strategies to manage these parts of the brain effectively so they can really enjoy life.
Parents are often surprised and delighted by how well their child responds to the sessions.
One of the things I love about working with children is that because I work with the parent and child together they both learn more about how a child’s brain works. Children like to learn about themselves and my skill is to notice what strategies they are already using without realising. We can develop their natural coping strategies. Because parents are present throughout the sessions they have the added benefit of learning strategies for themselves too.
Parents will usually have had a telephone conversation with me prior to the initial consultation. This means you can tell me things you might not want to say in front of your child. In the initial consultation with you and your child I’ll ask you both ‘How can I help you?’. Sometimes children may not really know but that’s okay as I explain that I’ll be teaching them how their brain works so that they can learn how to use the different parts well. We do not use hypnosis in this first session and I explain more about this in the session. I have models, activities and toys to help occupy and keep the child focused.
Subsequent sessions involve much more than hypnosis. During the first part of each session we’ll talk about the progress they have made, and I’ll encourage them to express themselves positively, by asking ‘What’s been good.’ I ask them if they’ve noticed when the Guard part of their brain has been in charge and how they’ve managed to get the Boss part to regain control. We’ll develop coping strategies they can use.
Hypnotherapy is highly effective with children as they are generally more receptive to hypnosis and they go into trance many times a day ordinarily. With children I don’t tend to expect them to lean back and close their eyes as children associate that with sleeping not relaxing. I have calming activities, colouring-in and drawing for them. Parents get to enjoy the lying back and closing their eyes.
Children as young as five years old can benefit
Children have vivid imaginations which makes it easier to access the subconscious mind and bring about the desired changes. Children are very good at daydreaming and they enjoy it.
With regards to the number of sessions needed it’s almost impossible to predict. Children are quick learners and from experience I find that they need far fewer than adults, with on average needing 4 sessions. Sometimes parents take it in turns to come to the sessions so they both benefit from them.
My passion has always been to help people reach their potential and for them to be happy
I have worked with young people all my working life. I graduated in 1989 with a BEd Hons from Goldsmiths, London University and spent the next 26 years in education. I taught English as a Foreign Language in Singapore to young children (from 5 years old), teenagers and business English to international bankers. When I returned to the UK I taught in primary schools until retraining as a hypnotherapist. I now deliver presentations to Primary and Secondary schools and to students at University.
I guess I teach brain gym.
It can be daunting to consider ‘therapy’ for your child. I like to think that what I’m offering is more ‘learning’. One of the key benefits of coming to me is that because parents are always in the session it’s more about coming to me together to learn about how the brain works. One child likened it to their gym lessons. ‘Anyone can do a roly-poly but if you want to do it properly and backwards and after jumping off the box safely you need someone to teach you.’
Find out how hypnotherapy can help your child
I am passionate about helping people of all ages to enjoy life and get the most out of it.
Every child is different and some of the areas parents and children have come to see me about are; coping with school, sleep problems, worrying, phobias (maybe dogs, flying, balloons), exam stress, reluctance to do homework, temper tantrums, getting on with siblings….
If you are concerned about your child please give me a call and we can discuss the different ways I can help. I am always happy to spend time supporting parents to find the best solution for their child.