Children & Young People’s Issues
If you're concerned about a young person or child that you live with or know, then you're in the right place. It's a great idea to be reading this page, I hope you find it useful. As parents or guardians of children, we want to know all the facts, so I've tried to include a bit about the whole process. Feel free to get in touch with me if there's something I've not thought of on here that you're unsure of.
It's a fine balance isn't it, between showing you've noticed a sign they might be struggling a little and 'interfering' or 'drawing negative attention' to something. If you've felt like this, you're not alone!
One of the most common things parents say to me before the session is 'is this the right idea?' the great thing about children & young people and hypnosis however, is that it's so effective with a good imagination, and children have the best! If you let them hear the facts and then make the decision themselves, it's astounding how many completely agree and are relieved and excited (yes, excited!) to be working on it in a proven young-person friendly way. All children and young people need to know is that they are loved as they are and are listened to. This could just however, possibly help!
Issues that often impact Children & Young People
Changes at home can often lead to some difficulties for children and young people. The addition of a new child to a family and having to share a parent's time can upset the balance in a home and subtly cause insecurity and tension. If there is a break up or divorce where the parents separate from the parental relationship, or there are tensions between the parents, or a single parent is feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities or unsupported a younger person can feel they are in some way responsible or start to ‘take on’ the weight of the adult feelings around them. Sometimes a new step parent arriving 'on the scene' or moving in can cause the child to feel scared that they no longer will count, that everything may change or they could feel unsure, angry or even scared about the new family member. Feelings of betrayal and untrust towards thier parents may come up. Occasionally, if a parent or close family member are ill, this can create emotional reactions in the child as well. Fear, worry, guilt or anger can all occur. All of the above are often normal reactions but can cause distress or confusion to the child if prolonged or not resolved.
School can bring its own difficulties in particular. With more and more testing and preparing for exams, children & young people can feel overwhelmed. Exam nerves and exam stress can be deeply distressing, bringing up feelings of panic, dread, fear and anxiety. These emotions if left unchecked can be so strong they can physically affect the body (shaking, fainting, not eating, being sick or losing weight) leading to more anxiety that they will forget everything in the exam, 'let everyone down', or 'mess up' from shaking and panicking in the test. It can be so easy with professional support to ease these nerves and allow children & young people to manage much more effectively when they are likely to be nervous.
Alternatively, at school or college it could be that they simply feel like they don't fit in or worry about this, have few friends or no friends, feel that the school work is a difficult burden (or refuse to do it), or be getting bullied by someone they're coming into contact with making them feel afraid, sick, humiliated & fearful of their safety. Being bullied can have a negative impact on self esteem and leave long-term trauma. Always report bullying to a teacher you trust or find advice online on how to make someone aware it's happening.
Then there are peer pressures to keep up with friends. We know that so much advertising is directed at children & young people and the pressure to be seen to 'look right' can be a very dominant one. A son or daughter, grandchild or loved one may genuinely fear being made a target by bullies if they don't have the latest bag, trainers or gadgets. Add to that puberty, the difficult effect of hormones, the development of relationships, relationship pressures & breakdowns, the availability of drugs, alcohol and exposure to every type of media and world events and it's little surprise that 1 in 4 young people suffer bad mental health, feel lost, alone, confused or overwhelmed in their life.
Fears & Phobias
They may have a fear of the dark, be scared of making mistakes, are nervous or anxious, have a fear of medical procedures, fear of going to sleep, (perhaps because of nightmares or wetting the bed in the night) or fear of going near things they don’t like.
A common fear that affects boys slightly more than girls are phobias of spiders & fear of dogs. A common issue that affects girls slightly more than boys is a fear of friends laughing at them (self conscious) and being very anxious, shy or apologetic.
Some children & young people regardless of gender have habits they can’t seem to break by themselves like nail biting, hair pulling, bedwetting, gaming addiction or involuntary twitches for instance. For others it's learning how to safely and appropriately express overwhelming emotions such as anger, depressive feelings, anxiety, aggression, self consciousness, embarrassment or trauma.
There are many difficult feelings that children and young people can be faced with and yet, with some short-term effective therapeutic support, they can enjoy building on their experience positively (developing more positive changes) and gain much more confidence in themselves as a result.
This sounds perfect for my child... how do I approach them about it?
If any of these situations sound familiar then there is effective help at hand. You can contact us here and book a free consultation now if your child and you are are ready to find out a bit more!
Parents often find mentioning it in conversation is a nice way of introducing the idea (however feel free to approach it differently):
"There is a coach who has had good results with [whatever your childs issue may be]. Would you be interested in finding out more as I'm quite curious about what she's like or how she does it? What do you think?" if there is a no (which is a common response first as they may be nervous, unsure or embarrassed, which is how we would probably respond in their shoes!) let them think it over for a couple of weeks then bring it back up gently and say you've got an opportunity to meet me that week, what do they think? Alternatively, if they are a teenager, show them this page and let them decide!
One of the reasons that hypnotherapy, hypnotic coaching, CBT & NLP can be such a good combined choice in treating children & young people is that it is short-term (usually between 2-5 sessions) and fun. Children and young people often feedback that they enjoy it, that it's interactive & fun, as well as relaxing.
The Process - What is it actually like?
This combination therapy of clinical hypnosis, CBT & NLP uses the most engaging aspects of each therapy and really appeals to children & young people because it’s so interactive... they are the key part in the story; 'rewinding' or 'fast-forwarding' events and feelings... for instance, a therapy session for bullying could involve the hypnotherapist enabling the young person to visualise their own secret garden, where, if the bully enters, the bully automatically shrinks down to the size of a pea, or jumping into a music pod and dancing all their stresses out, or meeting a hero or character from a favourite TV programme who advises them what to do, zapping fears and phobias away into obliteration, flying in a time machine to the future and hearing what the future 'them' has to say about the problem, or staying in their ‘head bed’ through the hypnosis treatment if they feel nervous or fed up...
These are just a few examples of approaches young people have successfully used to create permenant positive behaviour changes in their life, through hypnosis. The sessions are on their terms.
An older child can be more open to using their imagination than adults but as they are already more sophisticated in their thinking, the content is simply tailored and adapted for their treatment to include what their interests are and techniques they enjoy. For instance, a 14 year old may enjoy references such as ‘you’re travelling on a roller coaster track... feel the wind on your face now...faster and faster towards that wonderful change and it's feeling great’ whilst in a relaxed hypnotic state.
As with an adult, the hypnotherapist seeks to enter the reality of the younger person as they see it, in order to bring perspective, solutions and resolution of the problem. Engaging with the imagination is key as the subconscious accepts the new change as fun or a positive challenge!
The Consultation - What should we expect?
Expect a very relaxing tranquil space, where you will both be greeted warmly! My first job is to make sure your child feels comfortable, relaxed and fully listened to. It is important to note all children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult when attending a hypnotherapy consultation. I will then take some basic information and ask for the parent or guardian's view of what the reason for the visit is, as well as asking your child their thoughts on it and how they feel about it.
When speaking to your child, I'll be analysing the best approach and eliciting your child's inner resources to solve the problem. Whether or not you remain in the therapy room in the future whilst your child is taking part in hypnotherapy is something to discuss with your child after the consultation for their ideal comfort. Be aware, that at a certain age your child might feel inhibited by your presence and the therapy will be bound by issues of confidentiality. This will all be discussed at the initial consultation together though in friendly terms.
Please note, in some cases children may be too young to benefit from hypnotherapy or hypnotherapy may not be suited. Occasionally, hypnotherapy is helpful for the child, but not beneficial in the area the child is seeking help with. In this situation, we will discuss this with you and / or offer advice and further recommendations where appropriate for alternative therapies, support agencies or further options that may be of interest.
There is little reason why children or young people should not receive rapid and effective help, as hypnotherapy has a diverse and long standing evidence base and with additional advanced techniques, such as combining it with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), it offers one of the most responsive, engaging and effective packages for change available. Hypnotherapy is an investment for the future; old problems or difficulties have never been so much fun to change!
The individual session fee for children and young people specific hypnotherapy is £50 per hour session. For more information on how Hypnotherapy in Sheffield could help your child, or to arrange a free consultation please contact us by clicking here or using the form provided above. Thankyou.