Why choose Hypnotherapy & NLP for children
More and more people are recognising the benefits of using hypnotherapy and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to overcome day-to-day problems such as smoking, weight issues, stress and anxiety.
What is not so well known however, is that hypnotherapy and NLP can be used very safely and effectively with children to help them overcome a variety of problems including phobias, exam stress, bedwetting, eating problems and habits such as nailbiting. In fact, records show that hypnotherapy has been used with children for more than 200 years.
If the idea of hypnotising and reprogramming children’s minds sounds a bit strange – fear not – after all, slipping into trance-like daydreamy states is something that comes quite naturally to them. You only have to observe a child gazing at the TV to see this in action!
Hypnosis is often described as ‘a switching off of the conscious mind to enable the subconscious mind to be open and receptive to new ideas’. If you’ve ever felt in two minds about something, it’s because two minds is exactly what we all have. The conscious mind can think about the past, present and future and it’s the bit that reminds you to make that phone call or buy a loaf of bread.
The subconscious mind, far from being an old filing cabinet, is actually more like the motor or engine that drives you. It gets programmed during childhood by the environment and the experiences you encounter. This ‘programming’ is vital for our survival, but not all of the patterns of behaviour stored here end up being helpful or useful – it’s possible to pick things up without even realising it, such as a fear of dogs. Once stored here, one of the easiest ways to make changes to these imprinted patterns is in the same way that the information got in – through the subconscious mind.
How NLP adds to the success of Hypnosis
The techniques of NLP help us to understand how this information is stored and how our senses are representing this to us – the pictures that are in our minds and the sounds and feelings that accompanying them. Once we have this knowledge, it’s possible to make changes for the better.
For over 15 years, I’ve had a highly successful career helping both children and adults to develop their potential and overcome problems in their lives. And as a fully qualified Hypnotherapist, and Master NLP Practitioner I’ve been recognised as an expert on the use of NLP and hypnosis with children – a kind of ‘Paul McKenna for kids’.
How hypnotherapy works with Children
It’s widely accepted that children are ideally suited to hypnotherapy as this trance-like state is almost identical to their experiences of childhood play. This enables them to use their imaginations and visualisations skills far more than adults.
Prior to embarking on hypnotherapy, it is important that parent and child have established clear goals for the session and that they are in agreement.
One of the reasons why hypnotherapy is so safe to use with children is that it is not a magic power that can force someone to do something against their will, for example: it’s not possible to hypnotise a child to stop sucking their thumb if they really do not want to.
In other situations where there is reluctance from the child (a trip to the dentist or sitting exams at school), it’s possible to deal with the underlying anxiety first and then obtain the child’s agreement. But parents can rest assured that their child will never lose consciousness or control of the situation.
What are hypnotherapy and NLP coaching sessions for Children like?
Hypnotherapy and NLP coaching sessions for kids are generally light-hearted and fun and last between one and one and a half hours. Playing ‘imagination games’ and asking children to draw pictures enable me to build up a clear picture of how each child is interpreting their own world.
As well as using visualisation techniques, I guide each child into a relaxed state of being by telling hypnotic stories. It’s then possible to mentally rehearse the future and ‘reimprint’ the mind with a better pattern of behaviour.
It’s generally accepted that hypnotherapy is under-utilised in the treatment of children as it’s often considered a last resort. In the cases of phobias, early intervention is best as the longer a child has the phobia, the more difficult it can become to treat.
Here are the types of ‘problems’ children have that can be successfully treated with Hypnotherapy and NLP:
- Exam fears
- School work: concentration, memory, reading, spelling
- Phobias: dentists, dogs, spiders, water, school, travel
- Food issues: fussy eating, cravings, body image
- Habits: Nail-biting, thumbsucking, hair pulling, bedwetting
- Confidence: wearing glasses/braces, performing on stage.
Alicia Eaton is a Children’s Behavioural Specialist – a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Licensed NLP Coach based in London’s Harley Street since 2004. She is the author of the best-selling “Stop Bedwetting in 7 days” book and video programme. You can read more about changing children’s habits and behaviours in her latest book: “Words that Work: How to Get Kids to Do Almost Anything”.