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Children: the Best Subjects
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Multiple Uses of Hypnotherapy

Children often are marvelous subjects for hypnosis. Once they have developed to the level where they have an adequate attention span they  tend to be easily hypnotizable. This may be due to the fact that much  of early childhood is spent in hypnosis. Children play games that  include deep involvement, which is a form of hypnosis. They indulge in  fantasies and pretend experiences, which are forms of hypnosis.

Children are additionally benefited by the fact that many  inhibitions which commonly affect adults have not yet developed.  Children also have limited capacities for critical judgment. Trust and  positive rapport are essential and bringing out these qualities can be  difficult, especially in cases where a child is presented by a feared  authority figure. Confidence must be earned. Apprehensions must be  allayed. Communication must be established.

Applicable Utilizations

For Service In the West Georgia Area, Please tedContact

Ted Ceccoli, MA

Certified Hypnotherapist;
Licensed Professional Counselor

by email or

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Children:  The Best Subjects

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Why Fear  Physicians and Dentists?

Personal  Development

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Relationship Therapy

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Seniors:  How To Stay Young

Hypnotherapy in Sex Problems


Stress  Management

Why would a child need or be benefited by hypnotherapy? Like the  famous answer to the question, "How do I love thee?" let me count the  ways! Certainly among important usages must be the early control or  elimination of childish habits-bedwetting, nose-picking, mannerisms and  often attitudes. As children grow older hypnosis can dramatically  affect attention problems, learning enhancement, study procedures,  anxieties (whether from home, school or other sources), self-esteem,  motivation, athletic performance, creativity, non-understood grief (or  loss or separation) - the list is virtually endless.

To a professional it is incredible the amount of psychological  damage that can be and is done to children by parents, relatives,  siblings, teachers or authority figures. Much of it is well meaning  efforts intended to provide direction and motivation, coming from a  trusted source who intends no harm.

However, children differ (just as adults do). Some are introverts, some are extroverts; some come from homes that offer praise and  encouragement, others come from environments where criticism and lack of recognition are considered appropriate; some come from environments of  love, some come from environments of discord and abuse. One of the  greatest gifts a child can receive is prolonged contact with an  individual (whether teacher, parent, older sibling, coach or counselor)  who can and will offer sensitivity, understanding and appreciation of  value.

Children respond to comments by authority figures in differing  ways. A parent or teacher, on viewing a poor report card, might  comment: "You are going to be the dumbest kid in the class all your  life!" The intent might well be to motivate the child to change this  detrimental distinction by trying harder. A self-assured child might  respond in that manner. Yet an insecure child might well accept the  statement literally as a true prognostication and experience a  psychological inner flip which locks in place acceptance of the self as  unworthy, incapable and doomed to fulfill the stated destiny.

The files of psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and  hypnotherapists are filled with cases of adult clients who have sought  therapy to get out from under self-deprecating childhood imprints  imposed by well-meaning (and often not so well-meaning) guardians.

The Gift of Imagery

Young children are not usually aware of the complexities of the  mind, or of its fantastic array of powers. They do not comprehend that, "what the mind can conceive, the body can achieve." They do not  understand the dramatic capabilities of visualization. Yet they have  the child's natural talent for dreaming-for picturing achievements of  childhood ambitions in their minds. It is this characteristic that the  hypnotherapist can use to surmount the afflicting problems and free  children from bonds which restrict them from achieving their potentials.

Children normally are very visual. They respond beautifully to  tales, bedtime stories, and related communications with which they can  identify. They are quite narcissistic-they like to have a part in a  story that is being related and tend to slip into hypnosis easily.

Children in the six or seven age range have little difficulty.  Those in the four to six range, with shorter attention spans, may  respond to induction techniques which are less formalized or directive.  Preschool ages may combine the worlds of fantasy and reality.  Pre-induction data should focus on gathering information about a child's likes and dislikes, fears, imagery experience, and social  environment-all in a manner in keeping with the child's communication  level and oriented toward building rapport.

Being familiar with and participating in the child's play therapy  may help develop rapport, revealing the child's interests and  imaginative capabilities. Play can be a wonderful vehicle for  implementing therapeutic suggestions.

Among older children and adolescents hypnotherapy has been  effective in dealing with behavioral problems and delinquency.  Clinicians, regrettably, often turn to hypnosis as a last resort.  Experience indicates success is greater when the patient acknowledges  distress and has personal motivation to change. The fact remains that  hypnosis is virtually impossible in cases where the client does not want to be hypnotized. Successful therapy demands patient assent and  cooperation.

Hypnotherapy for drug abuse, for example, virtually requires that  the client be aware of and concerned with the potential for harm and  have an expressed desire for change. Therapists must be aware that  teenagers with behavior problems may be struggling for autonomy;  therapists need to evaluate and understand the extent of the client's  motivation for change, and the cognitive, social, emotional and  psychosexual development factors which contribute to attitudes and  behaviors.

Content on this page ©1999 National Guild of  Hypnotists, Merrimack, NH 03054

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