Transforming a Child’s Life Through Visualization: How Can Hypnotherapy Help Children and Teenagers?

Transforming a Child's Life Through Visualization: How Can Hypnotherapy Help Children and Teenagers?

Posted on May 3rd 2019 by Letara Buckley

Have you ever considered hypnotherapy for your children or heard of others using hypnosis as a means of therapy for their children? For some, it may not be something they would consider for their child; for others, hypnotherapy has helped to transform their child’s behavior and outlook on life.

Although I’m not a mother yet, I regularly spend quality time with my niece and nephew. Aged 3 and 6, they are highly entertaining, to say the least. What I love about their personalities is that they’re kind, innocent, carefree, positive, and tend to look up to me for guidance. However, on a bad day―just like anyone can have―they can be rude, whiny and irritable. While this may sound like normal patterns of behavior from children, at what point does one consider using hypnotherapy to help a child with any issues they may have?

Stress and Anxiety in Children

Just like adults, children can have days where they feel anxious or even worse, depressed. It has been observed from as young as eight months, where infants can become clingy and develop something called ‘separation anxiety’ when they are left by their parents or carers. This behavior can continue up to the age of about three years, according to the NHS, and is a common developmental stage that most children go through.

In a previous blog post about stress and anxiety in children, I highlighted that it’s common for children of preschool and kindergarten age to suddenly develop many new stressful thoughts and feelings. This occurs due to it being a whole new experience for them, which can be quite daunting. Often, children of this age start to develop fears and phobias, such as being scared of the dark or spiders. They learn these fears by mimicking people around them, it’s not something they are born with. It’s also common for children to experience the feeling of anxiety, as they proceed through school and get to their teenage years. This is when the worry and stress over exams can have a negative impact on their behavior, as well as the physical changes they have to go through when they hit puberty.  

Just like adults, if children are experiencing stress and anxiety, it may cause them to act out of character and become withdrawn, angry, sad, and in the very worst cases, even suicidal. Hypnotherapy is a safe and effective option to get to the root cause of the problem and resolve it.

What is Hypnosis?

The NHS describes the act of hypnosis as the following:

‘There are different types of hypnotherapy, and different ways of hypnotizing someone. First, you'll usually have a chat with your therapist to discuss what you hope to achieve and agree what methods your therapist will use.

After this, the hypnotherapist may:

  • Lead you into a deeply relaxed state
  • Use your agreed methods to help you towards your goals―for example, suggesting that you don't want to carry out a certain habit
  • Gradually bring you out of the trance
  • You're fully in control when under hypnosis and don't have to take on the therapist's suggestions if you don't want to.
  • If necessary, you can bring yourself out of the hypnotic state.

Hypnosis doesn't work if you don't want to be hypnotized.’

Marisa Peer has been a hypnotherapist for over 30 years, and has developed her own revolutionary therapy called Rapid Transformational Therapy™(RTT). This powerful method is a complete solution-based treatment, to bring together the most beneficial principles from neuroscience, NLP, CBT, hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. Marisa shares her experience of how the mind works and how we can reprogram our minds to achieve lasting transformational change in your life. You can read more about  Marisa's Rules of the Mind in her blog post, here.

Is Hypnotherapy an Option for Children?

In my opinion, most children are very open-minded and can use their imagination to picture what they want out of life. 

Most of us as children could use our imagination to picture a job we would like when asked, “What do you want to 

be when you grow up?”  

Unlike adults, I think children (especially those under the age of 10) tend to have fewer barriers in stopping them from becoming who or what they want to be. This outlook marries up with what Marisa says: “All babies and young children have high self-esteem. They accept compliments and don’t have a fear of being judged. It’s only as we get older that we acquire the fear of people rejecting us. With hypnotherapy, you can tap back into this inner confidence and use it to transform your life.”

If I think back to when I was 10 years’ old, I was very confident. I dreamt of being a wedding dress designer with my own boutique; I was unafraid to run along the beach in a bikini; I didn’t worry about the fear of rejection and I certainly felt lovable thanks to my supportive family. However, from the age of about 13 onwards, I developed fears, anxious feelings, and my confidence was nowhere near as high as it used to be. If I try to think about why this happened, I would say it was down to mixing with new people and spending less time with my family. A lot of teenagers do like their independence and I wanted to go out and get myself a boyfriend, rather than spend time at home like I used to. There was also the added stress of exams, puberty, and family disagreements, with me wanting to be like my friends, yearning for the latest branded clothing and so on.

I would say my experience of youth stress was mild and I’m pretty sure my parents never considered hypnotherapy for me. However, it’s only now that I understand what it involves, that I would say that I’m very open to using it to benefit my own children in the future.

Does Hypnosis Work for Children and Teens?

The BBC news reported on a study which found that hypnotherapy helped to reduce anxiety and feelings of helplessness in students: ‘The effects of hypnotherapy were found to be greater than those of more traditional relaxation techniques. The research, conducted at Hampshire Hypnotherapy Centre, was revealed to the British Psychological Society.

David Byron, a senior specialist educational psychologist for Hampshire County Council studied 10 pupils, aged 11 to 16. The students received psychological treatment in sessions with their parents during which they set things they wanted to change about their lives. They were then taught how to self-hypnotize and work towards these targets. Mr. Byron said: "It seems to empower the students to change their lives and it's not me doing it, it's them."

Mr. Byron said hypnotherapy could also be useful to help with a number of other treatments, and that he would like to see the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services nationwide employing people to offer a hypnotherapy service to patients. In summary of his opinion on hypnotherapy, he said: "There is no doubt it has a tremendous amount to offer."’

Case Studies

An article by the National Center for Biotechnology Information reported on an extensive study, which revealed some interesting findings on clinical 

hypnosis for children and adolescents. Here’s a summary of one of the case studies featured in the report:

‘Case 1: From Baseball Bawling to Behavioral and Emotional Self-Regulation.’

J was a 9-year-old boy who had a long history of anxiety. He found himself not measuring up to his own very high standards, which were particularly detrimental when playing his beloved sport, baseball. Despite his father’s coaching tricks to try to let go of these feelings, he frequently needed to be assisted off the playing pitch due to uncontrollable tears, kicking the ground, and hitting himself. He was unable to regroup after these episodes, resulting in reduced playing time, embarrassment, and later regret and further anxiety.

During the initial encounter with J and his parents, the hypnotherapist built up a rapport as it is said to be critical to the process and outcome of the treatment. The therapist learned about the personal and family history, assessed J’s motivation, expectations, strengths and other internal resources, such as J’s capacity to accurately discriminate or interpret a situation and to self-regulate his emotions. Given J’s strong interest in sports, the therapist linked the explanation about hypnosis to references about top athletes’ skills in focused attention, mental rehearsal, and being in the zone.

Children in this age range are said to be particularly receptive and responsive to hypnosis so the therapist capitalized on this developmental phase, by utilizing J’s motivation to master new skills and the ability to access memories of the past, and to richly imagine the future. J saw his hypnosis coach weekly for several sessions, during which hypnosis was incorporated into other interventions, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to address his faulty beliefs and perfectionism. He also kept a calendar to record his improving self-regulation skills, using a scale from 0 to 10 to indicate the level of control over behavioral outbursts.

When designing a hypnotic or hypnosis trance experience, the therapist utilizes the child’s interests, capacities, and goals. J’s notable strengths included his passion and knowledge of baseball and his motivation to gain self-control. Given his pronounced passion for baseball, J and therapist made an agreement: He would teach her baseball terms and she would teach him tricks to improve his self-control and focus during baseball games.

While he imagined playing a close game, he was taught to pair or link a calming breath with the touch of the ball when pitching, bat when hitting, and base when running. He was also told a metaphoric story about a boy who decided it was time to no longer feel like a loser by being tricked by curve balls inside his head that were stealing his attention, focus and control. This story was recorded and given to him, with instructions to listen to it daily as part of his ongoing practice doing self-hypnosis exercises to foster calmness and an enhanced capacity to modulate his emotions when coping with normal, everyday hassles.

In following sessions, the therapist reviewed J’s progress calendar and added other hypnosis experiences for him to listen to daily. Within a number of weeks, J showed significantly enhanced self-regulation of his emotions and behavior, both on and off the field. He became an athlete who shared his self-control strategies with his teammates.

 Hypnotherapy Recordings

The recording offered to student J in the above case study proved to be a major part of his recovery from anxiety. Marisa Peer agrees how powerful a hypnotherapy recording can be when you play it daily. That’s why she has created a range of instant 

downloadable audios, which you can browse by topic and discover her transformational words, compelling voice and rules of the mind.

The following hypnotherapy downloads are suitable for children and teenagers:

Pass Your Exams with Confidence and Skill

This hypnosis audio allows you to pass your exams with confidence and skill. Feeling calm, composed and focused, your body is relaxed, your mind is alert and you remember everything you have learned, studied or revised. Learn how to remember the correct answers as you go through your exams, improve your learning and grades.

Pass Your Driving Test with Ease

Just listen to this hypnosis download to learn the skills to pass your driving test with ease—today!

Learn Interview Skills and Interview Preparation

This hypnosis audio will teach you how to stand out and help you to be successful at interviews.

Hypnotherapy Books

Marisa is also an accomplished author of five best-selling books, translated into a dozen languages. She has been a contributor and columnist to publications including Closer, Men’s Fitness, and major Sunday newspapers, plus frequently appears as an expert on television networks all over the world, including the BBC and NBC. Marisa’s impassioned and effective approach to changing people’s lives from within, has positioned her as a leading motivational speaker on a global stage, speaking all over the world, from TEDx and Conde Nast to the Royal Society of Medicine.

The below hypnotherapy books are suitable for teenagers and adults:

Ultimate Confidence: The Secrets to Feeling Great About Yourself Every Day

There's so much more to confidence than being outgoing, and self-esteem has a huge impact on both your happiness and what you are able to achieve in life. Written in the highly 

engaging style she is renowned for, Marisa's book speaks to you on an extremely personal level and tailors her proven methods in establishing confidence to your unique needs.

I Am Enough: Mark Your Mirror and Change Your Life

You can use the power of stating that you are enough, that you always have been and always will be, to achieve success in every key area of your life. When you say it, think it and believe it and make it an automatic and regular part of your life you can expect to see wonderful improvements in your relationships, in your career and in how you feel about 

yourself. This book is designed to help you massively increase your own sense of self-worth so that you like yourself, feel good about yourself and believe in yourself. Whilst becoming permanently free from self-sabotage and self-destructive thoughts and behaviors.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and have considered how hypnotherapy can be effective in children and teenagers. Please share and continue to read the Marisa Peer blog for more interesting topics. You can also click on the link below to register for our Wellness Weekly digest. This is designed to be the perfect pick me up for the weekend where readers gain access to the latest up-to-date special offers, events, highlights and expertise.