Hypnosis with Children

Anxiety, stress, and trauma are common in adult life.  They are also common disorders experienced by children and adolescents. Ignored, these disorders may lead to more complicated psychopathologies in adulthood.

The goal of hypnotherapy is to teach the patient an attitude of hope in the context of master. The patient learns to be an active participant in his or her own behalf, to focus on creating a solution rather than on enduring a problem, and to discover and use resources for inner control as much as possible.

Leaders in pediatric hypnosis, Kohen and Olness (2011), suggest the following things to be considered for pediatricians and others working with children:

How can pediatric professionals help these young children shift from their typical vulnerable self-view to one of mastery and resilience?

How might clinicians design hypnosis encounters that enhances children’s resources to more accurately discriminate real danger from imagined danger, increase their capacity to better cope, and influence what happens?

How might hypnosis facilitate goals of fostering children and teenagers’ self-regulation of their psychophysiological and negative emotional arousal and over reactivity, catastrophic thinking, and avoidant behaviors?

How might clinicians use spontaneous trance states of highly anxious children and teenagers during assessment and treatment? (Kaiser, p. 17)

There are different uses of hypnosis with children.  Some of the post common are for pain, anxiety disorders, OCD, and behavior disorders. When child experience pain they may not understand the pain and become anxious.  Hypnosis can help both the pain and anxiety associated with the pain. For other anxiety disorder issues hypnosis can complement traditional therapies.  Hypnosis along with cognitive psychotherapy can be beneficial for children who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. With behavioral problems, hypnosis may help the child by suggesting a better behavior (Watkins, 2011).


Specific Goals and Suggestions for Self-regulation of the Cognitive Process

Shift attention STOP sign in your head, then GO on to something more pleasant
Discriminate: Realistic risk appraisal Metaphors for “things aren’t always as they seem”, be a detective; judge and jury: what’s the evidence?; dark versus clear glasses
Aware of resources to Cope Age of progression (imagine managing the situation with calm, comfort, and control)
Cognitive restructuring Computer control panel in brain: download good thoughts, delete unhelpful thoughts (worries), empty trash can, open “Super-Control file”
Compartmentalize and minimize Use metaphors such a magnifying glass, binoculars, telescope, dimmer switch
Internal locus of control Use child’s interest, activities, and ideas focused on empowerment, master, being in charge.

   (Kaiser, 2011, p. 26)

Any use of hypnotism in children should be done by trained professionals and the parents should understand what the purpose of the hypnosis is.

Website of interest



Kaiser, P. (2011). Childhood anxiety, worry and fear: Individualizing hypnosis goals and suggestions for self-regulation. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 54,(1) 16-31.

Kohen, D. P., & Olness, K. (2011). Hypnosis and hypnotherapy with children (4th Ed). New York, NY US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Doi:10.1080/0029157.2011.575965

Watkins, C. (2011) http://www.ncpamd.com/medical_hypnosis.htm

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1 Response to Hypnosis with Children

  1. monaghanq says:

    At Matthews Hypnosis we empower you. If you change your mind, you can change your life! There is no time like right now!Hypnosis is effective for so many areas of life that can be challenging. Our primary client servicing areas are:

    Hospice/End of Life

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