- Are you or your child constantly tense, worried, or on edge?
- Does you or your child’s anxiety interfere with work, school, or family responsibilities?
- Are you or your child plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but can’t shake?
- Do you or your child believe that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way?
- Do you or your child avoid everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety?
- Do you or your child experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic?
- Do you or your child feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner?
If you answered yes to any of the above quesitions Hypnosis can change your life. Call immediately for an appointment.
Anxiety, fear, and worry among children and teenagers are on a continuum from transient disruptions to clinical disorders. For example, when faced with the common stressor of an immunization or blood draw, a child might display momentary bother, then shift his or her attention. Another child’s extreme fearfulness about upcoming threat and danger might prompt overwhelming anticipatory anxiety and catastrophic worry, followed by a panic episode and uncontrollable escape behaviors during the procedure, reﬂecting a clinical diagnosis of speciﬁc phobia. It is unfortunate that most pediatric medical and mental health professionals receive little training on how to assess and treat children and teenagers with these challenges. The use of superﬁcial, one-size-ﬁts-all scripts or other global suggestions to “relax” or “get calm” are common approaches when using hypnosis for such young people. In contrast, determining speciﬁc goals and tailoring suggestions to the needs of a particular pediatric patient is the theme of this article. Leading experts in the ﬁeld of pediatric hypnosis, Kohen and Olness (2011) emphasized the importance of empowering the client:
The goal of hypnotherapy is always to teach the patient an attitude of hope in the context of mastery.
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 (p. 90).
Clinicians treating youth with anxiety, worry, or fear can best design speciﬁc hypnosis goals and suggestions that are individualized for a particular child when using a developmental psychopathology perspective and an assessment focused on the causal processes fueling speciﬁc symptoms. The use of HOW questions isolate underlying patterns in thinking, feeling, behaving, and psychophysiological responses, which then become the speciﬁc hypnosis goals to ﬁt the presentation of each particular child. By focusing on underlying risk factors for childhood anxiety and difﬁculties with emotional, cognitive, behavioral and psychophysiological self-regulation,
the efﬁcacy of a targeted assessment and treatment plan can be maximized.
References: Kohen, D., & Olness, K. (2011). Hypnosis and hypnotherapy with children (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Pamela Kaiser (2011) Childhood Anxiety, Worry, and Fear: Individualizing Hypnosis Goals and Suggestions for Self-Regulation, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 54:1, 16-31,