Hypnotherapy and young people
These days, being a young person comes with inherent difficulties. There is stress from physical and hormonal changes, growing up, getting (or wanting) more autonomy and freedom, expectations of parents and teachers, pressure from exams, peers, new relationships, maybe working as well as studying. Many young people occasionally find that they lack confidence or experience feelings of self-doubt or anxiety. For some, this is transitory and passes quickly, for others it becomes more of an issue. Research shows (1) that 10 % of youngsters below the age of 16 develop mental health problems. Knowing it is not uncommon, however, doesn't make it any easier to manage.
Hypnotherapy has a long history of helping young people, and these are just a few of the areas where it can be effective.
If a teen is experiencing depression, they should be seen by a doctor. There are physical conditions (such as hormone imbalances) that can cause this and they need to be treated or ruled out. Once that has been done, hypnotherapy could be a good tool to help lift their mood and challenge their negative thinking.
High levels of anxiety seem to be quite common with teens. At times it is a general sensation of being overwhelmed, or it may be a reaction to specific events such as changing routines, interviews or exams; either way, it’s going to have in impact on their ability to perform well at school, get along with people at home, and to enjoy life. Hypnosis can be used to help them remain calmer, and to develop improved coping strategies to deal more effectively with the situations they face.
Confidence and self-esteem
Not all of us are the life and soul of every party, always the centre of an admiring crowd. Some people, including teenagers, are naturally quiet and self-contained, and that's fine. Confidence and self-esteem are not about how outgoing or popular your teen is, it's more a case of how they think about themselves, whether they recognise and value their own abilities and good qualities.
We all do our best as parents, but sometimes our kids do lack confidence in themselves. This can lead to them feeling unhappy, worthless or isolated. At this point, it can be a problem, and they may need help to change their assessment of themselves to a more positive one. Again, hypnotherapy could be this help and I'd be happy to discuss it with you.
I really enjoy working with young people, though I don't generally work with anyone under ten. I can refer you to people who do, though. Young people often respond very well to hypnotherapy because they have imaginative minds and they are more open to suggestion than many adults. Having said that, hypnotherapy (as mentioned elsewhere on this site) is not a form of mind control. Your teen is not going to change because you think they should, or because you can see there's a problem. They have to see it too and want to do something about it. And even then, their solution may not be the same as yours.
Any kind of therapy relies on the person being helped to play an active part in the changes being made. This takes time, effort, courage, determination and co-operation, and recognition that there's a problem. If your son or daughter isn’t ready to do that yet, it's possible that therapy isn’t the way to go, at least for the moment. However, I am happy to discuss the situation with you and to meet up with them for a quick chat. This costs nothing except your time, and if we all think I can help further, I am happy to do so.
Debbie Waller is a professional hypnotherapist, specialising in stress, anxiety and related issues. She also offers EMDR which is used for trauma, PTSD, phobias and OCD and publishes hypnotherapy-for-ibs.co.uk for those interested in using hypnotherapy to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Debbie owns a multi-accredited hypnotherapy school, Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training and offers further training for qualified therapists via CPD Expert. She is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words, editor and contributor to the online magazine Hypnotherapy Training & Practitioner, and co-author of The Hypnotherapy Handbook.
For more information on any of these services, phone 01977 678593.
Researcher & drafter: Rachel Waller.