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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Kohlhaas MA LPC

What is Hypnotherapy Like for Kids?

In this article published in the US National Library of Medicine and Institute of Health, one can begin to understand the qualities of hypnotherapy.

The field of pediatric hypnosis has blossomed in many ways and directions over time. Today Clinical Hypnosis is:

  • A context of fostering respect for the child’s creativity, imagination, unique perceptions, and choices.

  • An interactive, dynamic “dance-like” experience between two individuals, with the clinician sometimes “leading” and other times “pacing” while the child/teen/adult leads.

  • A richness of multi-modal and multi-sensory training within a group setting, based on research about adult learning and skill acquisition, emphasizing the multiple paths toward similar clinical goals.

  • Changed from precise suggested commands applied rigidly to all patients now to open-ended, permissive, and individualized suggestions utilizing the specific needs, resources, and interests of each child or teen.

  • Evidence supported by incorporating double-blind research studies evaluated in Cochrane reviews and state-of-the-art neuroimaging to correlate with the varying types of hypnotic behavior.

We wish to emphasize that we believe that the critical ingredients of the therapeutic hypnotic experience in children (as well as in adults) are focused attention to and absorption in imagination which includes a focus on multi-sensory imagery and a particular cultivation of that imagination on steps and strategies toward goals for resolution of problems and change of ineffective patterns. Examples of possible specific goals include diminution or disappearance of undesirable symptoms, accurate discrimination of distorted thinking about situations and stressors, re-framing of perception of problems as solvable and conditions as manageable, building positive expectations, control of exaggerated reactivity, and creation and enhancement of the belief in the ability of the mind and body to work together to evoke and create desirable changes in outcome.

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