Hypnotherapy for children

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No thanks to Hollywood, hypnosis is notoriously perceived as a brainwashing and manipulative scheme. Sandy Hui explains what is hypnotherapy and how children with anxiety and minor behavior issues can be treated without any side effects.

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Hypnotherapy for your children

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see the word ‘hypnosis’? Swinging gold watches on chains? Patients behaving like monkeys and quacking like ducks? Believe it or not, none of those are true! No thanks to Hollywood, hypnosis is notoriously perceived as a brainwashing and manipulative scheme. Unfortunately, this point of view is catching on to those who have little knowledge of hypnosis.

theAsianparent conducted a small survey and received mixed reactions from parents regarding the idea of treating their children with hypnotherapy. A mother of a 7 month old had no qualms with trying out hypnotherapy. She said, “If there’s something wrong with my child, I’d rather try hypnosis than drugs! As long as there’s no dangerous side effect, I wouldn’t mind.”

However, on the more conservative side, a majority of the parents were adamant of hypnosis for children. One mother stated, “Hypnosis itself is already a very scary concept to me. But to treat small children with it… that’s even more worrying!”

While hypnotherapy may not be a well-recognized topic amongst our readers, it is actually slowly gaining popularity in Singapore. We did some research of our own and also interviewed Sandy Hui, a certified hypnotherapist, counselor and founder of One Hypnosis, to find out more about this unique form of therapy.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is when you use hypnosis to treat a problem, symptom or addiction. It happens when you are brought to an altered state of awareness of deep relaxation. Ms. Hui puts it simply, “It is a natural state of consciousness where your critical mind is bypassed and is responsive to positive imagery or ideas given during hypnosis.” The critical mind is where your judgement, reason and evaluation are located. Philip Barker, author of “Basic Child Psychiatry”, gives an example of being in a different state of consciousness: “The experience of driving somewhere but having no memory of the journey on arrival at our destination.”

Why should my child go for hypnotherapy?

Ms Hui emphasises that “the bulk of children who come for treatment is for anxiety problems.These children are mostly stressed about school related problems such as exams and concentrating in classes.”  Especially before the exam period, students make their way to Ms. Hui’s office to get rid of the pre-exam butterflies in their stomach. Other problems such as phobias, public speaking, self-esteem and bed-wetting are also a few of the many cases that are treated using hypnosis.

What is the age range of children going for hypnotherapy?

What is the age range of children going for hypnotherapy?

Children as young as 5 ½ years old are coming in for treatment. The age range is from Kindergarten to JC students.

Should I be wary of any dangers or side effects after therapy?

Nope! Hypnosis is absolutely safe! Ms Hui says, “You are in control the entire time in spite of everything to the contrary which you have heard.” So forget all the pooh-pooh nonsense about people revealing their dark secrets… you are in total power over what you say and do! No drugs/medicine is involved too, which means there are no side effects.

How should I prepare my child for hypnotherapy?

There are only 2 things Ms Hui emphasizes that you should be aware of before sending your child to hypnotherapy:

  1. Your child should be able to recognise and admit that they do have a problem that needs to be treated.
  2. Your child must be open to receive help from your hypnotherapist.

If both requirements aren’t met, it would be very difficult for the problem to be treated.

Is it harder to treat children compared to adults?

It is actually easier to treat children using hypnosis due to their more vivid imaginations. Mike Bryant, author of ‘Hypnotherapy for Dummies’ said, “two of the biggest differences in hypnotising children and adolescents, as opposed to adults, are:

  1. Kids don’t need to close their eyes to go into trance. They may still fidget while in trance, but in a subtly different way- more slowed down.
  2. Children and adolescents are more trusting and go more easily and deeper into trance early in therapy. They are particularly suggestible to ideas while in trance.”

What should I look out for before deciding on a hypnotherapist?

Firstly, you should obviously look for a certified and licensed hypnotherapist! Ask around for recommendations and feedback from other parents and doctors who are in the know. The most important factor however, is the comfort of your child with the therapist. The therapist should be able to make your child feel comfortable without making you or your child feel scared or worried.

To find out more about hypnotherapy or Sandy Hui,visit http://www.onehypnosis.com.sg

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Written by

Roshni Mahtani