Child Hypnosis

Child hypnosis has all of the benefits of adult hypnosis.  For most children entering a hypnotic trance comes easier than for adults.  Children have less inhibitions and love to use their imagination.  Child hypnosis or child hypnotherapy often involves playing games with the imagination.

In my experience the best hypnosis style for working with children is conversational hypnosis.  Most important, keep it fun.  One of my clients brought her ten year old son in for hypnosis to stop bedwetting.  He had been wetting his bed for years and she was extremely worried about the family overseas trip that was coming up.

The mother was present as an observer throughout the session.  At the end of the session, after her son had gone ahead to the reception area she commented that I had just played with her son.  She was a little unsure that my “playing” with
her son would have any real benefit.   Several days later I got a phone call from the excited mother.  Her son had not had any bedwetting issues since the hypnosis session. She was very surprised but extremely happy.

To the novice observer child hypnosis can often come across as simple playtime.  I believe child hypnosis should always be fun.  We all learn better when we have fun and children will enjoy the hypnosis session much more if it is kept playful and fun.

For younger children fairy tales are a very useful hypnosis tool.  Magical powers are also a great tool in child hypnosis.  Children love super heroes and they love pretending that they are a super hero.  Engaging the child’s imagination is highly effective, especially for younger children.

Hypnosis of older teenagers will take on more of the characteristics of adult hypnosis.  It is always important to create very good rapport with the client in a hypnosis session.  This applies equally to children as to adults.  It is important to treat the child with respect and on their terms.  Speaking the language of the child is important.  Ideally the hypnosis session will involve topics that are of interest to the child.  That could be their favorite TV show, comic book character or their favorite sport.

Generally it is best not to even mention the word hypnosis with children.  There is simply no need. Simply engage their imagination and they will easily drift into a hypnotic trance.


Child Hypnosis Research


Child Hypnosis and Asthma

Ran D Anbar ,Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Upstate Medical University, 750 E. Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA

The complete electronic version of this research article can be found online at:

Hypnotherapy was offered to 303 patients from May 1, 1998 – October 31, 2000. Patients offered hypnotherapy included those thought to have pulmonary symptoms due to psychological issues, discomfort due to medications, or fear of procedures. Improvement in symptoms following hypnosis was observed by the pulmonologist for most patients with habit cough and conversion reaction. Improvement of other conditions for which hypnosis was used was gauged based on patients’ subjective evaluations.


Hypnotherapy was associated with improvement in 80% of patients with persistent asthma, chest pain/pressure, habit cough, hyperventilation, shortness of breath, sighing, and vocal cord dysfunction. When improvement was reported, in some cases symptoms resolved immediately after hypnotherapy was first employed. For the others improvement was achieved after hypnosis was used for a few weeks. No patients’ symptoms worsened and no new symptoms emerged following hypnotherapy.


Hypnosis Can Relieve Symptoms in Children With Respiratory Diseases

ScienceDaily (Feb. 13, 2010) — Hypnosis has potential therapeutic value in children with respiratory disorders for alleviating symptoms such as habit cough or unexplained sensations of difficulty breathing and for lessening a child’s discomfort during medical procedures. Proper utilization of hypnosis as an adjunct to conventional treatment and its ability to use the mind-body connection to bring about physiological changes are explored in a provocative paper in Pediatric Asthma, Allergy & Immunology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The paper is available free online.


Child Hypnosis and Insomnia

Ran D Anbar and Molly P Slothower, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA

The complete electronic version of this article can be found online at:

A retrospective chart review was performed for 84 children and adolescents with insomnia, excluding those with central or obstructive sleep apnea. All patients were offered and accepted instruction in self-hypnosis for treatment of insomnia, and for other symptoms if it was felt that these were amenable to therapy with hypnosis. Seventy-five patients returned for follow-up after the first hypnosis session. Their mean age was 12 years (range, 7–17). When insomnia did not resolve after the first instruction session, patients were offered the opportunity to use hypnosis to gain insight into the cause.


Younger children were more likely to report that the insomnia was related to fears. Two or fewer hypnosis sessions were provided to 68% of the patients. Of the 70 patients reporting a delay in sleep onset of more than 30 minutes, 90% reported a reduction in sleep onset time following hypnosis. Of the 21 patients reporting nighttime awakenings more than once a week, 52% reported resolution of the awakenings and 38% reported improvement. Somatic complaints amenable to hypnosis
were reported by 41%, including chest pain, dyspnea, functional abdominal pain, habit cough, headaches, and vocal cord dysfunction. Among these patients, 87% reported improvement or resolution of the somatic complaints following hypnosis.


Emergency medical hypnosis: a useful adjunct in the suturing of children

H Dowd

Emergency Medicine, Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Cardiff, UK


17th International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine
Brussels, Belgium. 18–21 March 1997

Critical Care

2001, 1(Suppl 1):P129doi:10.1186/cc3866


Children randomised into two groups: Control: Wounds sutured in the standard manner (warm 2% lignocaine, paediatric nurse and parents in attendance. Emergency medicine resident suturing). Experimental: The standard manner and formal medical relaxation. The experimental group was sutured by the chief resident (senior registrar).


Behavioural (CHEOPS) and Visual Analogue Scales were used prior to, during and post-procedure to assess level of activity.


The CHEOPS score fell during the procedure where FMR was employed in over 75% of cases. Children and parent satisfaction was recorded as higher in the FMR group. Further results to follow.



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