Hypnotherapy can be a great way to improve your child’s confidence. A lack of confidence can lead to your child feeling out of place, unable to speak up and unable to participate in the things that he or she would like to. Every child has a different starting point and some children are more confident than others. There are many factors affecting a child’s confidence – in addition to his or her environment. We know that certain traits may be passed down from mum and dad and it’s possible that your child may be inherently more or less confident, depending on how you yourself are. Some children may have experienced situations very early in life – such as separation immediately after birth for medical reasons – which remain as visceral memories and may affect a child’s confidence in some areas. Some children may simply be more introverted, and find it hard to express themselves in groups or at school or to embrace new situations. And some children may have undiagnosed autism or other conditions which makes them highly sensitive to certain situations.
When I am working with a child, the first thing I do is start from the perspective that all children are individuals and that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of being. Both of my sons were extremely well behaved and polite at school. Neither of them liked to ‘push’ themselves to answer questions or take the lead, and my youngest son, especially, needs a lot of coaxing to ‘put himself forward’. At every parents’ evening I would hear the same sentiments that my sons were an absolute joy, so polite, but that the teachers felt they were missing out because of this politeness. Whilst I knew that the teachers were trying to be helpful, I also became frustrated that my boys – who had friends, did well in class and enjoyed primary school – were identified as having a problem because they weren’t at the front of the queue. I’m similar to my sons and I presume that they take some of the traits off me, both inherited and learned, but I now accept that I can feel drained by groups, that I work better on my own than with other people and that I’m not the most comfortable person in groups. When I work with a child, I don’t assume that to be ‘confident’ they need to be the most outgoing, loudest child. I work hard to find out what they are good at, what makes them most comfortable and how they define confidence – which might be very different to how their parents or teachers define it. I help a child to accept who they are and enjoy their own special qualities.
Hypnosis can help a child prepare, in a very realistic way, for situations which they find difficult and which are not naturally in their comfort zone. Using a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and hypnosis, I work with a child to help them identify the thoughts and feelings which are holding them back in certain situations and challenge how realistic those thoughts and feelings are. Once challenged, I encourage a child to experience those difficult situations using hypnosis which allows them to deal with their fears in a realistic, but safe and controlled, environment.
Positive suggestions, given using hypnotic language and delivered to your child’s unconscious mind, can help override some of the more negative or unhelpful beliefs your child may have developed about themselves and the world around them. If you would like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help your child, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.