Schools Out But Not Forever!

Schools Out But Not Forever!

I picked up an article in a Kent newspaper and subsequent spot on Radio Kent about Hypnotherapist Karen Wells, from Rochester Kent, who has been talking to parents who are anxious about their children returning to school.

Karen, who specialises in working with children over 7 years old, is being told by parents that in some cases their children are showing signs of anxiety about returning to school at the beginning of June. Parents have been asking for advice on how to deal with this but also their own anxious reactions too.

Karen 32 is a mum of three children ages 1, 3 and 11 years old and trained to be a Hypnotherapist with Psychotherapy at KICH Hypnotherapy Training in Kent. Her interest in working with children began after her eldest son showed signs of what was mistaken for autism but turned out to be anxiety and Karen realised there were long waits and difficulty accessing help from the local authority in her local area.

After seeking out specialist further training Karen got to work advising the staff in nurseries about interventions they can use to help younger children in their care. She advises using elements of mindfulness and positive hypnotic suggestion to help deal with worries, simple breathing techniques are useful too, she has advised staff on setting up simple things like a worry box where children can discard or park their worries for a while.  These interventions also help with separation anxiety in the very young children at nursery.

When dealing with the older children who in most cases had to end school at lockdown really abruptly and are now returning to school, she advises parents to explain the situation properly and offer sensible reassurance. Simple coping techniques like writing or drawing positive outcomes and using their imaginations to help them cope.

She also advises parents to make sure they do not install their own concerns into their children.  Karen will put her garden to great use over the summer where she intends to see children over age 7, the garden has plenty of space to comply with social distancing.

But how does hypnotherapy work with children?

With very young children the process is about active engagement of the mind, it is solution focused, usually dynamic and very interesting for the child. Strategies can be found for helping a child let go of unnecessary worries.

Devices like using metaphor in story telling during hypnosis can allow change in a positive direction.  Weaving metaphors into work with children provides an ideal vehicle for this. Stories for example can become a particularly effective means of imparting discrete therapeutic suggestions that may not be obvious to the listener.

As the suggestions become intricately entwined and embedded within a story they are much less likely to be rejected.  This can be particularly effective when also working with the child’s own images and imagination. By this means the child is unconsciously influenced to change with a resultant increase in feelings of the ability to deal with things with more self confidence and self-belief

As with adults, the hypnosis is a focussed yet daydream-like state. But with children although sometimes relaxing it is also very commonly with eyes are open and plenty of interaction and movement.

Georgina McKinnon DHP

To find a professionally qualified hypnotherapist, look at an UKCHO registered organisation www.ukcho.co.uk