If you are a hypnotherapist who wishes to work with children in an ethical, informed, enjoyable and – most importantly – effective manner, this course is for you.

You will learn how to create a supportive therapeutic environment, which taps into a child’s own understanding of the world around him or her. You will master a range of techniques which you can use to help that child take control of any issues which have affected her negatively and develop skills which she will have for the rest of her life.

Using hypnotherapy with children requires a completely different approach to that used with adults. Children tend to continually enter an ‘imaginative flow’, in contrast to adults who consider ‘using their imagination’ as something separate from the rest of their lives. Children also tend to have shorter attention spans regarding hypnotic interventions, and the most effective therapeutic work recognises these factors.

Working with children is incredibly rewarding but a brief internet search reveals that many hypnotherapists do not work with children. And yet we hear every day about the increasing complexity of children’s lives and the constant struggle of parents to keep up with those issues which may be affecting their children. Some of the reasons for the lack of hypnotherapists working in this area – in contrast to the potential demand – include:

Many courses do not cover how to work with children.

Working with children requires a specific skill set and approach. Many hypnotherapy trainers lack the skills or the time to teach students in an ethical, in-depth manner. As a KidsMattersTM practitioner, you will be in a small minority of hypnotherapists who are fully trained to work with children.

Hypnotherapists worry about the legal requirements around therapist registration and disclosure which puts them off working with children.

If you come from a non-therapy background and have never worked with children before, you may be concerned about the practicalities of working with children – and particularly the ethical and legal issues involved. KidsMattersTM provides you with a clear set of protocols for working with children including legal and ethical issues.

Hypnotherapists try to use techniques they learnt on their diploma course, and find they don’t work with children!

If you have attempted to work with children, it’s possible that you (and they!) were disappointed with the results. From creating rapport, to using inductions, to providing useful resources, many techniques that work brilliantly with adults simply don’t sit well with children.

Parents think that hypnotherapy may cause their children harm in some way. 

Despite the work of many professional, ethical hypnotherapists, many people are still confused about what hypnotherapy actually is – and whether it could be harmful to their children. This lack of knowledge extends to some professionals. KidsMattersTTM puts parents’ concerns at ease, and explains the process of hypnotherapy in an easily accessible way.

Parents are put off from seeking help for their children because they feel therapy carries a stigma.

Some people still feel that there is a stigma attached to seeking therapy – and that if you seek therapy for your child, you have failed in some way. It should be noted that the idea of ‘stigma’ comes very much from the parent – kids are generally unaware of it, and often welcome the opportunity to do something about issues which have been causing them problems. KidsMattersTM helps overcome these issues by presenting the therapeutic process as not just useful, but fun. The emphasis is on positive growth – not just fixing problems – and KidsMattersTM conveys this message effectively.

Kids don’t enjoy their first experience with a hypnotherapist and decide they’re not going back!

If you don’t enjoy an experience, you’re not going to go back – especially if that experience didn’t help with the issue you were trying to deal with! Many hypnotherapists not only lack the tools to work with children, they also don’t know how to explain things at kids’ levels, or to set up good rapport. KidsMattersTM enables you to provide effective, informative and fun sessions which kids just love.

Existing research focuses on pain management and chronic health conditions 

Hypnotherapists looking to expand their knowledge on research into the use of hypnotherapy with children may come across a lack of diversity in the nature of research, which has tended to focus primarily on chronic health conditions and pain management.

Suggested Protocols

When you’re working with clients – adult or child – you never know exactly how they will react to your work together and you need to be able to adapt to what that client brings to the interaction. ‘Protocols’ which take little notice of the fact that you are dealing with actual human beings, and that the therapeutic process is a dynamic interaction, should be avoided. You always need to be able to adapt and respond. When working with children you might have a child who will not talk to you for a large proportion of the session. You might have a child who is tired and cannot concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time. You may attempt to work with a child who is almost falling asleep as soon as you start talking to them.

The protocols provided below are simply there as a guideline, and provide you with a workable structure. If you feel that you need to adjust this structure to meet the needs of the child including their developmental stage, preferences, level of engagement and concentration – please do so. These are guidelines only.

The same applies to the scripts. You may feel that you need to shorten their delivery or adapt them to meet the cognitive and developmental stage of the child. I have provided a suggestion of several scripts, potentially for use during the same session. You may choose which of these suits your purpose at any given time.