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Del Morrill, M.S. C.C.H


A Center for Counseling & Hypnosis
Tacoma, Washington, USA
(253) 752-1506

Working with ADD/ADHD

Hello Del,   I got your e-mail address from a colleague, and I'm hoping you can help me.  I am currently working with three ADD/ADHD children for a research project for a child development class.  All of the children have gone into hypnosis well, and I have been giving them patter to increase self-esteem, and for being able to relax and pay attention in school.  The children's parents have all said that the children are doing worse after their session.  These are good kids and I want to be able to help them.  Is there any patter you can send me, or anything you can recommend for me to do? Thanks for your time.


I’m unable to tell you why they are worse. With adults, sometimes I tell them that they might have the experience of getting worse before getting better, because when they walk through the door of opportunity resistance walks in with them.  I would think this could the same experience of children, although it's strange if they all are experiencing the same thing. 

I don't know if you have any of my GREAT ESCAPES script books for children and pre-teens, but there are several things for younger children, including a problem solving script, which I believe could be most helpful.  , If you haven’t seen the books or scripts, please go the Store on my web site.  There are also many individual scripts which can be downloaded, including that one. The individual scripts are by subject, including Children. The books have links to their tables of contents, which can help you in making choices. Great Escapes,  volumes I, IV and VII, are especially suited for working with children, although many therapists use them for their adult clients, as well.

Since I don't know the children's circumstances at home or school, am unsure of what, in particular, would script might be helpful besides that one.  Self esteem is fine, but you might need to create a recording that has a number of suggestions re: PEACE, along with the self-esteem suggestions. 

If tha child is having trouble calming down, you could consider encouraging them (when hypnotized) to imagine themselves being given a magic cloak by a magician who has been wearing it.  Whenever they feel they are getting anxious or too wound up, they can close their eyes and pretend they are wearing the cloak, and immediately become calm.  I have had a little girl who used to calm down by pretending she was holding her pet bird (or it could be a cuddly small animal).   

Another idea that has worked well with some of the children I've had in my office is that of creating an adventure where the child locates a monster who is causing problems for them, and is able to find a way to conquer them.

By the way, as a side note, for some children, abuse going on at home or at school of one kind or another, or parents fighting, a new child in the family, or other disruptions in the norm, can produce anxiety in children that is hard to get rid of if such continues. If you haven't done so, you should ask the children about school, where and when they experience being anxious, and whether they are being bullied in any way.   You may wish to interview the parents about what goes on at home, and how the parents are feeling about each other. Once, I had to tell the parents that their fights were making a problem for their child and needed to either stop or be done when the child wasn't within hearing distance. They had gotten so used to their fights that they weren't even aware of how it affected him.

The possibilities that underly children's anxieties, including fear of being kidnapped, are numerous.  This is why the problem-solver script and things about peace are important additions in helping the child be able to handle better what is going on in their lives, especially if it is something they cannot control themselves.










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