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


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

Anxious 4-year Old


I have been reading your website and I notice you mention seeing children under 6.  I was taught that you could not see children under 6 and, therefore, recently turned away a client.  Of course, I have learned that like all students, you then adapt what you have learned to the individual client.  What is the youngest age you would advise seeing for hypnosis, or similar? 

My enquiry was from a mother whose 4 nearly 5 year old has such extreme separation anxiety that she  wants to know where her mother is all the time when in the house and now refuses to go to school.  (Apparently, they were able to get her to go for a few months).  The mother doesnt want to take her to a psychotherapist as recommended by her doctor because she doesnt want her child on drugs.   


Yes, I have worked with children under 6.  It is understandable that you might have been told to not work with those under 6, if you are using straight hypnosis with such ages.  I consider other means of helping children that young. Remember that you’re working with the child’s imagination, so anything that captures it makes it easy for a child to be receptive to your “healing” suggestions. You would find a lot of help working with children by having my GREAT ESCAPES, volumes I and IV, for they have many suggestions for very young children facing various problems. 

Here are a few options for little ones: 

1.  Pretending to be an animal going to sleep.

2.  Focusing on a little face drawn on a circle pasted to my finger.

3.  Curling up for a good story in the “magic chair.”  Often just the telling of the story or creating a little adventure the child goes on is adequate for inducting into the hypnotic state.

4.  Using a soft and pleasant puppet or stuffed animal to hypnotize yourself, and then the child, by telling them how sleepy they are getting.

5.  Imagining a fairy with a magic wand is sprinkling sleepy dust over them, or a magician with a wand.


There are no end of possibilities if you just trust your own imagination. Remember that children of that age are already in a state of hypnosis most of the time; and they don’t make distinctions between what is real and “unreal.”






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