Home Articles Store Ask Del About Hypnosis About Del Testimonials For Therapists Links Contact
hypnotherapy books

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


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

Child’s Grief over Death of Loved Ones

Having said that I don't see children, one of my clients has booked her 10 year old son in to see me! He has become very attached to her and is exhibiting attention-seeking behaviour. He was very attached to his grandparents – his grandfather collapsed and died in front of him 2 or 3 years ago and his grandmother died last year. The behaviour has started since his Mum has started a part time job, albeit in the same school that he attends. I would be grateful for any suggestions please!  


Sounds to me like he is very afraid his mother will also die as they did.  First of all, I'm sure you will have found out from the child whatever he is willing to tell you--such as, how he feels when mother goes to work, how he felt when his GP's died, or the like.  He may or may not trust you to tell you right away, so you probably will have to find out what he likes to do best, what subjects in school he likes, etc., and then come at the more serious questions.  I would ask him what he really wants for himself...that you know what his mother wants, but you want to know what HE really wants. Take your time establishing a good rapport with him before proceeding.

I would explain hypnosis to him in front of his parent, so she will understand it also, but of course, simplifying it for him.  I might, for instance, ask him what it feels like when he can tell it’s almost time for bed, and then explain that sometimes hypnosis feels that way.  Sometimes it just feels like daydreaming, or imagining, or pretending.  His imagination is very important in hypnosis. 

Obviously, my book would be the most helpful, but you won't have that in time.  So, let me suggest one way to get his attention, in order to induce: Often, I give a child that age a pendulum and have him hold it steady and then try to make it go back and forth and then in a circle, so he can see how powerful his mind is.  Then I have him close his eyes while continuing to hold the pendulum, and ask him which gets heavier first, the pendulum or his eyelids.  I then give suggestions off of that answer that ___gets heavier and heavier, and when the pendulum falls into his lap, he will be hypnotized. (Of course, the arm will go down at the same time as his eyelids, whatever way he answers.) 

There are other ways, of course, to use as inductions.  He can just close his eyes and start counting from 100 backwards, telling him that as the numbers get smaller his eyelids will get heavier, and by the time he reaches 80 he will be hypnotized. Or you can have him breathe deeply, pretending he’s blowing up balloons, and gets sleepier with each breath.  Let your intuition guide you. 

I'm sorry that I don't have anything off-hand to use as a script directly dealing with "grief and loss", which is what he's confronting.  So, first, I would use my script on locating and finding a solution to a problem (in other words, you don't have to know what the reason is for the script to work, so you don't have to worry about being direct. You ask the deeper mind to locate whatever imprints are causing his problem, and change them to something more helpful to him.  

I had a small boy client sometime ago who’s dear grandmother had died.  Although he came to me to get help with his homework, I included his grandmother in a story I told him.  He found a canoe at the shore of a river.  His grandmother was waiting for him. So he helped her into the canoe, and she went on the adventure with him to solve his homework problem.  When they returned, she gave his a hug and kiss, and told him she would always be with him, looking after him. This small journey seemed to handle two problems in one story. 

Then I would follow (either at this session or the next) with suggestions that deal with being safe, knowing his mother is always there for him, even though she has to go to work; that she is working to care for him, but she loves him even when she isn't present.  That his grandmother and grandfather love him even though they can't be right here to see him every day, but their love is still with them.  You might include suggestions of how they feel when he does well in school and at home (using the specifics of the behavior issues that you've been filled in with from parents).  I would also include suggests that encourage his self-confidence and courage, and happiness.

Also, I keep some stars in a magic box here that glow in the dark and stick to walls.  If he were my client I would probably give him two--one for each grandparent, that he would stick on his ceiling above the bed so he could remember them when he goes to sleep at night.  I would give him some small unbreakable toy that he could use when mother is at work that would remind him that she is still with him and loves him even when she's away.  I feel that giving some token after a session operates as a post-hypnotic suggestion. 





Ask Del

About Hypnosis

About Del


For Therapists