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


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

Controlling Rage


Hi Del, I'm writing to you because of your experience with hypnotherapy with children. I have a new client who told her mom that sometimes she feels like her brain is telling her to "break out into a rage", and when this happens she just sits very still until it passes.  She said that it happens, especially, when she's swimming.  (She's on a swim team). Whatever this is that's going on in her young brain is scaring her, and the way she talks about "having to control it", makes me think she's afraid of "letting loose". Her mother is stumped, scared, and a bit frantic! She didn’t know which way to turn until a friend suggested a hypnotherapist. 

So far, I have suggested deep breathing exercises, focusing on relaxing each part of the body. However, she can't do that while swimming laps!  I was thinking that letting loose a bit of rage against the water would improve her lap times.   Could it just be that she is tired of being on the swim team and wants to take a break? Or is this something that happens to lots of kids? I would appreciate your thoughts on this.  I told her mother that the best thing she's done so far is not dismissing it, and listening to her child.  The mother would also like some suggestions as to what she can do at home to help her daughter. I would like to be able to give her some help with this. Any suggestions?


This is a most unusual incident.  I’ve  dealt a lot with anger and fears in children. I believe that anger and rage are actually a result of fear and lack of confidence or feeling powerless.  With this in mind, here are some possibilities for her parent (and for you as a therapist), especially so both the child and her mother will feel somewhat in control:

1.  When her daughter is ready to sleep, and becoming sleepy, she will be in a hypnotic trance state.  This is a good time for her mother to suggest the following:  “I’m now speaking to the part of __ (name) ___ that is causing my daugher to want to break out into a rage.  It is time to release (name) from this fear by letting the deeper mind seek out whatever is causing this fear of raging, and to change it into something far more helpful to (name) at this time of her life, and from now on.”

2.  An additional technique is to ask the child what animal is the most powerful, and who can’t be scared by anyone. And why she thinks so. When she senses this rage  coming on her, she is to think of “being” that animal with all of those traits.  Because of having such power, she can surmount any feelings she gets that she doesn’t like.

Or you can counteract that part of the person by what animal is the calmest and quietest because it is so sure of itself and feels so safe.

3.  Another technique is to ask her who her hero/heroine is (from movies, TV, stories, etc.  When she feels this way, she calls upon that H/H to help her by scaring the thoughts away.

4.  When swimming, she might like to think of herself as a shark that isn’t afraid of anything as it moves swiftly through the water.  Not only might it handle that feeling, but she’ll become an even faster swimmer.

These are off the top of my head at this time. Let me know what works best for her. Good luck.









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