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


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

Won't Do School Work

Del, I have been following your newsletters and am regularly on your website and very impressed by your work. I have some of your books and use some of your scripts but I have a situation that I am pulling my hair out on and wondered if you have any words of wisdom or any material that would help me. I have studied psychotherapy, 5-path, and am competent in both age regression and parts therapy.

I have a client who is 12 years old and who refuses to participate in the classroom or do any homework at all. His mother had some sort of breakdown when he was around 7 and, at the same time, he went from being a model student and popular to one always in trouble and unpopular. He was badly bullied in his school and, eventually moved to another. He was been in his new school for over a year and has still not settled.  It appears he had some mean and difficult teachers in the first few years of school who would criticize and ridicule him. He believes that he has had so many years of not learning, what’s the point in putting out any effort; he has just given up.  He has been in every kind of therapy available, including a lot of counseling. He is under pressure from both parents and the school to lift his game but he is digging his heels in. He just doesn't care.

He gained a lot of weight and verges on morbidly obese. I’m sure that he is uses food as a protection. He is also going through the first stages of puberty. His school days are very long, and he finds this schedule very hard, constantly complaining about being tired.  He has agreed to come and see me.



Understand that I am answering without knowing what you have already done with this boy.  Obviously, you have been trained well, so excuse me if I suggest what you may have tried. The fact that he's willing to see you in most amazing, because one would get the idea that he is unwilling to change at all. Clearly, this is not true or he wouldn’t be willing to see you.

For a kid who by now probably hates counseling, hypnosis can be pretty intriguing. This could be a most positive experience for you both.  Why not begin by doing several convincers, with you filling in a positive suggestion here and there. This may be enough to get him intrigued. Tell him that you’ll work with him if he likes being in your office, and is willing to do everything he can to have a happier life. Tell him that you can help that happen, but not by yourself.  He has to want it, and be willing to show up for his appointments. (At this first visit, unless he raises them,  I would not bring up anything about being a better student, being better liked, getting his work done, losing weight, eating better, etc.  – being “happy” goes well with anyone!  If he agrees to move on with you, you should consider yourself a miracle worker! You are also the one "in charge", so make that clear to him.  He's been trying to control his life, and others, by saying NO and overeating, for a long time now. Let him understand that, in your office, there is no right or wrong, good or bad, but only what works to help him be the best he can possibly be. Also, if you catch him in the comment "I  don't know", help him understand that this response never allowed - only answers are allowed.

Once the first meeting is out of the way, some practical suggestions are in order.  Since he is overeating and gets so tired (which can be caused by being obese), I think one of the most important things for this kid, if it hasn’t been done already, is to get him to a medical doctor AND a naturopathic physician to check out whether there could  be a problem physically, medically.  For instance, a low-producing thyroid can be very much involved with overweight; not getting adequate nutrition can cause uncontrolled eating, wiped out adrenal glands can cause chronic tiredness, etc.  Some times we work so hard on the psyche,  when physical problems might very well be the major cause of the issue(s).  You may already have questioned the parents on this, but if not, they need to use those avenues, especially the ND. 

Martial arts or tai chi can be tremendously helpful with kids this age, especially boys!  The combo of spirit, strength, empowerment and discipline can hardly be beat.  Also, it may help him shed some of his weight and turn to better eating habits. Going to such classes after school could energize him, even though he might, at first, not believe this.

As far as further hypnosis procedures, if you haven't used it already, the “problem search and solve” script is a must. It triggers the deeper mind to seek out imprints that are causing him to (“hate-school”) - fill in the blanks. Then you can use your regression skills, which he might find quite interesting and enjoyable.  As you already know, another way to come at seeking out causes and solutions is to do “parts therapy”.  Speak to the part that hates school  or refuses to do any schoolwork, or the part that gets discouraged in school, and find out why.   Then call forth parts of him that could help him with various aspects of his life (I always tease a bit and say these parts lie in his toes and hardly get a chance to come out. These are  the parts that want to do well, want him to look better, want him to be healthier, want him to have kids like him, etc. Ask him what he thinks each of these parts of himself can do for him. Get the parts to become his team that he can call upon to help him. And teach him how “quiet down” the parts that are overworking.

Another good technique to get at the same thing, if he is visual and imaginative, is to have him go on a boat ride that eventually takes him into a long cave, which has doors all along its sides. Each door leads to some special place.  You can name each door in relationship to what his kproblems are.  He climbs steps from the boat that lead up to different doors, opens each, telling you what he finds within each.  Help him to articulate how what he finds will be helpful to him for the particular problem. 

I would love to hear how you handle this client, and his growth with you. I wish you well.





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