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


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

Working with Small Children


I’ve been doing hypnosis for a number of years, but last week was the first time I’ve ever been asked to work with a child. This one is only six years old. I find this very scary.  I understand you specialize in this area.  What advice can you give me?


     I get a lot of questions about how to work with younger children.  The way you work with little ones is easy, only if you set aside your concepts of what hypnosis is, in terms of any traditional ideas of having people sit still in a chair, getting them to close their eyes, inducting and deepening, and then making suggestions for change.

     Recently, I had a five-year-old come to me.   This busy little girl was captivated far more by my “magic boxes” than by my "magic chair."  So, I just asked her questions like who her best friends are, her pets, favorite animals, TV characters she especially likes, etc., while she continued looking through the boxes. When she got bored with the boxes, I used the information I had obtained, from those questions, by telling her a short story while she sat in the “magic chair”.  I made her the heroine of an adventure with her friends, in which she had power over whatever her problem was. 

     For her next visit, and fear of the dark, I asked her who she thought the bravest animal was.  I simply got an agreement from her that every time she went to bed, she would tell herself that "she was a lion."  I had her pretend this, in her mind, with her eyes close, before leaving the session. It worked…in just that one session she no longer was afraid to be in her room at night.     

     Usually, I've found that a child is eager to return if you've let her or him enjoy the visit in the first place.  Establishing rapport with a child is probably the most important thing you can do, even if it takes a full first visit to do only that.  Because I let this child get her fascination with the room out of the way, and worked within her framework, she responded very well.  And she’s eager to come back.

     Doing an intake that gets out the favorites of a child makes it easy to create stories, situations, adventures, etc. that help a child handle their problem. I guess all of this is to say, that, with children you let your intuitions come to the surface, fly by the seat of your pants, and have a good time. Let yourself take off on “flights of fancy” by recovering your own “child” mind with that little client.   

     By the way, in the Article archives on my web site, there is an extensive article on hypnosis with children, and also a letter in the “Ask Del” archives that replies to a parent concerning how effective hypnosis can be with children.  Of course, there are also scripts galore in volumes I and IV of my Great Escapes volumes, in the e-store of my site.  





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