By Fred Bogin
A five-year-old girl needs multiple blood tests; she has a needle phobia. The lab people suggested immobilizing her in a velcro “papoose board”. Her mother wisely refused. After one session of learning self-hypnosis, she sat calmly for her blood draw, while she visualized herself on a ride at Disney World. A 16 year-old teen with multiple plantar (on the soles of her feet) warts was completely successful in using self-hypnosis to eliminate her warts within one month. A ten-year-old boy with Tourettes Disorder was able to gain much-improved control of his tics, and greatly increased self-confidence through the use of self-hypnosis. In the words of his grandmother, he was a “new boy”.
Hypnosis is grounded on the belief that people (including children and teens) have many more strengths and abilities than they consciously recognize. In our normal waking state, it is very difficult, if not impossible to access the unconscious or “inner mind”. The process of hypnosis creates the opportunity to tap into hidden strengths which we all possess on an unconscious level. Through hypnosis one can make truly positive changes in our emotional, cognitive (thoughts), physical and behavioral states. For example, many children have challenges in self-regulation, the “fine-tuning” of emotional/behavioral responses. Through hypnosis, such children can greatly enhance their skills of self-regulation.
Hypnosis is a state of narrowed focus and “inner absorption”. It is this inner absorption which enables children (and adults) to discover inner-strengths as described above. Hypnosis is NOT: a form of “mind control”, a “magical” or sleep state, or a surrender of self-control. My work with children is based on teaching the use of self-hypnosis, which correctly identifies the child as the one in control. Hypnosis often, but not always, involves relaxation. It also frequently utilizes imagery, visual and multi-sensory, and creates a fertile playing field for the rich imagination typical of children.
In recent years a rapidly growing body of scientific research has strongly supported the efficacy of hypnosis. Brain-imaging studies such as functional-MRI have documented changes in brain activity that characterize hypnotic states. Other scientific studies have documented the effectiveness of hypnosis in a wide number of conditions including enuresis, asthma, migraine headaches, and even evidence of the ability of some children to alter immune response.
I am a retired pediatrician with more than thirty years of experience helping children discover the power of self-hypnosis. My training has been through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute (of which I am a faculty member). I am currently expanding my hypnosis skills and knowledge in an intensive, 100 hour training experience, with Michael Yapko, PhD. Dr. Yapko is acknowledged nationally and internationally as a leading researcher, practitioner, and teacher of hypnosis.
Conditions which I have addressed through hypnosis include: habit problems (such as bed-wetting, nail biting, hair-pulling, and habit cough), fears and phobias, tics and Tourette Disorder, pain (both acute such as migraine, and chronic), warts, anxiety, stress reduction, and a host of other conditions. I would be delighted to discuss with you any questions you might have regarding the potential for hypnosis to be helpful for your child’s specific challenge(s). I can be reached through the main phone number at CLINIC, 413-341-5224, or by my personal email, firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be my pleasure to meet with you and your child/adolescent to introduce you both to the power of hypnosis to facilitate lasting, positive change.