It is important that people be as comfortable as possible during the hypnotherapy sessions. Sometimes teens initiate hypnotherapy sessions themselves and prefer to come on their own, and sometimes it is a parent or another adult’s idea. If a parent is the initiator of the hypnotherapy sessions, parents and teens can decide together whether the parent will come for all, part, or none of the session. It is also fine to come together and talk with me for a while and we can all decide together. I generally schedule 2.5 hours for the first session, and let the young person’s style and needs determine how long our meeting lasts. You will only be charged for the time we use.
Talkative people appreciate the time to be fully heard and understood. This will lay a good foundation for the hypnosis. Less talkative individuals need less time. If a young person prefers that a parent do most of the talking, that is absolutely fine. Whatever lets them be most comfortable and understood is what will let the session be most helpful. (We are not aiming at manners or developing communication skills in this session.) Also, the more I understand the parents’ perspective in advance of the session, the more it will expedite our work.
A typical session might go something like this:
* Conversation (me learning a bit about what interests the young person)
* Talking about the teens’s problem, in as much or little depth as they wish
* Clear information about what hypnosis is and is not. So many myths abound.
* Warm up imagining exercises (imagining familiar and enjoyable things)
* Acupressure tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) if the person is open to it.
This offers good relief for many sorts of anxiety and stress.
* Creation of a personal hypnotherapy recording designed to help the young person
begin making their desired changes.
In our first session, I do not spend a lot of time talking about the young person’s problem with them unless they wish to, and it is helpful to them. (Sometimes it is important and helpful, but if it is stressful or embarrassing it is usually not worth that discomfort.) In general, the hypnotherapy approach is to focus on the positive more than the negative. This is a powerful foundation of change.
After our initial conversation, we get started with the imagining exercises, and the session becomes more interesting and even fun for most young people. They begin to understand more about how their minds work and it usually makes perfect sense to them once they see it in action. Using the personal recording at home helps them to develop their own inner process over time. Hypnosis sets up the mental/emotional pathways to make the desired changes accessible in real life. Generally three sessions is a good number to plan for, so that I can help individuals fine-tune the tools they are learning. However it is perfectly reasonable to come in for a single session and a recording and decide from there how to proceed.
One of the challenges that can arise in working with young people is if parents want their children to make changes that the children are not interested in making. In general, this scenario is not a recipe for success. For example, if a parent wants a teen to spend less time on their phone, but the teen is not interested in making that change, hypnosis is not likely to help. However that same teen might be interested in coming in to get help with getting better at soccer. In those sessions, we could address focus, self-confidence and engagement in such a way that a better life balance emerges and an individual often finds that other interests are becoming more compelling. If you would like me to help your teen with an issue that they do not really care about, we will talk that through in a consultation with parent alone, to see if there is a way for hypnotherapy to be of value.