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Hypnotherapy for children and teenagers

Although it was not widely used until the 1970s, hypnosis of children was first described in 1779 by Anton Mesmer, whose name is still connected with hypnosis when we talk about being mesmerised. He claimed to have used hypnotherapy to treat a child with visual problems.  Most children are good hypnotic subjects because they use their imaginations so powerfully on a daily basis. If a child is playing with an imaginary friend, for example, they see that friend and respond to them as if they were real.

Hypnotherapy aims to help your child use these same imaginative skills to find and put in place new ways of coping with problem situations such as separation anxiety, worrying, bedwetting, changing schools, trouble making friends or concentrating. It can also be used to teach your child relaxation to help them through the more stressful times in their lives.


Exactly like any other client, your child has to take an active part in their hypnotherapy and be willing to use the techniques between the sessions. The fact that you see a problem or want them to do things differently is not enough.

You may also have to change the ways you do some things as a family to support the changes your child is in the process of making. But if you are willing to do this and they are genuinely open to the idea of change, then hypnotherapy may be what you are both looking for.

There are some specific considerations when working with young people, especially around safety and confidentiality. Because of this, I would always book a free discovery session as a first step.  Booking a discovery session offers a chance for your family to find out more about hypnosis, and for us to decide if hypnotherapy is the right solution for your child.

If you do decide to go ahead with therapy, the number of sessions required varies depending on the nature and history of the problem, the age of the child, and many other factors. But it's usually around four to six.

Children's TV and books sometimes give some very strange ideas about hypnosis. If you or your child has concerns about it you are welcome to contact me. Or you could use an audio first, to allow your child to experience relaxation techniques in the security of their own home.


Hypnosis can be used with quite young children, but I work only with older children (10+) and teenagers.

I need your written consent to work with your child and, if they are under 13 years of age, the General Data Protection Regulation says I must be able to verify their date of birth as well.

If your child is under 13, we will have a chaperone in the room when I am working with them. This is normally a parent but, with your written consent, could be an older brother or sister, a grandparent or another relative if your child prefers. Chaperones must be over 18 years of age. 

The chaperone must be willing to take part in some aspects of the therapy, such as learning a technique so they can remind your child how to use it at home. So it should be someone your child sees regularly and trusts.

If your child is between 13 and 16 they may prefer not to have a chaperone. I use their preferences and yours, plus a ‘Gillick competency' assessment to decide if this is appropriate. You will still need to attend the initial session and give written permission for them to work with me. Please ask for details.

If your child is aged 16-17, you will have to sign the permission form, but they can otherwise be treated as an adult and seen without a chaperone unless there are specific reasons that this might not be the best option for them. Again, ask for details if you think this may apply.

If it's possible that your child's problems are connected with a medical condition, it's wise to get that ruled out before seeing a therapist of any kind. Otherwise, or afterwards, please contact me for more information.

Debbie Waller Hypnotherapy

The Loft Complementary Therapies, Normanton, West Yorkshire, WF6 2DB

Phone me: 01977 678593

Please note: Information on this site is for your guidance only and does not replace advice from a medical professional.

I am a well-trained and experienced hypnotherapist who will always do my best to help you achieve your goals, however, the results of therapy will vary. You can find my terms and conditions HERE

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Debbie Waller Hypnotherapy is a trading name of Yorkshire Therapies & Training Ltd.
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