Can Hypnotherapy help Post Pandemic anxiety in children?
Fearful and anxious children may struggle to return to life post pandemic. Can Hypnotherapy help? The impact of the pandemic upon the lives of children and young people is still being assessed. At the start of a new school year, it is fair to say that impact on education has been widely felt. For some, […]
Fearful and anxious children may struggle to return to life post pandemic. Can Hypnotherapy help?
The impact of the pandemic upon the lives of children and young people is still being assessed. At the start of a new school year, it is fair to say that impact on education has been widely felt. For some, the start of term will be met with relief as they happily re-joined their friends, teachers, and class groups. For others, the return to school or college may be met with significant anxiety. Some parents have shared with me their concerns about their own children who are struggling to cope with the thought of returning to busy schools or a fearful of further rule changes .
Anxiety affects learning
Some children and young people have become so fearful and anxious about returning to a post pandemic world, that they have become emotionally withdrawn. In the case of children and young people, they will often withdraw to a safe place such as a bedroom and absorb themselves in the internet as a distraction from a physical everyday world they no longer feel part of.
Children and young people can experience anxiety very differently. In younger children, it is often a physical response such as stomach-ache, headache and even physical sickness which may develop out of fear. In others there may be symptoms of panic such as becoming very tearful, feeling dizzy or breathing rapidly. Quite often, children and young people may become so lost within their own feelings they are unable to talk about how they feel. When you feel your world has been disrupted drastically, it is hard to find the words to describe what is being experienced; this is especially true for children and young people who have neuro diverse needs. Being bombarded with news whilst simultaneously being cut off from physical friendship groups has had a devastating effect on some teens. No wonder then that many simply know something feels wrong but can’t say exactly ‘what’ that something is – they just don’t have the words.
In my therapy practice, I work with teenagers from the age of 13 up to 18 years of age who need help to lower anxiety and manage stress levels. We need to remember that children have possibly experienced a different aspect of the pandemic and lockdown than perhaps our older relatives. There is no doubt in my mind that the constant ‘fear driven’ media reports coming out of every news channel and on social media channels have contributed to how our children and young people now view the world, after all, if you were treated or viewed as a ‘vector for a virus’, a ‘Covid carrier’ or told you were potentially so ‘dangerous’ your very presence in a room could ‘kill granny’ it not hard to understand why some children feel as they do.
Can Hypnotherapy help?
Hypnotherapy can help lower anxiety in children and young people because there is very little requirement for discussion in a session. It is not counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy. In my sessions with teens, the focus is on breathing and trance work which helps lower anxiety very quickly. Hypnotherapy is very quiet form of therapy, as teens are guided to release unhelpful thoughts and feelings using simple visuals or mindful techniques such as ‘calm buttons’ . They are also encouraged to think about the things they enjoy and do want in their life such as hobbies and friends. Sessions are about teamwork; I support young people in recognising what they do want and support them in moving away from unhelpful thoughts and feelings that they don’t want. We consider timelines and set small achievable goals chosen by the young person themselves. Hypnotherapy is used to help young people relax, move beyond the feelings of fear and anxiety so that they can reconnect to feelings of calm. As a gentle form of solution focussed therapy, hypnotherapy is an organic way to teach children and young people that they can take control of their thoughts and feelings. When young people learn my simple techniques to reduce anxiety and build confidence or banish unhelpful thought patterns, it’s like pressing a ‘re set’ button!
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