In an ideal world, wouldn’t it be nice to have the belief that childhood is and should be one of the best time of our lives? To be uninhibited, free of worries, to play and learn about life from the people and world around them in a supportive, compassionate way.
To live their childhood years full of happiness, having fun, and above all experiencing love.
However, sadly, over the last seventeen years in practice as a therapist, I have seen an increasing number of children and teenagers who are suffering from mental and /or physical distress of some kind.
At any one time, a child or young person may be anywhere between being healthy, to coping, to struggling, to being unwell.
The pressures on young people today are mounting and children as young as 5 years old are experiencing life worries in some form. Biological, Psychological and Social challenges are on the rise for children and teens with Emotional disorders, especially anxiety and depression on the rise.
In our current global pandemic, apart from the normal anxieties children and young people face, there is now the disruption of a normal school routine and increased isolation from friends and family members. Young people may be anxious about becoming ill as a result of the virus or seeing a family member, carer, friend or teacher become ill. This can lead to sadness, helplessness and further loss of their stability.
“Research suggests that the pandemic is going to affect everyone’s mental wellbeing, particularly vulnerable groups such as children” (Holmes et al, 2020). Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health (PDF). Lancet Psychiatry.
I have over 17 years’ experience in working with children, teenagers and young adults and my therapeutic approach is tailored to the age of the young person I am supporting.
For children aged between 5 and 10 years old, I shape the sessions with more of a “Storytelling” approach and with creative support through art / drawing and play (if relevant). Most children are highly imaginative and love a story, so when they listen to their personalised story, it helps alleviate their fears, worries and anxieties. To learn more about my personalised audio stories for younger years (Children age 5-10) and how I can work with your family, please go to the Therapy for Children page.
My approach with Teenagers and young adults involves using a combination of NLP, Hypnosis and other relevant techniques such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and behavioural exposure work. In my therapy work, I have seen an ever- increasing number of anxious teenagers as today’s pressures on them appears to be vast.
Anxiety affects all of us at some time in our lives, it is natural and normal to experience some anxiety at a certain point. However, in today’s world, I am working with teenagers who are experiencing increasing anxiety over their performance academically; what they look like, what they eat, who their peer group is or isn’t and general angst about the future and what it holds for them. Anxiety affects their everyday lives. They find themselves unable to concentrate, develop unhelpful and sometimes unhealthy coping mechanisms, have disrupted sleep patterns and feel overly stressed about their life in some form.
Here are the typical issues I help young people with:
- Anxiety: General Anxiety Disorder; Social Anxiety Disorder; Panic Disorder; OCD; Phobia’s and PTSD.
- Performance Anxiety: Academic pressure; Exams and Test stress / nerves; Sports performance; Feeling overwhelmed.
- Lack of Motivation; Gaining confidence in your ability; Peer pressures & Friendship issues
- Eating Disorders and Body Dysmorphia
- Sleep problems or Insomnia
- Negative and ruminative thinking
- Low mood / Emotional outbursts
- Family worries / Relationship difficulties
- Building confidence and Self esteem
By relieving the stress and anxiety, on whatever the level may be, helps the mind feel calmer and more in control. This in turn changes the body’s responses to anxiety and offers young people the skills cognitively, emotionally and behaviourally, to consider their reactions; reduce negative thinking; boost their confidence; gain more self- assurance and build resilience to adapt to life’s challenges.
The purpose of Hypnotherapy is to use visualisation techniques to work with the unconscious mind in a safe, natural and effective way. Tailor made suggestions are given to the young person whilst in Hypnosis to re-programme the neural pathways to bring about positive changes to thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
NLP is a tool for change. It is a faster paced application and is a profound way to achieve quick, powerful and efficient change to develop patterns of successful behaviour.
This combination of therapies helps re-programme the neural pathways in the mind to develop more of a confident mind-set for life.
Children and teenagers respond well to Hypnotherapy and NLP and I have had the privilege to witness this time and again in the course of my 17 years in clinical practice. If you would like more information on how I can support your child or teenager, please get in touch.