Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Hypnotherapy in Schools

Good reasons why we should introduce Hypnotherapy in schools.

Being a of child age has always been tricky.

I did my 'childhood' in the 80's and early 90's. From what I gather most people growing up in that era suffered the same difficulties and faced the same challenges, such as starting new schools and trying to make new friends or 'fit in'. Some of us had the misfortune of being bullied (you know who you are, but being a hypnotherapist, I now forgive you).  Others had awful upbringings, broken homes or no permanent homes at all, dyslexia, racial abuse, being too fat, being too thin, being 'ugly', being too pretty, being 'thick', being too clever, being different and even being too normal had its challenges. It was such a fine line to tread and left me and other children of the era sometimes feeling vulnerable, sad, open to torment, some developed eating disorders, started self harming, a large proportion of kids started using substances to get them through.
All of these in turn took their toll left us with an inability to concentrate, which is not great if you intend on leaving school with a decent education that will allow you to get a good job where you no longer have to life this shitty existence.

Over the years with all the developments in technology, especially in neuroscience you would think that things may have improved. Yes your teacher is no longer able to give you the cane or throw the occasional piece of chalk in your direction, but everything else still stands and with the amazing invention of the internet I fear things have actually gotten worse, far, far worse than we could have ever imagined for the youngsters of today.

Having worked closely with children and young people over the last few years in my Children's hypnotherapy clinic Cardiff and in my previous role within Careers Guidance, it has left me wondering how on earth I would have coped in todays school society. Cyber bullying in all its formats, not just unwanted text or email, but full on stalking, being forced to watch really and I mean really, inappropriate video clips that would give grown ups the heebie-jeebies. Just imagine if that embarrassing time you tucked your skirt into your knickers back in 4th year had been captured on film and 'gone viral'. Being called skid-mark by a handful of classmates seems tame in comparison.  (purely fictional of course).

When we look closely at some of the problems children endure they are very similar to those suffered by adults. However, some are much more unique to their age group. Such as separation anxiety, being bullied, learning problems and exam fears, behaviour difficulties, motor and vocal tics, night time fears and sleep problems, pulling hair out, thumb sucking, nail biting etc. So, how can we start helping these youngsters rebuild their self esteem and feelings of self worth? How can we avoid the levels of depression and anxiety that is rife in our schools? How can we increase their motivation to take their hands out of the front of their tracksuit bottoms?

Well we could start by introducing hypnotherapy to all school aged children. Hypnotherapy crucially helps young people to understand how their brains work, how we create anxiety, depression, phobic responses, and why we sometimes feel angry and lash out.  More importantly it gives them the tools to start overcoming these feelings. Young people and their lively imaginations are amazingly responsive to positive suggestion and can easily grasp the basics of neuroscience within minutes. They usually cotton on and understand what they need to do to improve their lives and feel happier far quicker that the 'grown ups' I work with.

As a hypnotherapist working in Cardiff I offer my services within the local schools, both primary and secondary and always welcome enquires from educational establishments. I am happy and I know so are many of my colleagues in the industry, to give up our time in order to hold class discussions, group talks and even assembly's where necessary (although that in turn gives me a serious case of the willies and usually requires me to meditate for some time before and after).

I know first hand the positive difference this natural, non-chemical, therapy can make to those kids finding it most difficult to cope and I am on a mission to make it accessible to all.