AnxietyIt's a sad statistic that up to 1 in 6 young people will experience an anxiety condition at some point in their lives. It can affect anyone of any age, social group or background. The good news is that it can be treated.
Anxiety comes in many forms in children and adolescents from generalised anxiety and social anxiety to separation anxiety, phobias and selective mutism.
Hypnotherapy is a very effective way of treating many types of anxiety in children. This is done by teaching them relaxtion techniques that they can ue whenever they need to and by engaging their imagination to allow them to visualise calming and happy scenarios. Hypnosis enables the child's subconscious mind to learn that they are safe and secure and therefore have no need to feel afraid. When these techniques are combined, it allows the child to to feel far more in control of themelves and their surroundings, which in turn means they remain calm and happy.
PanicWhen feelings of anxiety become overwhelming children, like adults, can begin to feel they are losing control both of the situation around them and of their own bodies. These psychological feelings can lead to panic attacks.
The symptoms of panic attacks can be distressing for anyone, bur particularly so for children. They can include:
- Tremoring or Shaking (sometimes violently)
- A pounding, racing heart and possibly palpitations (feeling your heart is stopping or skipping beats)
- Shortness of breath or feelings of chocking
- Feeling dizzy, sick and sweaty
- A feeling of losing control of bladder or bowels
- Numbness or Tingling in fingers and toes
- Feeling you are losing control of your mind / going crazy
- Feeling that you or the world around you is not real
- Feeling you are about to die
- Feeling or even acting aggressive toward anybody who tries to get in the way of your attempt to escape
A crucial part of the therapy process is explaining to the child, in terms they can understand, why an attack occurred and what was happening to their body during the attack. A sense of understanding what happened can significantly reduce the fear a child has about another attack occurring and this in turn can sometimes even lower the possibility of further attacks.
At New Steps Therapy I use hypnotherapy to combats panic attacks by desensitising the child to the stressors that trigger attacks. This is done by allowing the child to look back at them in a safe, happy, dissociated state, breaking the association between the trigger and the resulting fear.