Hypnosis can be looked upon as a state of concentrated and focused attention that is that is very similar to daydreaming. It allows access to the highly suggestible subconscious by quieting or bypassing the conscious mind. The rational processes of the conscious mind are suspended while the mind itself is occupied by deeper and more significant feelings and images. Children do not fully develop cognitive processes until they reach the age of 11 or 12. Until that age information is uncritically experienced by the child rather than being processed and critically evaluated. Children do not worry about the same theories and facts about the world and how things should be! This means that they go into trance much easier than adults do. Their focus is very fluid and they can move in and out of trance states in a very natural and relaxed way.
All the current research shows that hypnosis in children is very similar to what is experienced with adults except that children have a much greater responsiveness to suggestion. This is more than the child being compliant with the adult because they are dependent upon adults for their needs. Because of their ability to suspend their connection to the outer world, children have an advantage over adults in their use of hypnosis. Children can become completely absorbed in the story and take from the story the things they need for their lives. This is much the same as what happens when a child hears a fairy tale and becomes completely absorbed in the story. Metaphors like a brightly shining sun are easily taken into the mind of the child and become the sun shining brightly inside of them.
It is sometimes perceived that children have short attention spans so many hypnosis practitioners have been hesitant to use hypnosis with children. In reality, children go into trance so easily that long inductions are not necessary. They respond easily to stories that create images of the desired results. Trance is really easy for children and really wonderful things can be created for them.
Hypnosis contains many processes that can be easily adapted into stories that work very effectively for children. They are like fairy tales for the child who becomes completely absorbed in them and takes from these processes the things they need for their own healing.
Here is the Story Telling Protocol:
1. Take the time to connect with the child. Discover the individual’s interests and build strong rapport
2. Clearly define your goals for the session
3. Have the individual close their eyes and enter light trance
4. Create a story to fulfill the goals you wish to achieve
5. Create suggestions to fit in with the story
6. Anchor suggestions
7. Return to normal consciousness