Instructions to hypnotist
A tactile technique, such as holding a stuffed animal, may be appropriate for a 2-year-old. A 4-year-old may respond better to a rag-doll and a 6-year-old to a coin or television technique. Developmentally, a school child (7-11 years of age) may respond best to a favorite place technique and ad adolescent to sports imagery.
During the pre-hypnotic interview, as much information as possible should be gathered about the child’s favorite place. This information will be fed back during the session.
Spoken to subject
Just make yourself nice and comfortable in the chair. Now I would like you to put your hands on your lap and to use your eyes to find a spot on one of your hands on which you would like to focus all of your attention. It might be a wrinkle or a fingernail. Now that you have found that spot – that special spot on which you have chosen to focus all of your attention – let yourself really concentrate on that one spot; let yourself totally concentrate on that spot that was special for you, concentrate on it just as hard as you can. As you do that, you can still be aware of my voice and you can let all of your body become very relaxed and comfortable. Now in a little time – I’m not exactly sure when, but soon – your eyes will become so relaxed and comfortable that they will want to close.
You pick the time that feels just right for you. And when that happens, you can feel even more relaxed and comfortable than you are feeling right now. When that happens, when your eyes close, we can talk about some other very pleasant things that are relaxing and comfortable for you. (Reinforce as needed for eye closure) That’s it – so comfortable and peaceful from the top of your head all the way down to the bottom of your toes. And when you are feeling so relaxed and comfortable, like you feel right now, you might like to imagine that you are in your favorite place in the whole world. Being there right now. Now, that favorite place might be a place you have really been to before, or a place you have only read about, or a place you have dreamed about. But everything about that favorite place is just the way you want it to be. You might be there by yourself or maybe with some very special friend. Of course, you are doing your favorite activities and everything about the day is just the way you would like it to be. I am not sure where your favorite place is – I imagine it might be (Information obtained from child in interview) I know that you know where your favorite place is and that you are enjoying it right now. You can continue to enjoy your favorite place and all of the things you would like to do while we talk about special things you can do when you are relaxed and in your favorite place – things that can help you.
(Note: If performing therapy, the therapist begins to work on treatment goals with appropriate suggestions and questioning with ideomotor signaling)
Now you can continue to be in your favorite place for a moment longer. In the next minute or so, it will be time for you to return to the room here with me, feeling refreshed and relaxed and very good about what you have learned and what you can do when (reinforce therapeutic suggestions) Just let yourself gradually return feeling refreshed and relaxed, ready to open your eyes and to be back here with me. You can go back to your favorite place any time you want.
Welcome back (child’s name).