Therapy / Counselling With Children

Common issues in therapy with children and teenagers

  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Phobias and fears
  • Picky eating / food rejection behaviours
  • Anger management
  • Shyness
  • Confidence
  • Enhancing performance – school
  • Enhancing Sports performance
  • Problems at school
  • Bullying
  • School refusal
  • Tics
  • Toilet training issues and Soiling (Encopresis)
  • Bedwetting
  • Nail-biting
  • Changing unwanted habits
  • Obsessive habits
  • Trichotillomania – obsessive hair pulling
  • Test anxiety
  • Sleep issues with children
  • Support for children experiencing parents’ divorce
  • Parental guidance
  • Weight problems with children
  • Coping with Health issues

Therapy / Counselling With Children

Yael Reiss has been working with children and teenagers for over 20 years.
Children of all ages are often referred to Yael by paediatricians, psychologists and other professionals.
Yael sees children and their parents or caregivers, counselling and using other modalities such as hypnotherapy and NLP, Systemic Family Constellations and couples counselling.

Hypnotherapy and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) are used to calm anxiety and aid in changing habits and unconscious habits.

Systemic Family Constellations is used to address generational issues that have come down to the child through the generations. Most often these are unconscious underlying issues in the family for generations, that the child unknowingly repeats in different ways.

Why couples counselling in a page about child therapy? Because at times the child’s issue is a result / mirror of a problem between the parents in their own relationship.

*Please bear in mind that there are times in which is most helpful to work with the parents only, after initially seeing the child.

Hypnotherapy and children

Hypnotherapy has been used with children and adolescents for over 200 years. Paediatric publications of child hypnotherapy are found from the 19th century. Children are very suitable for, and respond very well to, hypnotherapy and NLP techniques.
Yael Reiss has been working with children and teenagers using hypnotherapy and NLP for 20 years. Children of all ages are often referred to Yael by paediatricians, psychologists and other professionals.
Children tend to be hypnotized while awake and with eyes open. You often witness that when you read them a story, and you see in their eyes that they are literally ‘in the story’. Young children tend to feel uncomfortable with closing their eyes and entering trance this way. As there is no need for eye closure to get children into trance (hypnosis), with children I have techniques that use more conversational-trance rather than the traditional hypnotherapy techniques used with adults. These are usually fun and engaging. Using metaphors, stories, imaginative techniques are easy and effective ways to create trance and achieve change with many children.

To illustrate the potential power of imagination techniques:

Imagine that there is a slice of lemonie-lemon in your mouth right now. Imagine how it tastes and feels… until you feel the saliva in your mouth! The saliva in your mouth is not imaginary, it is real!
This illustrates that NOTHING IS “JUST” IN YOUR IMAGINATION, that what you imagine effects your reality, and possibly quite quickly 🙂

How is therapy / counselling done with children?

NLP and hypnotherapy are solution and resource oriented approaches. After getting to know a bit about the child’s interests and hobbies, we gradually approach the problem area and then move on to focus on establishing a desired outcome instead. Once the desired outcome is established, together we find the strategy of the problem. Then we find the suitable areas of the child’s life that are resourceful in a way that can help bring the desired change to this specific strategy. Finally we connect the child’s resources to the triggers for the problem, so those old ‘buttons’ that used to activate problems will from now on activate the resource states.

For example, bedwetting children often feel they have no control over it. One of the typical resources that we attach to sleep time is taken from an area of life where the child feels very capable and in control. Let it be bike riding, drawing, climbing on the monkey bar. It can be any area of the child’s life, that might have been a challenge to begin with, and is now an ‘easy peasy’ experience for the child; a skill or ability that he or she are very confident about. Then, in various NLP and hypnotherapy techniques we ‘rewire’ the feeling of control, from bike riding for example, with feeling of control over their bladder.

Another example is anxiety in children. We find an area of confidence and happiness in the child’s life, and ‘rewire’ it with NLP and hypnotherapy techniques to the triggers for anxiety (such as getting to school for children with school refusal). Areas of confidence and happiness can easily be found with most children from fun times with family and friends with whom they feel safe and loved, and in activities they are good at. We also help the change generalize to other contexts and triggers so the child becomes more resourceful in general and gives up anxiety in favour of a curious, fun and ‘I-can-do-it’ approach in life.
There are some playful mind techniques to help children change unwanted habits and limiting beliefs. Using metaphors and drawing are great ways we use to effectively help children change. These are only a few examples.

Children don’t have to be verbal

In order to participate and benefit from therapy with Yael, children don’t necessarily have to be verbal. For different reasons some children cannot be or choose not to be verbal, and often therapy is successful with these less verbal children. Yael is happy to use parent’s verbal help when suitable, as well as using techniques that don’t require the child’s verbal participation.

Parents/caregivers in the session?

With children up to 10-11 years old, most often the child feels more comfortable when a parent/ caregiver is in the session. This is very helpful for successful therapy results, as parents and caregivers can be a great help in finding the times and contexts in the child’s life that are resourceful. Below, read more about parents in sessions. Teenagers will have parents/caregivers with them or have the session to themselves according to their preference. With teens I often suggest that we start the session with a parent and decide from there what is best

Working with the parents/caregivers

Whether we’re aware of it or not, in any communication people hypnotize each other. In the session, parents learn how to more effectively ‘hypnotize’ their children towards the desired outcome instead of the being stuck in the old problem.

Very important to address, if there are hidden patterns of behaviour between parents and children – unconscious strategies that tend to maintain the problem – these can be revealed in the session and together new strategies can be examined.

Often it is most helpful to work with the parents only, after initially seeing the child. 
In many cases the child will only be able to achieve change via parent’s addressing their parenting issues in therapy / counselling. Most often the parent’s own childhood issues will play a role in the ways they parent their own children, for better or worse. Hence, often the parent addressing their own childhood in therapy / counselling is a key to success for their child.

*When possible, it is strongly advised that both parents/care givers will come to the session.

How many sessions?

Children generally change quickly, often quicker than adults do. Most commonly, a session or two is all that will be needed to help children solve the problem and reach the desired outcome. It’s also reasonable to expect that some children will need to come again after a little while of “test driving” the new way of being, to adjust it a bit more. Some children will need more than a couple of sessions.

As mentioned, often it will be most helpful if the parent/s come to therapy / counselling on their own to address issues related to their parenting. In these cases, as mentioned on other pages here, benefits are likely to show from the first session and for most people a few more sessions will help achieve their outcome more fully.

Children with ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorders

Although Yael does not specialize in helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, she often sees ASD children, with good success rates in helping relieve symptoms such as anxiety.
Yael can also refer to a nutritionist specialising in spectrum children.

How to prepare your child before the first session

Please talk to your child about coming to therapy / counselling and let him or her know they’re coming in order to address the issue you want to help them with. Please reassure them that with children I have techniques that use more conversational trance rather than traditional hypnotherapy techniques. Only if he or she is comfortable with closing their eyes and entering deep trance then we will do that.

We’re going to the ‘Problem-Solving-Fairy’

With younger children parents can introduce the trip to Yael as a visit to the ‘Problem-Solving-Fairy’. Parents can tell their child that Yael is just a Mum, and she is also a bit like a fairy. Yael is a bit like a Fairy in the way that people and children that come to her come with a wish that a problem that they have will go away. In most cases Yael helps them to have this wish come true, and problems very often go away after you visit Yael :-).

It is also important to mention that, as opposed to a common belief (or fear) about hypnosis or stage hypnosis (which is not therapy!), in hypnoTHERAPY the client is always in control, even when in a deep trance state. As is the case for adults, and even more so with children, hypnotherapy is not about controlling you or taking the control from you. It’s about helping you gain the control back, so you won’t have the problem anymore. When practiced by an experienced respectful professional, the process is safe and quite often enjoyable and fun. So you can let your child know that it’s quite a bit different from hypnosis in the movies or books such as Captain Underpants! They will have the chance to experience some cool hypnosis stuff if they wish (Such as arm levitation!!!)! Yet still they can be rest assured that no permanent undesired state will stick to them. To the contrary, they will most likely feel permanently more powerful :-).

Free email/phone follow up

I always like to have phone/email follow-ups with my clients, to see how the child is doing and to give a little tip when needed. The follow up is free of charge, and is done by email/phone.

Here is the link for the Registration Form (Children)