Hypnosis in children has been regularly used as a treatment for a variety of symptoms. The earliest
record of childhood hypnosis states that it first occurred in the United States in the late 19th century. Whilst it waned slightly in the 1960s it has recently enjoyed a comeback in a broad range of paediatric settings.
It is common knowledge that children are often much more easily hypnotized than adults. This is often attributed to their willingness to accept fantasy and imagination more readily than the adult mind. Research and meta-analyses have recorded that hypnotherapy has had a positive effect on paediatric disorders including asthma, acute and chronic pain, and procedure-related stress in cancer patients.
Findings from a number of research and case studies have shown that hypnotherapy is of some use when tackling childhood psychiatric disorders, and may be particularly valuable in the treatment of anxiety and trauma-related conditions. As such, hypnotherapy may be used in clinical practice as an effective treatment used alongside cognitive behaviour therapies (CBT) and family therapy. However, further qualitative and quantitative research is needed to fully assess the usefulness of hypnosis in child psychiatry.
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