Working with Children
What I Offer
If you are looking for someone who will connect with your
child and take a genuine interest in his or her wellbeing, I may be the
practitioner you are seeking. I am a certified clinical hypnotherapist, and a
former elementary school teacher. I love working with children and have a passion for helping
them live happier and healthier lives. My goal is to provide a safe environment
where children feel comfortable working or “playing” through their problems. My
intent is to help children access their amazing inner selves to resolve issues,
and empower them with simple tools to improve their lives.
As a former teacher, I understand that your child is unique,
and she or he will require individualized attention. I do not use a set formula
for my sessions with children. Once I gain an understanding of your hopes and
concerns for your child, I will begin to consider different ways to reach him
or her. As I work with your child and get a feel for how they respond, the
sessions will be customized to get the best results.
What I Don’t Offer
If you are looking for someone to make a psychological
assessment or diagnosis, or to prescribe medication for your child, I am not
the practitioner for you. I do not
have a psychology degree and I am not a licensed medical doctor.
What Ages Do I Work
I work with children as young as four years old on up to
Why Use Hypnotherapy with
There are many issues that may be resolved through work with
a hypnotherapist or sandtray practitioner, including the following:
Issues, including anger management
and Anxiety (divorce)
Self-Esteem or self-confidence
– fear of the dark, storms, dentist
of Painful Procedures - injections, pill swallowing, chemotherapy
Pressure (friend problems)
– thumb sucking, hair-pulling, nail biting, teeth grinding
Management, including headaches
What Happens During a
Session with Your Child?
Prior to a session I will gather information from you regarding
specific issues your child is experiencing. This helps me prepare a loose plan for the session.
Although, once I begin working with your child, they may lead the session in a
different direction. I usually follow the child’s lead. I believe in working at
their pace, allowing the healing to take place naturally, when the child is
ready. Usually I begin a session by asking how things are going. Often this is
the only prompt needed.
If I know there is a particular issue going on in a child’s
life, based on what the parent or child communicates to me, I may prompt a discussion
around that topic. For example, if I know a child is exhibiting anger and
hostility, I might put a few picture books around the room that relate to that
topic, and have them choose a book to read together to stimulate conversation
or do a sandtray session around the issue.
What Techniques Will
I Use During a Session with Your Child?
I use a variety of techniques when working with children, based
on their age and maturity level, and on their personal interests and needs. Following is a list of some of the
modalities I use in my practice with children.
Hypnotherapy or “Hypno” Stories
Children tend to respond more quickly and easily than adults
to hypnosis because they are more in touch with their imaginations and they are
not exposed to misconceptions about hypnosis. During a regular day, children
are often in a trance-like state when playing imaginary games. And in general,
children are more receptive to new ideas. With younger children I often use metaphorical stories that
include hypnosis and relaxation techniques.
During a sandtray session, your child will create a scene in
a small sandbox, providing a representation of what’s going on in his or her
world. Playing in the sand provides a safe and protected space where fears and
tension slip away and issues and insights are brought to the forefront that
might not be expressed in words. This process ultimately leads to self-healing
Note: Although I respect
Dora Kalff’s original “sandplay play therapy” process, and follow much of it, I
have made adaptations in my practice.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
EFT is often called “tapping,” and can be easily learned,
even by young children. Your child will simply use their finger tips to tap on
different points on their head and body (acupressure points), while saying a
phrase that helps them focus on their issue and create self-acceptance. EFT tapping is
especially helpful for calming children when they are upset or angry.
Guided Visualizations and Simple Breathing Techniques
Guided visualizations and simple breathing techniques can be
great tools to empower your child to relax and calm down on their own.
Sometimes I will provide a CD for your child to listen to before bedtime or
when they are upset.
Picture books can be a great way to prompt conversation about
a difficult topic with your child. These books can help your child realize that
they are not alone, and that other children have similar problems. And there are
many good books that provide solutions and tools to help your child with life
Dreams can be a great way for children to learn about
themselves and how they are feeling. When your child understands that dreams
are symbolic and not usually literal, and that she or he can be a “detective” to
figure out the meaning in dreams, this will put your child at ease, and reduce fears about nightmares.
How Long Will a
Sessions may last anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour.
This is based on age, maturity level and attention span.
How many Sessions
will Your Child Need?
This is difficult to determine. There will be times when one
session is all that is needed, although that is the exception. With that being
said, hypnotherapy is not usually ongoing, in other words, the goal is to resolve
the issue and move on. Although many parents choose to keep an ongoing
relationship after issues are resolved, by keeping in touch and bringing their
child in when they foresee possible issues (e.g., new baby, new school,
What is Your Role in
Prior to scheduling a session, you will share your concerns
regarding your child and you will fill out paperwork. I require both parents or
legal guardians to sign the consent form. In cases where parents are separated,
in the process of divorce, or are divorced, I may require proof of custody. I
will only work with parents who are willing to work together in the best
interest of their children.
In some cases, we may decide to schedule one family session
or parent/child session prior to individual work with your child. After that, I
will work one-on-one with your child. My goal is to provide an environment
where the child feels safe to communicate their feelings and issues.
Follow up will vary depending on the child and their age.
With older children, I will often work with them to communicate with you about
the issues that come up during their session(s). This may require patience from
you, the parent, as your child may need time before they are ready to talk with
you about certain issues.
My goal is to work together with you to help your child heal
and resolve problems.
There may be times when I give your child assignments to
work on between sessions, or in the case of younger children, I may ask you to
work with your child to help them learn and use tools and techniques to improve their
wellbeing. By learning these tools it empowers them to help themselves.
Love Your Life
Carlene A. Foldenauer, CCHT (Hypnotherapist)
Hypnotherapist, Sandplay, EFT & Reiki Practitioner650-773-8882,
San Mateo County Coast (between Pacifica & Half Moon Bay)