Carlene A. Foldenauer, CCHT (Hypnotherapist)
Working with Children
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 With?
I work with children as young as four years old on up to teenagers.
Why Use Hypnotherapy with Children?
There are many issues that may be resolved through work with a hypnotherapist or sandtray practitioner, including the following:
- Behavior Issues, including anger management
- Worries and Anxiety (divorce)
- Low Self-Esteem or self-confidence
- Fearfulness – fear of the dark, storms, dentist
- Fear of Painful Procedures - injections, pill swallowing, chemotherapy
- Peer Pressure (friend problems)
- Sleep Problems (nightmares)
- Habits – thumb sucking, hair-pulling, nail biting, teeth grinding
- Eating Issues
- Pain Management, including headaches
- Test Taking Anxiety
- Lack of Concentration
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.egin entering your own content. You can change my font, size, line height, color and more by highlighting part of me and selecting the options from the toolbar.
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 and wholeness.
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 issues.
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 Session Last?
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, divorce).
What is Your Role in the Process?
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.