Cognitive Hypnotherapy For School Issues

Exam nerves, academic performance, bullying, peer / teacher relationships

Having worked extensively with children (from around the age of 6 upwards ) and teenagers over my therapy career, issues around school are the single most common area that I see appear in my practices.  The whole area of school continues to be a significant stressor in many young people's lives.

Some are able to handle the school environment reasonably well, whereas for others it can have a significant negative effect on their lives.  As many adult mental health conditions begin before the age of about 14 or so its important to try and resolve these issues quickly so they don't have any long term impact.

The support provided by schools themselves, and their degree of flexibility in providing it, varies significantly in both quality and quantity (see my blog entry School And How To Survive It").  But vitally important mental health support in schools other than the basics is usually quite slow and cumbersome to access.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy has a whole range of tools and techniques to fill in this gap in support and help children and teenagers deal with the many issues that can arise that are connected to school, the most common being exam nerves and academic performance expectations (including workload such as homework etc), school attendance issues and refusal (particularly during the switch over to secondary), bullying, and relationships with teachers and peers.

By examining these problems at a subconscious level and working through and utilising the young person's own model of the world to understand how they uniquely relate to the problem in their own mind, we help them to resolve these underlying patterns and stressors and so they feel more in control of what happens at school, or how they choose to respond mentally to these more tightly controlled and frequently challenging environments.

minds are continuously developing and changing as they move gradually towards adulthood, although from a subconscious perspective they usually have most of the capabilities of an adult brain by the time they reach the age of 12 or so (even if the mental "orchestra" doesn't all quite play together in harmony until the end of the teenage years).

During the childhood and teenage period the subconscious mind is continuing to rapidly construct , adapt and change the many thousands of patterns it stores and uses to help keep the youngster safe from harm, and take them towards the things it believes are in their best interests in the immediate and longer term future, based on their experiences and perhaps some natural pre-disposition or genetic bias.

But of course the subconscious can make mistakes in its processing of situations, events, people, or even the way we perceive ourselves.   The brain does the best it can with what it has available at the time, but the mind of a 6 year old will usually process a difficult situation quite differently to a 13 year old or a fully-fledged adult.  There will often also be differences in how each individual child perceives and reacts.

These early subconscious patterns might be the most useful response that the brain can come up with at the time, but they may unconsciously remain in the background and outlive their usefulness as we get older.  Some will naturally drop away as time passes but others (perhaps more difficult or traumatic ones, or patterns related to some of the more fundamental areas of life such as survival) may stick around longer than the youngster and possibly their parents / carers would like.

There are still many challenges that children and teenagers face growing up in the UK today.  The most common areas I see with this age group are issues related to school (school refusal, bullying, exam nerves and stress over academic performance, relationship or behavioural problems with teachers and peers etc), eating disorders, separation anxiety disorder, lack of confidence, OCD, family and sibling relationship issues, anxiety and panic attacks, phobias and depression.  I also often work with talented youngsters on improving and optimising sport performance.