THERAPEUTIC HYPNOSIS WITH CHILDREN & ADOLESCENTS
edited by William Wester, Laurence Sugarman
Published by by Crown House at £29.50 (www.crownhouse.co.uk). Hardback 489+ pages. ISBN 978-184590037-3.
The authors have gathered experts in the field of hypnosis to examine its application to children and young people across a range of medical and psychological domains. In my view, it could be a useful tool for professionals in our field.
Part 1 presents a broad framework of hypnosis,
including developmental considerations, ethics and work with families. Parts 2 and 3,move to key psychological and medical applications, with interesting clinical vignettes and clinical strategies.
From my perspective – as a clinician and development manager at the Nelson Trust engaged in establishing an innovative service for young people experiencing serious problems with substances – I was particularly interested in the research evidence for the efficacy of hypnosis with young people who present with a range of complex needs. The authors show that a hypnotic strategy, when offered as an integral component of a holistic care plan, is effective in enhancing a young person’s locus of control. Research demonstrates that this promotes resiliency and innate coping skills.
In the chapter on habit disorders, a treatment outline is offered as a model applicable for use with young people experiencing problems with substance misuse. The potential to increase self efficacy through the mastery of a new skill, enhance motivation and harness the transformative potential of the imagination through therapeutic metaphor and meaningful narratives is exciting. I have met young people whose search for meaning and identity could be facilitated through this.
I approached this volume with no previous knowledge of hypnosis; it is written in a clear and accessible style and argues successfully for hypnosis to be included as a useful treatment modality for the clinician treating children and young people with a range of complex needs. Congruent with this approach is the belief that each young person has tremendous creative resources to help themselves.
Any modality which has the capacity to convey this effectively to our most vulnerable young people is deserving of our attengion.
catherine OADLey works at the Nelson Trust treatment centre in Stroud, Gloucestershire.