June, 2014

Working with Children

A discussion is currently taking place on LinkedIn about hypnotherapy with children.  I personally am pleased to work with children from 4 years and upwards.  They are great fun and very imaginative and, it therefore follows, very suggestible.  I do agree with Dr. Lindsay B Yeates, however, that it is often the parent(s) that is the problem and it is important to have a few ground rules in place before beginning to work with a child.  Here are some of Dr Yeates’ stipulations which he explains to the parent before commencing treatment:

  • the child is my client, not the parent
  • the parent will not be present in the consulting/treatment room at any time other than the history taking at the initial consultation.
  • the parent agrees not to discuss the treatment with the child at any time, i.e. they do not try to find out from the child what has been said.
  • the parent accepts that any information given to me by the child will only be passed on to them (the parent) provided the child freely and willingly choses to allow me to do so.

I think these rules are very important.  As I have already said, it is sometimes very clear at the initial consultation that it is the parent or parents who have the problem and it is therefore key that the child can trust the therapist or counsellor and know that everything discussed within the therapy room will remain completely confidential – with the usual proviso, of course, that should I perceive the child to be in danger, then I would need to break that confidentiality.

Presenting problems:  I have treated are a 5 year old who refused to speak at school. She chatted happily with her father at the information gathering but would apparently not speak in public. She was clearly exceptionally bright and was able to read several stories to me and tell me what she enjoyed doing with her dad. It transpired that she had to act as translator on a daily basis for her mother who had no English and was finding a way to rebel against this role.

A few weeks ago I saw a little girl who following a bad cold had developed a strange tic, inadvertently and repeatedly snuffling and screwing up her eyes. She was beginning to be teased at school and her mother was very anxious about it. We had great fun chasing the tic around and hiding it in her shoes while she was at school and it has now disappeared completely.

A common problem is picky or fussy eating – often stemming from early childhood where the parents have focused strongly on persuading a child to eat following an illness.  The child will often equate love and attention with either refusing to eat or overeating and, of course, this is an issue that, if not treated, can spill over into adulthood and cause severe difficulties later on.

My conclusion: provided you have clear ground rules around the involvement of parents, children are a delight to work with and  amazing changes can be brought about using fantasy journeys and creatures, stories and making full use of the child’s imagination.


29000+ spam emails in my inbox today!  Overwhelming!

A huge thank you to Graham Irwin – http://www.compassion-in-business.co.uk – my webmaster,  who has rescued me.   If you have been using my jose@mindtochange.co.uk email address please delete it.  Contact me on jpenrose@lineone.net or jpenrosemtc@gmail.com

The Cost of Quitting

Ella Moss has written the following piece about the financial costs of quitting smoking.  It makes interesting reading and reveals that there is always someone trying to continue to make a living out of products which may possibly be harmful and certainly do you no good!

The Cost of Quitting

Smoking is killing the inhabitants of our planet at an alarming rate and is predicted to kill1 billion people this Century. The small sticks of tobacco that many inhale into their lungs have been found directly to  cause numerous fatal diseases, including cancer, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Smoking also affects those around you.  Known as second hand or passive smoking, it can cause the same diseases in those who inhale smoke without even smoking themselves. With this in mind, there is no ‘bad’ time to quit. When an individual decides to quit smoking tobacco, they’re fortunate enough to have many smoking cessation aids to help them kick the habit.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

On the assumption that nicotine –  a substance in cigarettes – is addictive and that it is this that keeps smokers smoking, nicotine patches and gum work by supplying you with nicotine in a different form, thus satisfying the nicotine craving without having to ingest any of the hundreds of harmful chemicals that tobacco contains. They also help to prevent the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking, such as anxiety and depression, making the individual, in theory, less likely to relapse. Of course, patched and gum do not come free.  Nicotine patches cost, on average, between £8 and £15 per pack of 7 patches. Although this is cheaper than regular cigarettes, recent research has found that nicotine patches aren’t the most effective method of quitting in the long term.

Nicotine gum is cheaper, costing around £15 for 105 pieces. However, each piece of chewing gum only contains 4mg of nicotine compared to the 21mg in a nicotine patch. It’s therefore very likely you’ll need to chew multiple pieces of nicotine gum a day. In addition, nicotine gum comes with along list of potential side effects and hazards to health, such as a slowed heart rate, and you should consult your doctor before beginning to use it.

Electronic Cigarettes

E-Cigs are the latest in smoking cessation technology. They mimic real cigarettes both in form and function by looking like a real cigarette and smoking like a one too. The e-liquid, which is the substance inside that contains the nicotine, is turned to vapour and inhaled much like a real cigarette. These too are not cheap though.  The initial starter pack can cost £90 or more, and then it’s about £10 – £18 for each pack after. Although E-Cigs sound like a fool proof plan for ditching the habit, they’re still untested and a lot is unknown about the e-liquid used. In addition, many believe these devices encourage smoking in those who don’t and perpetuate the habit in those who already do.


Hypnotherapy has been found to be effective in treating conditions where the individual’s thought processes need to change or a habit needs to be broken, such as in the case of smoking. A deeply relaxed ,trance-like state is induced – akin to the feeling just before you drop off to sleep.  In this state subjects are more susceptible to suggestion and their positive thoughts surrounding cigarettes can be replaced with negative ones. Hypnotherapy works long term because, rather than just immediately satiating the craving for or the means of access to nicotine, it fundamentally changes how the patient views cigarettes and also breaks the habit of smoking. By encouraging a smoker to see the damage that tobacco is doing to their body, reinforcing the idea that they need to protect themselves and instilling a sense of self-worth in the individual which does not need to be supported by cigarette smoking, hypnotherapy can help kick the habit once and for all.

Ella Moss, Journalist

Spam – HELP!

For the first time ever I am suffering from having had my email address hacked and am being deluged with returned mail which the ‘spamer’ has obviously sent to random hundreds of people – mostly in Germany it seems – using my jose@mindtochange.co.uk email address.

If you use this email address, please delete it and contact me using either jpenrose@lineone.net or jpenrosemtc@gmail.com.

What a nightmare!  My lovely webmaster seems to be off line and I have no idea how to counter the assault without him!

My sincere apologies if you have been affected.    I hope to resolve the problem very soon.