Hypnotherapy is a technique used to help a child achieve hypnosis, which is an altered state of consciousness. At CHOC Children’s, our trained pediatric psychologists are certified by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and use a special language of suggestion to help a child focus their attention and change how they feel.
While being in a hypnosis state, a child is still highly alert and can hear noises and ask questions. A child’s mind is not being controlled; rather, a child is taught how to control their own mind. The state of deep relaxation can divert attention from pain and other negative feelings and thoughts. Hypnotherapy can be used to help with:
Our psychologists learn what language motivates a child and use the hypnosis technique that best matches their needs. For small children, we encourage them to play the “Imagination Game” and find the control room in their mind where they can change how their body feels. Another technique, called “The Magic Glove,” is used to help a child believe they have a glove on their arm that will lower their pain and discomfort from an injection.