Therapy for Children

At Bedford Health Sue works with children from 7 years of age, often for only one or two sessions.  Although the number of sessions depends on the problems they’re suffering, how long that’s been happening and their personality type.

Both Applied Psychology and Hypnotherapy can be used and these are gentle treatments, designed to build the child’s self esteem and belief that they can overcome their problems.  This is very helpful for children with problems and symptoms such as school anxiety, excessive worrying, phobias, exams, eating habits and a range of other issues that many people suffer as they grow up.

While kids may grow out of their difficulties, many parents feel it would be better to cut them short if possible.


Under 7 years

For children under 7 years of age, Sue can work with a parent to teach you how to pass on techniques at home.  Attention span under this age means that children are rarely able to concentrate for full sessions and that they learn better by parent led example at home and at their pace.


Over 16 years

As children near adulthood it is more effective for them to go through therapy alone.  This allows them the freedom to talk about issues that are embarrassing to them or which they feel their parents might not understand or approve of.  We’ve all been a teenager and I’m sure you can remember that feeling.  For these children and young adults the freedom to talk openly is often key to big changes.  If you are at all concerned about this, please discuss it with Sue at your first phone call with her.


Distance learning

Many of Sue’s adult clients work with her using Skype, Facetime or WhatsApp when they are travelling or are unable to get into the clinic because they live too far away.  Depending on the age of the child, it may be possible to do video conferencing with you and your child also.  This is something you and Sue can discuss when you have a chat over the phone.

There are very few therapists specialising in working with children and young adults. This is something that Sue has been doing since 2005 and with outstanding results.  Kids usually improve faster than adults. Perhaps that’s down to less time to embed the unwanted thoughts and behaviour or because of their huge imagination.

Whilst an adult may need 8/9 sessions children can often deal with anxiety and depression in 4/5 sessions.  The number of sessions will depend upon the length of time they’ve had the anxiety/depression/phobia/behaviour, their personality and the support they receive at home.


Booking the first session

Before she sees your child, it’s very important for Sue to gather information about the problem, the affect it has on them and your family and to find out their likes and dislikes as well as your opinions and concerns.

Particularly with younger children, she may spend 15 to 20 minutes on the phone with you finding out about them; this makes it easier for you and she to help them feel at ease early in the session.

A therapy session may last anything from 45 minutes to one and a half hours, depending on the age of the child and how much we are able to do during the session (younger children will often have the shortest appointments, due to limited attention spans).

Appointments will usually be booked as soon as is practical after school, to avoid them being over-tired.


Better results with both parents at the screening session

It’s helpful if both parents come along to the screening session with children under the age of 16.  If this isn’t possible, then the person who the child spends most time with. Having both parents there sends a powerful message that the session is important to everyone and gives better results as there are no misunderstandings about what the therapy session or programme will involve, to get in the way of progress later

Sue always explains what what she does and why, in language children can understand. She will get their permission, before therapy starts, keeping language positive during and after each session (and ask you to do the same).  Your expectation of positive change is key to helping your child take onboard and use the techniques from the session

For hypnotherapy, the two most common techniques are The Blowaway Technique and The Fast Phobia and Trauma Cure, and the choice of therapy will be made only when Sue has met and assessed your child, as treatment must suit their needs.

Many children may benefit from Applied Psychology (The Relaxed Living Progamme), which deals with longer term and more deep seated issues.  Common issues include worry, panic, over-thinking, separation anxiety, school anxiety, inability to make and keep friends, phobias, sleep, picky eating, aggression and anger, defiance, depression and avoidance of activities or events


Hypnotherapy – The ‘Blowaway’ technique

This single session helps children resolve their anxiety and the symptoms this causes. By using gentle hypnosis, the problems and issues begin to resolve themselves, so that the child will grow up to live the best life they are able to.

Often this single session will be enough to move your child on, although with some issues and depending on the child, additional sessions may be necessary.

During the therapy part of the session, your child is encouraged to take a deep breath and ‘blow away’ any negative emotions, thoughts or ‘bottled up’ feelings. This helps them to let go of worry or stress, which their mind has trapped. Powerful, (always positive) hypnotic suggestions for change are added, so they can begin to move away from unhelpful thoughts and experiences .

Your child doesn’t have to explain or dwell on traumas or issues during the therapy part of the session and Sue works hard to keep everything as relaxed as possible. Attention is on the child rather than on the adults in the room; although adults will be asked to join in with the session, so the child feels less ‘on the spot’ (and it may help to reduce some of your anxiety too!)


Hypnotherapy – The Fast Phobia and Trauma Cure

This is another technique to help children overcome fears and upsets, caused by known events, for example, those afraid of dogs may recall being bitten by a dog, or feel sick every time they visit a certain place, because they were sick the last time they went.

Often all that’s needed is a single session.  In fact it’s so effective many parents are amazed at how their child just seems to laugh off something that used to really bother them before the end of the session even.


Applied Psychology – The Relaxed Living Programme

For long-term, deep seated problems and where children have a tendency to overthink in several areas of their life, the Relaxed Living Programme can really change their thoughts and behaviour.

It lasts from 5 to 10 weeks, according to the issues being dealt with but will cover many areas of anxiety and unwanted behaviour.  This is a training course rather than therapy, teaching your child how to think better, feel better and to build their own resources to deal with current and future problems.

Is your child an “over-thinker”, do they brood, worry, have unwanted thoughts that seem huge to them and stop them being happy and fulfilling their true potential?  Most children like this are very bright and have just never learnt to think positively.  Often it can seem that they’re looking for worries and those worries will increase and the subjects are likely to multiply over time.

The parent who spends most time with the child will be asked to come to each session, to help reinforce the techniques your child will be taught and to explain to the other parent what was learnt each week.

Your child will be taught to improve their own self esteem, instead of waiting for others to bolster them.  To reduce any social anxiety (a fear of being judged) and to build internal resources to deal with whatever life throws at them, now and in the future.

Sessions are informal and include fun techniques and (incredibly bad) drawing on Sue’s flipchart.  These drawings help to cement techniques visually.  There are also physical props used to illustrate points.  This range of learning techniques is designed to fit your child’s own learning style.  Most important, we’re seeking to help your child feel comfortable, supported and positive about change and the benefits they will see.


Some of the more common child specific problems

  • Sadness, loneliness, guilt, embarrassment, worry, stress
  • Bed wetting (Enuresis) in both young children as well as teenagers
  • Thumb sucking, nail biting, hair pulling/twiddling, comfort blanket withdrawal
  • Anorexia Nervosa and food control issues
  • Bulimia and binge eating
  • Nightmares or night terrors and sleep walking
  • Phobias or fears
  • Children with low self-confidence and self esteem
  • Performance anxieties e.g. on stage or in exams and sports
  • Attention or concentration problems
  • Problems caused by bullying
  • Behavioural problems, e.g. aggression and bad habits
  • Aspergers and ADHD – we cannot cure these conditions but can often ease symptoms
  • Self harming – cutting, drugs and/or alcohol



While Sue can’t guarantee improvement for any client, she does have particularly high success rates with children and young adults. Their openness to change can be amazing and harnessing their imagination to expect positive outcomes is at the heart of all the therapies Sue offers.

Changes are often begun before they’ve left the clinic but for some there will be a few days before this process becomes obvious to family and friends.


Changes start from the first session

So if your child has an emotional or behavioural problem that doesn’t seem to be going away and you’d like to find out more about what Sue can do to help, just contact her today to talk about the therapies she can offer to reduce their anxieties and problems and make life easier for the whole family.

To book a free screening session, or for a brief telephone chat, please call, text or email Sue