Yes, Teenage anxiety is perfectly normal, but unfortunately that doesn’t help your average Teen cope with it. It’s painful, it’s sad to see and it can have life long implications if the anxiousness sticks. So I’m pleased to say YES there is a treatment which can support Teenagers to become less anxious and work towards a confident calm future. It’s Hypnotherapy.
Teenagers are in an in between space between childhood and full adulthood. No longer children, especially in their own view although their parents may still see them as children. Let’s be honest, many of us still see our grown up (my eldest is 44) children, as children. My Grandad told me once my Mom would always be his ‘little girl’. But they are not children. They are usually well into adolescence, with changes in body, mood and mind. All those hormones! Which is a new and unsettling experience. Not a child experience, not an adult experience but a sort of in between place that can feel quite uncomfortable.
In addition society is beginning to see them as ‘proto adults’ and place expectations on them. Will you go to college, university or get a job? What subjects will you choose? What do you want to do for a living? Teenagers are expected to have all these answers!
Depending on family background some teenagers may find themselves being steered in the direction of marriage and a family while others are being firmly guided away from this and advised of the consequences of teenage pregnancy. Teenagers are usually beginning to form significant relationships outside of their families, some romantic, others into peer or friendship groups that can feel very intense and some cases very adult.
The culture our teens inhabit often touches on activity we would wish to protect them from, drugs, knives and gangs. If we are lucky they steer their own path away from this. But unless we are everywhere, all of the time (which of course is the last thing they want) we cannot protect them from coming into contact this.
Then there is bullying, body shaming, exam pressure, the desire to please parents, conform to their friends expectations. For some young people by their teenage years, they may be taking on caregiver roles in their families or having part time jobs.
Is it any wonder that teenagers feel anxious?
Hypnotherapy is an option to provide support to young people. Sometimes it will include relaxation and trance, but in many cases it is more like providing the young person with a place to unload without judgment, talk through their feelings and explore coping strategies. It often in fact almost always involves subtle suggestion work in a lighthearted conversational style that may not appear to them to be hypnotic, but trust me, it is.
The sessions are usually between 40 and 60 minutes. We generally focus on what is happening for them in their life at that moment, and how they are experiencing it. It’s very client led, and generally the parent waits in a comfy area we call the ‘parent nest’. Close enough for reassurance and safety. But far enough away so that your teen can have privacy and confidentiality.
This kind of work requires high levels of trust and rapport, it’s a therapeutic relationship and can act as a model in terms of the teen developing the skills to clearly and safely express their feelings. A real bonus as they mature into adulthood and become the future they want to have.
I’m always happy to chat about this work with parents, but actually the best way to find out if this is going to workout for your teenager is to book an appointment and see how it goes. Ask them and see what they think, involve them in the decision making and give them your support in making the choices that will work best for them.