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Hypnosis treatment of sleeping problems in children experiencing loss

Publication year
Hawkins, Peter; Polemikos, Nikitas

Research and clinical evidence show that children who experience loss become traumatized. The results of traumatization include sleeping problems, for example difficulties in initiating sleep and sleep terrors. Psychological intervention programmes, including hypnotherapy, have been shown to have some success in helping children to overcome their sleeping problems. In this study, a new paradigm qualitative methodology was used in which a small group of children were taught self-hypnosis to manage their sleep difficulties. The group comprised six children ranging in age from 8-12 yrs. Three children had been bereaved after the death of one parent, 1 child lost a brother, and the other 2 had been referred due to parental separation. Within the group, the children’s experiences of utilizing self-hypnosis at home were discussed, and a consensus reached concerning its effects. Complementary data were collected through interviews with caregivers and by completion of the Southampton Sleep Management Schedule (L. Bartlet and J. Beaumont, 1998). From the study it was concluded that young children can be taught self-hypnosis in order to manage their sleeping problems effectively. Furthermore, the present study demonstrated that children can be involved in a collaborative research group. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

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