Ericksonian hypnosis and hypnotherapy : a case study of two primary school children experiencing emotional difficulties
Daniels, Rene Alice
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This study aims to explore the utilisation of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in providing therapeutic support to two primary school children who experience emotional difficulties. The purpose of this study is to ascertain what the emotional experiences of children are during the process of Ericksonian hypnosis and hypnotherapy. I attempted to utilise an Interpretive/Constructive paradigm, as it acknowledges that individuals construct their own realities based on their personal experiences and perceptions. In line with this perspective, the Ericksonian approach accepts and utilises whatever individuals bring with them into therapy in a respectful and gentle manner. The research design consisted of two case studies. I requested that parents of both participants complete a background questionnaire. This was followed by an unstructured interview with the parents and class teachers. Another unstructured interview was warranted in both cases. I utilised the assessment criteria according to Geary's Process model to identify the various hypnotic phenomena in each case. I used the hypnotic phenomena to assist with structuring therapeutic goals. The symptom behaviours and beliefs also impacted on other aspects of the participants' lives. Various themes emerged and linked with the therapeutic use of these phenomena, I attempted to address the problems by utilising the process model of Ericksonian hypnosis. The themes that emerged during data analysis were verified and categorised during data production. A variety of hypnotherapeutic techniques was utilised to help participants gain mastery and control of their respective realities. The Ericksonian Diamond model was utilised to tailor all interventions to the unique needs and developmental level of each participant. The findings of this study indicate that Ericksonian hypnosis and hypnotherapy is a powerful intervention strategy that yields positive results in a relatively short period of time with young children. It was found that this therapeutic strategy could be utilised as a main course or an adjunct to other therapeutic interventions. My study concludes by acknowledging the limitations and provides recommendations for future research.