Ask the Experts

Can Self-Hypnosis Help with my Child’s ADHD?

“I’ve heard that self-hypnosis can help a person manage ADHD symptoms. How does self-hypnosis work, and can it help my child?”

Self-hypnosis helps some children with ADHD. It is a way of using one’s mind and imagination to achieve certain goals. For example, a child with headaches can imagine herself in a relaxing place, and visualize her muscles relaxing. The visualization may actually cause the muscles to relax, and the headache might resolve. The mind-body connection is powerful.

Self-hypnosis can be helpful for dealing with anxiety and promoting relaxation, although I have not seen it help the core symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity. It is best taught to a child by a professional specializing in hypnosis. The goal is for the child to learn to hypnotize himself. It is simple and safe. In my practice, most self-hypnosis sessions last less than 10 minutes. I make an audio for a child to take home. He listens to it before bedtime, which helps induce a hypnotic state.