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“ I have come such a long way from who I was when you first met me. With your help I have been able to put my past into perspective and not let it control me any more. I am so much happier now than I have been in a long time”

Teenage Anxiety Issues

Evidence shows that rates of self-harm, substance abuse and teenage mental health issues are all on the rise. Please find below case studies showing how teenagers can learn techniques that will assist them in becoming more resilient to life's pressures.

Client: Name withheld    Condition: Severe Anxiety leading to school absenteeism

E was referred to me after finding it increasingly difficult to go to school over the summer, leading to a total refusal to go as the new school year started. She had a desire to go, often packing school bags the night before, getting out her uniform but come the next morning, her emotional state made it impossible for her to leave the house.

As is common with anxiety, her fears increased leading to a situation where she was rarely able to leave the home. She had had two visits from CAMHS who had deemed her problem to be behavioural, and so felt unable to assist her further.

Beyond her anxiety, E’s refusal to go to school was resulting in a lot of arguments, frustration and distress within the home, impacting on the whole family.

Key to assisting E to get back to school was building a relationship of mutual respect and trust. “Caroline treated E as an adult at all times which my daughter thought was great and as such, E engaged with Caroline,” said her mother.

As with adult clients, my approach to moving E forward is based on partnership. I position myself as a partner in her achievements, but she has to be active too. Initially E struggled with this as in many medically based situations, children are passive, but as she started to experience the impact of our work together, her motivation to participate increased. After our third session together, E made her first return to school. Just for 2 hours in the morning and a major threshold crossed. Having crossed that threshold we continued to build her confidence and increase attendance with the aim of attending school for a part of every day in a week.

Within another 2 sessions, frequency of attendance was increasing. Within 6 sessions I received the following email from her mother: We have our lovely E back with us at the moment. I have literally just emailed the school to say that we are very hopeful that E will continue with attending school for the rest of the week and I have also said that I would quite like her to stay there longer next week – something that I mentioned to E and she was fine with.

That was also achieved and E is now progressing towards being in full time education again.

It will take time for E to rebuild her confidence but each threshold she crosses, she grows in confidence and becomes more resilient.

Final words from her mother: “E is now going to school with lots of positive notes and coping strategies that have been taught by Caroline. Caroline has always been very accommodating with both her time and financially.”

Working with teenagers is a passion of mine. The techniques learned at this age can create a skill set that they can continue to use into their adult life. If you have a teenager that is struggling with anxiety or stress, please do get in touch.

Client: Brad     Condition: Teenage Anxiety

Brad is a teenager who came to see me after having worked with CAMHS for approximately 3 years. He had recently spent a night in hospital through self-abuse. His anxiety had resulted in him not only missing a significant amount of school, but his world was becoming very small; he struggled going into town with friends, getting to the point where he spent most of his time at home. Brad desperately wanted to move on in his life but felt “trapped by my anxiety.” Brad had a total of 3 sessions with me. Due to his age, details of our work together remains confidential however his mother wrote to me with the following words shortly after his last session:

“I just wanted to say thank you for helping Brad, he seems so much more in control of things, not all the time, but as they say, small steps, but in the right direction.

This weekend he was invited to go paintballing. He was excited to go, up early, picked up friends, dropped them off. We communicated with each other for about an hour or so and after his first text he wanted to come home, but 4 hours later, I got a message to say could I bring a drink! He stayed, overcame his anxiety and had a great time. This is such a big achievement for him , I am so grateful for all your support.

Today he had his first driving lesson, which by all accounts went really well.

Thank you so much, you are amazing, you must make so many people more positive about themselves.”

Working with adolescents like Brad make what I do priceless. Brad will face challenges in his life, we all do. But he now has the resources to help him through those. One of my favourite sayings is, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we deal with them.”

In the past this was more like 90% ‘happening’ to Brad and he had few resources to manage what most teenagers deem ‘normal’. He felt trapped and out of control. He may be a little way from getting to the 10% yet but as his Mum said, “small steps” and the wonderful thing with small steps is that when you keep taking them, every day you move further away from where you were and closer to where you wish to be.

I am really optimistic for Brad, it was an absolute pleasure working with him and I foresee that in the future, he is going to be doing something as an adult to help other teenagers who are like he used to be and the ripples he has set in place will continue to reach out to others.

Client: Name Witheld    Condition: Insomnia

A mum came to me for help with her child who was still bouncing off the ceiling in the evenings and despite being a very physically active young man, could not get to sleep. In her words:

“Saviour of my sanity! Best money ever spent! My 9 year old son has always found getting to sleep very difficult and could lie in bed for over an hour each night without falling asleep. With young children of her own, Caroline made my son feel comfortable with their meeting immediately. Caroline’s method was simple and effective. I know very little about hypnotherapy, but there was nothing scary about the session. The only way I can describe it, is as the most calm hour ever spent in a chair. All through the power of a relaxing voice. Since his first and only required session, my son is now getting to sleep in about 20 minutes or less. My son is delighted with the result and I no longer need to dread bedtime”.

Insomnia can affect people in one of two ways, either stopping them falling asleep or waking them throughout the night. The sub conscious causes are different but hypnotherapy is a very effective treatment in overcoming them, regardless of age!

Client: Charlie    Condition: Anger Management and self-harming

Charlie is 10 and was prone to outbursts of anger that were affecting both home life and school. His parents had appealed to doctors, the school nurse had got involved and they had also contacted CAMHS without any luck as “He hasn’t been self-harming long enough”!

Charlie is a lovely young man but it became evident as we spoke that his reaction to any sense of injustice was to ‘go nuclear’ – ie utter outrage often including physically directed anger at himself and others.

One of the wonderful things about working with young children is that they don’t have the ‘baggage’ that is collected over life. They have an incredible imagination and this can be utilised in hypnotherapy to achieve wonderful results.

We had one session where we worked to recalibrate his anger. Anger is not something you want to get rid of altogether, but Charlie was missing any form of degrees between calm and outraged. The feedback after this one session was that he was a changed boy; life at home was better, and he was much more relaxed and most importantly, was no longer seeking to hurt himself.

We then met again where Charlie told me with some surprise that all of his teachers seemed to have become much nicer – a bit like they had all taken a happy pill! When it became evident that he was actually the happy pill and it was the change in HIS behaviour that was creating the result, the smile on his face was magical. We went on in that session to look into the future and give Charlie some tools to use his newfound control and calmness to achieve some goals – which included doing well in his SATS and being the best football player in his team!

In two therapeutic sessions, Charlie has gone from someone who was being destructive and disruptive to a calm boy who ‘wants to be seen by everyone as a kind person’; and that is what can be achieved when you use the power of the subconscious mind. The final word comes from Charlie’s Mum:

“We can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for him. When I say he is a different boy I genuinely mean it. The way he copes in situations compared to how he used to is so much better. A level of calm has restored in our house and it’s all thanks to you.” I’d love to take the credit but it is misplaced. The thanks lie with the power of the mind – something we all have – it’s just a case of learning how to use it!

Client: Jessica    Condition: Low self-esteem

It was Jessica’s mother who contacted me as she had become increasingly concerned about her daughter. When Jessica arrived for the first session she was not sure what she specifically wanted to work on, but was just aware that she was not feeling good about herself.

What emerged during that first session was that Jessica had a very low self esteem and did not value herself. She also had no idea of where she was heading which was contributing to a lack of purpose.

Like many people, she was sceptical about hypnotherapy. “In the movies, all you see is people acting like a chicken. And whilst I believe it is all staged, I am still sceptical,” she commented.

Jessica came to 4 sessions with me over a period of 6 weeks and when asked again how she viewed hypnosis, she had a very different answer. “Now I’ve done it, it’s so different. You can just talk about problems, but when you get them out of your own head, you can see things differently. It is like being completely in control of your own body but so relaxed that everything around you disappears and you can focus on you.”

At the end of the last session I asked Jessica how she felt our work together had impacted on her. Here is her response:

“All the things that you didn’t think were relevant you realise actually are. My confidence is up. I don’t rely on others as much and am doing what I want rather than what others told me I should be doing. I am living my life the way I want to and not how others tell me to. It has helped so much, made such a difference.” Jessica is now making a dream she has had for a while a reality and is planning on going travelling in Australia. Initially it was a trip planned with a friend but even though the friend has now dropped out, Jessica is doing what she wants – and making that trip half way across the world all on own. I’m looking forward to getting a postcard...