Therapeutic Hypnosis with Children and Adolescents – Second Edition

By: William Wester II, EdD , Laurence Sugarman MD


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Size: 234 x 156mm
Pages : 560
ISBN : 9781845908737
Format: Hardback
Published: January 2014

Edited by Laurence I. Sugarman, MD and William Wester II, EdD.

In this completely revised, updated and expanded volume, the editors have brought together some of the field’s most outstanding contributors to examine the wide-ranging applications and promise of the use of hypnosis with children. The book develops core principles of clinical hypnosis with children and adolescents and each contributor delineates how they apply these precepts in a range of psychological and medical settings. The result is a constellation of perspectives and clinical applications that move the reader beyond literature review to practical advice.

In Part 1 the broad framework of hypnosis with children is elucidated: concepts, developmental considerations, approaches to induction, hypnotic ability, hypnosis with families and ethical considerations are reviewed. Additionally, the implications of a developmental perspective in hypnosis are extrapolated to work with adults.

Parts 2 and 3 illuminate key psychological and medical applications of hypnosis. In the psychological realm, trauma, habit disorders, somatoform disorders, depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders are scrutinized. A particularly original chapter explores the use of clinical hypnosis with the family as the patient. The medical section describes the integration of hypnosis from acute care settings to the operating room; in pain management, chronic diseases, elimination disorders, recurrent pain and palliative care.

Throughout the book, clinical vignettes draw the reader into the hypnotic encounter while supportive evidence, strategies and caveats provide insights. This unique combination of literature review, diverse clinical perspective, and ‘how-to-do-it’ clinical integration makes the second edition an essential book required on the desk of all clinicians who strive to build person-centred, creative, mind-body therapies into their clinical care of children and adolescents. It will be of immeasurable value to both the experienced clinician and the beginning practitioner.

Original ISBN 9781845900373

Picture for author William Wester II, EdD

William Wester II, EdD

William C. Wester, II, EdD, ABPP, ABPH, is a Diplomate in Clinical Hypnosis, American Board of Psychological Hypnosis, and a Diplomate in Counseling and Family Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Wester is a past President of The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at The Athenaeum of Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Picture for author Laurence Sugarman MD

Laurence Sugarman MD

Laurence I. Sugarman, MD, FAAP, ABMH, is a general pediatrician and consultant in behavioural pediatrics at the Lifetime Health Medical Group in Rochester, New York. President of the American Board of Medical Hypnosis and Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics. He produced, wrote and directed the DVD, Hypnosis in Pediatric Practice: Imaginative Medicine in Action (ISBN 9781845900472).


  1. Therapeutic Hypnosis with Children and Adolescents, edited by Laurence Sugarman and William Wester, consists of a collection of erudite articles from eminent luminaries, all with highly impressive credentials, in the field of clinical practice with children and young people.

    This work must surely rate as the definitive academic text on working with children and young people and be much welcomed by hypnotherapy practitioners, the medical fraternity and academic researchers alike.

    The three main sections of Therapeutic Hypnosis with Children and Adolescents cover the scope of hypnotherapy, psychological applications for the hypnotherapist and medical implications for hospital care workers.

    The introductory section provides a comprehensive contextual framework for the practitioner and offers the reader insight into the way a permissive approach, judicial parental involvement, together with a sound knowledge of child development stages, can assist the therapeutic process markedly.

    The section dealing with the psychological implications considers both simple and complex manifestations of childhood trauma in terms of the effect of family disruption resulting from divorce or separation and suggests appropriate assessment techniques and a phased treatment approach for dealing with the aftermath of such disruptive family upheavals. This part of the title also offers a whole treasure-trove of guidance in treatment strategies for a range of habit disorders, depressive manifestations, anxiety states, obsessive-compulsive disorders, psychosomatic-psychogenic disorders and behavioural disorders. The treatment of adolescents who suffer from developmental problems and social adjustment difficulties has also been well catered for in this work. A very useful chapter on family therapy also provides a unique insight into working with children and minors in the family context.

    Therapeutic Hypnosis with Children and Adolescents concludes with a section of great value to medical care workers who are assisting children and young people as hospital patients thereby redressing the balance of this much-neglected topic in the literature to date.

    This book should certainly be found on the bookshelf of every serious clinician concerned with this vital area of treatment for children and adolescents.
  2. This was an illuminating read, not only on working with children and adolescents, also on the theme of hypnosis generally. This edition is eminently readable, and extremely thorough, drawing on a wide range of expertise and illustration. I found myself reading it almost as a novel, while inevitably spending longer in some parts than others. It is stimulating and comprehensible. The editors introduce the book by relating the theme to context, suggesting that children are eminently open to suggestive work as they are often naturally entranced, and, unfettered, tend to have the capacity of vivid imagination. Sugarman and Wester are keen to differentiate trance from hypnosis. The editors locate the whole practice within an ethical and professional matrix where it is the hypnotist who needs to work on putting him / herself in the appropriate state to create a working alliance. Purposeful hypnosis is located within a matrix of communication skills, strategies, and purpose. Sugarman and Wester emphasise that this purpose be patient centred, and offer a welcome developmental framework of hypnosis. They contrast the -˜vessel' approach to hypnosis, where the patient is -˜put under', with the more elegant and ethical means of pacing and leading so wonderfully pioneered by Erikson, utilizing the patient's own resources and frameworks. This book is all about the engagement and empowerment model, how to playfully work with the subconscious with creativity and innovation. Part One proceeds with induction approaches and hypnotic techniques. It is straightforward, outlining the changing nature of the form of imagination through a lifetime, moving through the childish notion of the imaginary friend, to reliving childhood memories, creating sexual fantasies, planning our futures, planning for retirement. Part Two focuses on contexts within which hypnosis has been used with children and young people, ranging from chronic illness, war trauma, developmental issues, anxiety management, acute pain management, you name it, it's there and there are copious well written case histories, careful admission of where there is not yet evidence - a very honest and informative approach. I would recommend any student of hypnosis who is working with children and young people to read this book. It is theoretically and practically evidenced and inspiring, and an excellent resource.

    Click here to read the review in the pdf version of the magazine.
  3. There is much wisdom contained within the covers of this book.

    Memorable quotations are interspersed within the text. These help to nail messages in a retentive fashion. Almost every page has a useful lesson for the therapist.

    Interestingly, most children under ten often enter hypnosis better with their eyes open rather than closed - unlike adults. Perhaps the reason is that eye closure suggests loss of control such as when the child is told to go to sleep against his will. 

    The book is a useful addition to the library of hypnotherapists working a lot with children and their difficulties.
  4. This second edition of this volume demonstrates that this book has evolved and matured into a classic. It is delightful to read and to consume the wisdom, love and dedication that the contributing authors have put into this hefty, revised and expanded volume. The delight increases reading it again and consuming more. The authors demonstrate that therapy with hypnosis becomes empathically artistic, as it is beautifully tailored to the ingredients of the emotional responsiveness of the child.
  5. Laurence Sugarman and William Wester draw our attention to the growing complexity of young people's lives today. They highlight the urgent need to empower children and adolescents to better manage the many challenges they face with focus and skill. Through the writings of the expert contributors to this outstanding volume, the merits of hypnosis in teaching skills in focusing, problem solving and self-regulation are obvious. Exposure to and instruction in hypnotic methods should be a part of every child's learning experience. By studying the methods in this book, health care professionals can learn a great deal about how to help ordinary kids use their innate resources to do extraordinary things to improve their lives.
  6. This second edition is an important addition to the library of any professional who works with children. Drs. Sugarman and Wester have again managed to bring together an impressive group of authors and have woven these updated contributions into a compelling text that will inspire health professionals to examine and utilize therapeutic language to empower children in all facets of living.
  7. Transcending the popular view of hypnosis as a “psychological procedure” performed by professionals on patients, this second edition is a state-of-the-art, comprehensive resource for clinicians of all disciplines. This seminal work emphasizes how young people can alter their own mind-body interactions by activating and directing their intrinsic ability to control symptoms and situations that are associated with significant disability. Both scientifically grounded and evidence-based, this book details how children and adolescents (including those with somatic symptoms, anxiety, depression and developmental differences) can learn and utilize innate skills. Given the current rampant use of psychoactive medications in an attempt to control young people's symptoms and behavior, this volume is a welcome reminder that young people already possess intrinsic resources. This belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in young people being empowered to master situations that previously resulted in their feeling out of control.
  8. This second edition is a solid clinically-focused text that belongs on the bookshelf of any practitioner who uses or aspires to learn to use hypnosis to assist younger patients in overcoming medical or psychological difficulties. Children and adolescents possess an impressive and often inspiring resilience and capacity for growth and constructive change. The approaches discussed and illustrated by the authors of its many chapters demonstrate the power of hypnosis to facilitate those helpful processes. The case vignettes are well-selected and helpful. Here you find no magic or over-enthusiasm.- Simply the keen appreciation by skilful clinicians of how the use of clinical hypnosis can enhance the efficacy of medical and psychological interventions and equip their young patients with powerful tools for the achievement of mastery, symptom relief, and self-control.
  9. Here creative and distinguished editors and authors present theory, clinical vignettes and pertinent research on hypnosis for professionals all over the world. This latest edition is highly relevant for all clinicians who strive to facilitate the best communication, clinical interaction and therapy based on a holistic biopsychosocial understanding to health and functioning from a developmental perspective.
  10. This updated second edition is an excellent reference for child health professionals who teach children how to help themselves via hypnosis. Contributors share their substantial experience and expertise, leading to this fine compendium, which is both academically and clinically solid.
  11. This book is a treasure trove. Its readers will find their knowledge increased, their creativity stimulated, their imaginations rekindled, and their confidence enhanced.Sugarman and Wester, together with their notable contributors, provide a deep and broad mix of techniques, examples, and specific applications from their wealth of experience with pediatric clinical hypnosis. Throughout, their language illustrates their underlying philosophy of respect for their patients and trust in the abilities of children and adolescents. The rich vignettes are at least as valuable as the didactic material, as they illustrate the ways in which playful and collaborative hypnotic approaches empower our patients of all ages. The sophisticated, integrated understanding of the biopsychosocial model of illness will help many clinicians explain to children and their parents how and why hypnosis is so powerfully useful. This is a wonderfully readable contribution to the field.
  12. I loved reading and learning from this second edition of Therapeutic Hypnosis with Children and Adolescents. Drs. Sugarman and Wester have created a rich and vital compendium of creative strategies on how to be therapeutic with children and all of us who have been children. This book is an essential contribution to a necessary revolution in health and care that balances what we do to children with what they can do for themselves. It details and affirms the important work of all those who share concern about our children's futures: to foster their abilities know their own minds and steer their own lives. This text ought to be studied by all who strive to help children have the freedom of mind to face life's challenges.

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