One common childhood problem that hypnotherapy can treat is bedwetting. Although it is considered a childhood problem, some adults battle it, as well. It occurs a bit more frequently in children of parents who themselves were bedwetters.
Generally, bedwetting is not a concern during the first three years of life, as children naturally have accidents as they transition out of diapers and develop bladder control. Some slower developing children take longer to control this problem though. Typically, therapy is not sought until a child is six years old or older.
Boys are more commonly nocturnal bedwetters (nocturnal enuresis), which is the most common form of bedwetting. Daytime wetting (diurnal enuresis) is more common in girls.
Wetting the bed is a developmental issue that can develop from physical or mental causes. In most circumstances, a hypnotherapist will require that any physical/medical cause of the problem be address prior to entering into therapy. If no physical cause of the bedwetting is diagnosed, then the likely cause is psychological, and psychological causes are readily treated with hypnotherapy.
Bedwetting is one of those conditions which compounds problems. Such children often face the expressed displeasure of parents and are teased by their siblings. Any mention of the condition with other children brings shame and embarrassment. Social engagements, such as sleep-overs and camping trips, are avoided. With each embarrassment comes more pressure and anxiety. Conscious efforts by the child often backfire since the rule of reverse consequences takes over: as the child concentrates on avoiding the behavior, he actually reinforces it. The poor child is left frustrated, embarrassed, and hopeless. Long-term effects of bedwetting will undoubtedly lead to low self-esteem and other developmental problems.
Using hypnosis-based therapy, a therapist can address the Middle Mind (the subconscious; see Chapter 7) of the child where the bedwetting behavior originates. Hypnotherapy can address many behaviors tied to problems directly, so that bedwetters will be given suggestions to limit beverages before bedtime, to automatically wake-up before needing to urinate, and to exercise better control of the bladder. The overall mental picture a therapist will work to develop subconsciously in the child’s mind is the experience of waking to a dry bed, and the joy and confidence from that experience. A child’s mind is incredibly flexible enough to adjust behaviors, and hypnotherapy is an incredibly flexible tool that can bring rapid results.