George’s Hypno Journey… Part 2!

So, I’m back to finish the story about when we took our nine-year old son for hypnotherapy following his panic attacks about taking our little dog off her lead.

The first time we went, I can’t lie, George was a little giggly and I did suspect that he didn’t really ‘go under’. The massive panic attack and throwing himself on the floor that followed a week later, kind of confirmed it!

So, in the spirit of not giving up, I text the lovely Michelle at Fairy Heart Therapies and asked if we could come back to see her. Thankfully, George was very keen to do this too… he was desperate to get this problem sorted.

This time felt a little different.  It was all much more familiar and George wasn’t as giggly and excitable. He was more keen to get up on the ‘proper bed’, stick his head down the hole and get on with it!  Once lied on the couch, the warmth of the cabin and Michelle’s relaxing tone started to work its magic.  Michelle went through a similar scenario as before and George slowly felt his eyelids get heavier and heavier with each sentence.

There was no giggling and less twitching and moving as we went on. This felt a lot better.  Then things seem to shift and we both felt that he was ‘under’.  I’ve no idea if this is the right terminology, so I apologise for any hypnotherapy practitioners that are tutting right now! 😊

Michelle kneeled down, just under George’s ear and gently spoke about taking the dog out, about George loving watching her run in the park or on the beach.  How he didn’t feel panic, he felt only joy at watching her run around. Michelle stressed to him that he felt really really good watching her do this and how important it was for her to get exercise.

This went on for around five minutes and then George was counted out of his sleep, down from five… which he rose from on number three.  He stretched and smiled and when asked if he knew what Michelle said to him, he said ‘No’.  This was a good sign.

I didn’t want to waste any time, so when we got home we went to the park with the dog and did just one minute of letting her off then called her back and walked her the rest of the way around.  It was clear to see that the initial fear wasn’t half as bad as it was the last time we had done this.  We sent Michelle a pic of us as promised to show her we’d done a minute.  On the way back, George kept saying how good he felt about it… just like Michelle told him he would!

I didn’t want to rush George into anything after this and it was probably a week before we tried again for two minutes which we did on the way home from school.  Success again.

The third time we went out would now be for three minutes. We went over and got to the back of the park and let her off.  This time she ran over and said hello to another dog. Now was the time to really put this to the test as last time she did this George had screamed and frightened her off.  I must admit, I felt a little nervous at what his reaction would be.  I was shocked to see that he was cool as a cucumber.  He understood that she was just going over to say ‘hello’ and that she wasn’t going anywhere far. We must’ve done well over the three minutes before we called her back and walked back around the park.  I was buzzing… and so was George.

A week later we had friends to stay for the weekend and on the Saturday morning we once again took the dog to the park. George went off to play with his friends and I went and threw the ball with the dog.  Five minutes later, George came over and wanted to play ball with us… which he did for a good 15 minutes!  The timer wasn’t even on this time!  He was happy to take in turns throwing the ball and running around with her.

This was a MASSIVE achievement… and he loved it!  George couldn’t bare the thought of taking the dog out just a few weeks ago and now he was out playing with her and not even looking at the stop clock, counting down the seconds before he put her on the lead!

The final test we decided, was to take the dog to the beach and let her off and play.  Going somewhere a little less familiar would really test George’s fear and of course, his hypnotherapy treatment! So we jumped in our van a week later and headed to the beach.

Just as we pulled up, George started to complain of being extremely tired and not able to go! I don’t know if this was genuine, but I wasn’t going to pander to him and just said ‘the sooner we go, the sooner we can go back home’.   I don’t know what that was all about, but once we got on the beach and he saw how much fun Dusty was having in the sand, he got a ‘second wind’ and was absolutely fine. Phew!

We ran, we played and enjoyed every minute of being on that beach.  There was not one jot of anxiety or fear on George’s part… and for us, it felt like a massive weight had been lifted.

For us, hypnotherapy has most definitely helped our son with his anxiety and helped us move forward with some new family adventures!

A big thank you to Michelle at Fairy Heart Therapies for your time and patience with us.

You can also check out my blog all about me having Reiki with Michelle and how much it helps me to relax. 💗

Until next time,

Love & Hugs from TOMD xxx

🐶💗

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George’s Hypno Journey… Part 1!

After a year of panic attacks, it was time to take some action to help my son get over his fear of letting our dog off her lead… so, after trying to solve the situation in a number of different ways with no success, we looked at Hypnotherapy!

For the last 14 months, my son George has found it impossible to cope when it comes to taking the dog out for a walk.  He could just about manage to walk her on the lead, but any time it came to taking her off the lead, he would suffer with severe panic attacks.  This trigger of panic all stemmed from an incident that happened when our dog was just a few months old.

One particular afternoon, our little puppy decided to follow some lads to the other side of the park and into the car park.  With the four of us all panicking, she bolted and ran across the road that our house sits on.  Thankfully a neighbour managed to secure her i in their garden and she was fine.

A few weeks later, we were out with her again and I’d persuaded George that everything was going to be ok.  He was very nervous about this and I’m sure the dog picked up on this.  As she ran across to greet another dog (which they do constantly when they’re puppies) George started to panic… and scream.  Our pup was having none of this and decided to run home – she literally took herself to our front door.  Sadly though, from that point on, George couldn’t cope with taking her out anymore.

We tried so many was to encourage George to let her off.  We’ve tried the softly softly approach to help gain his trust in her, tough love, persuasion and even bribery.  We went to an enclosed park space especially for dogs, but he wouldn’t entertain even getting out of the car!  As time went on, his anxiety only increased.  It got to a point where he would have a full on panic attack at the thought of taking her out.

I was at the end of my tether, and short of writing into ‘This Morning’ and asking that Speakman couple for help, I decided to look at getting George hypnotised.

Thankfully, I knew just the person to help…  I messaged my wonderful Reiki practitioner Michelle from Fairy Heart Therapies and got George booked in.

I can’t lie, having George be so afraid of taking the dog out has been quite a strain on the family.  We bought a campervan this year to replace our car and we envisaged having these wonderful adventures over the summer… running through forests and walking along beaches (all very idealistic and Instagram ready!).  But that just didn’t happen. We managed a few canal walks but that was about it.

George himself was really keen to get over his fear.  He so badly wanted to feel ok about taking our dog out and watching her run, but the memory of her running away as a four month old puppy would trigger the panic.  He was even a little excited to see Michelle and try some hypnotherapy!

‘The Cabin’ at Fairy Heart Therapies is a sanctuary of calm and warmth and George was very keen to get in and see Michelle.  When I say keen, I mean giggly, overexcited and not exactly in the right frame of mind to have hypnotherapy performed on him!  Michelle chatted for a little while about why he had come to see her and about his feelings and fears.

Michelle explained to George about why his brain kept reminding him about the scary situation with the dog and how she will be able to talk to this part of the brain and tell it to switch that feeling off.  She told him that she will explain to his subconscious part of his brain that Dusty (that’s the dog!) is ok and that he will not feel panic when she is taken off the lead.

Once George felt more relaxed, sat in the comfy chair, Michelle started to introduce an exercise that would help him focus on becoming sleepy… counting from 10 backwards and with each number his eyelids would get heavier and heavier.  George smirked and fidgeted and I was already starting to think he was just playing along.  Then Michelle moved onto another exercise, explaining that he was standing at the top of a flight of stairs and his eyes becoming heavier with each step.

He looked peaceful, but I still couldn’t tell if he was ‘under’ or not!  It all started to look promising… until he did a little smirk at the end and I wondered if anything had really happened. My heart sank.  Rightly or wrongly, I was pinning all my hopes on this working.

We then talked through some exercises we could do to help George with the panicky feeling.  Giving the feeling a colour and using our bodies to push the feeling away whilst repeating the mantra “keeping calm”.

Next day, on the way home from school, I decided to  walk with George and the dog around the park on the way home.  Just one minute at a time was the recommendation, so that’s what we did.  George did his deep breaths, pushing the anxious feeling up into his shoulders and down his arms and kept saying “keeping calm”.  We managed a minute before Dusty was back on the lead.  It was clear to see he was still struggling.

Any attempts over the coming days to go over the park was met with excuses.  A week later I approached the subject of taking the dog out… guess what happened… he had  complete meltdown!

We were back to square one!

To be continued…

Love and Hugs,

TOMD xxx