After the age of 14 or so, most children can be worked with in a similar fashion as an adult. My preference is to work with children over the age of 12, but I will see younger children, situation by situation.
Very young children, under the age of 8, generally need much shorter interventions and may not be capable of giving me the necessary background on the problem, which might mean taking a history from the parent. Also, most children under the age of eight do not need a formal hypnotic induction.
The goal of hypnosis is to produce a state where the individual is more receptive to suggestion. Most children under the age of 8 are already in that state. So with young children, I usually use a hypnotic storytelling approach, which works quite well.
Children between the ages of 8 to 14 may require shorter sessions and techniques that are especially geared toward their maturity and attention level.
I also commonly use the Emotional Freedom Technique or other meridian tapping techniques with smaller children who do not have the attention for a hypnotic intervention. Meridian tapping is like “acupuncture for the emotions” (without the needles).
Image © gekaskr – Fotolia.com