A review of The Rabbit who wants to Fall Asleep by a Hypnotherapist.
You may have heard all about the new book that helps children to fall asleep written by a psychologist called Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin. As a Clinical Hypnotherapist I was very interested to see this as it seems to use many of the techniques that I myself teach people to help with their children and also the very same ways that I used myself with my own son when he was little.
So, is this bestselling book that has topped the Amazon chart really bringing hypnosis into the bedroom?
The first thing that it mentioned is never to read the book out loud close to someone driving a vehicle. This of course is something that any hypnotherapist would say to a client when giving them a recording. I always give people who come and see me an MP3 to listen to and the first thing I say is not to listen to it unless they can really be safe and relaxed. At this point it's clear that the book will contain some relaxing language.
Of course, it isn't anything to worry about. The state of hypnosis is really one of relaxation and that is exactly what you want your child to feel when they are ready for bed. It's perfectly safe and perfectly natural...it's just like daydreaming.
You are also told to read certain words in a calm or slow voice. This is setting you up for the fact that the calming voice will relax your child. It's exactly what any hypnotherapist would do when helping you into a calm state of hypnosis.
You are even told to yawn at points in the story. This is something that I have used myself with great success and I always teach people. You can actually watch your child start to copy you and with a little practice you don't even really need to say much else as you watch them calm and fall asleep.
The more that you read the story the more that you realise it is written in a way that shows patterns of language that we see in hypnotherapy all the time. It even starts by saying that some people fall asleep easily and other take longer. What this is doing is telling your child that they will fall asleep sooner or later...and that it will happen.
In fact this is basically a script written for hypnotherapy with children. You are using various techniques that send them off into that daydream and trance.
Here is a short video where I explain a little more about the hypnotic language and techniques that you can use for yourself to help your child to sleep...
I suppose the simple fact is that rather than be honest and explain that it is hypnosis for your child, in another form the author has felt that it is better not to touch on that.
It is a shame because whilst perhaps some people would be put off, this is in fact a real chance to bust some myths about hypnosis and show that it really is just about learning to relax and let go. No one is taking control of your mind, and you can't make anyone do anything they do not want to do.
It is all about using your imagination. In fact the more that I read the book the more I realised that it is exactly what myself and countless other therapists have been doing with our own children and teaching others to do for years.
You can easily do the same thing yourself. By telling a story about someone who is much like your child and then showing how they get tired at the end and yawning through it you may well find your child falls asleep easily.
Of course it is easy for me to say that when I have a lot of practice, for a tired parent I can imagine that this is a godsend.
There is even a passage where the main character is on a swing rocking back and forth. Does that remind you of the old cliche of a swinging watch? Interestingly a swinging watch is something that shows how our minds and bodies are connected well. Take a look at this video which explains it ...
It uses the idea of thinking about things that make you sleepy. I use exactly the same technique when helping people to overcome insomnia. In fact it is how I first came to hypnosis over twenty years ago when I learnt to let go and sleep soundly myself.
When a hypnotherapist is taking you into hypnosis they will match your breathing and pace with you then slow it down. Again, this technique is part of the book. The more that you read the more you see that it really is just hypnotherapy for children although clearly not marketed that way. It even contains the idea of relaxing your whole body, we call this progressive relaxation and in fact it is also a key part of mindfulness too.
So, if you are a parent who needs help then you may well find that this book helps you. My only regret is that there is no mention of the fact that it really is just like a script for hypnosis with your child...why would the author steer clear of saying that? Probably because the publisher still fears that it puts people off. That really is a shame because in fact it could help show that hypnotherapy is perfectly natural and safe.
You can see the book here on Amazon. and it is also available as a free download on the authors site in epub form.
You can read more about hypnotherapy for children here on this website and contact me via the links at the top if you are looking for help for your child or yourself.