The Reasons Why
There are some common contributory causes of bedwetting, such as, slow development of regulatory systems, small functional bladder capacity, physical problems, emotional stress, habit and mindset and deep sleep. I am presuming that parents reading this article will have gone down the medical route already to ascertain that there is no underlying physical problem with their child.
If there was originally a physical underlying problem and that problem had been treated and the child still continued to bedwet then perhaps it would be worth looking at Hypnotherapy to deal with the habit of bedwetting.
In this article I am going to pay particular attention to the emotional reasons and habit of bedwetting.
Primary Enuresis and Secondary Enuresis
There are two definitions that one should be aware of when treating bedwetting: Primary Enuresis and Secondary Enuresis. The first, Primary Enuresis is when the child has never been consistently dry at night ( for a period of about six months) and the latter, Secondary Enuresis is when the child has been consistently dry at night for a prolonged period and then begins to wet the bed.
Many children go through emotional stress which may manifest in the child bedwetting. The cause of the stress may seem insignificant to a parent or adult but to a child even an argument with a friend can be deeply upsetting. However, the most common causes for anxiety in children are: move to a new school, a new baby, bullying at school, family difficulties, a death in a family or family circle. In fact, anything which affects the emotional stability of a child can be the cause or exacerbate the problem of bedwetting.
Habit and Mindset
For children who have been bedwetting for some time, the problem may become one of habit. They assume they have no control over this habit so therefore they go to bed each night expecting to wet the bed and so do exactly that! Many parents, in their wish to protect the bedding, buy protective pants or nappies but this keeps the body warm and the child never recognises the difference between warm and dry and cold and wet during the night. This just reinforces the habit of bedwetting. It is essential for the body to recognise that difference in order to change the habit.
Children who bedwet are usually very deep sleepers who have not learned to activate their internal alarm clock to wake them up should they need to urinate during the night. Parents often resort to buying enuresis alarms which wake the child and everyone else up after the bed is already wet! Hypnotherapy can teach the child to sleep more lightly and to switch on their own inner alarm clock.
The most important step in treating any emotional or anxiety caused problem is to deal with the underlying emotion. Children are very open to hypnotherapy because they have no preconceived ideas about stage hypnosis and because they have wonderful and creative imaginations. They are accustomed to using this part of their brains daily while playing and can easily imagine themselves with a role or behaving in certain ways which all lends itself to perfect hypnotherapy. So the first step is to find out what is worrying the child and alleviate that worry and help the child to deal with stress and anxiety in the future.
The aims of hypnotherapy treatment for bedwetting are:
– Change the mindset and expectation, build self-esteem and confidence.
– Instil the belief that the child can take control of the problem.
– Teach the child to cope with any minor setback by understanding that the body is learning a new habit.
– Teach the child new commands to give to the bladder-brain-sphincter muscles at night.
As this is child centred therapy language, metaphors and imagery are used according to their age and own ideas. Usually a child comes for 3 or 4 sessions, the first two taking place a week apart and the following one or two a couple of weeks later. The child and parent(s) come for a Free Consultation to assess the condition and the willingness of both child and parents to work with me to attain the best results.
It is imperative that the parents/carers are on board to work in a positive way looking and noticing signs of improvement and progress. The language at home should always be of encouragement and support. The dreaded words ‘back to square one’ or ‘hasn’t worked’ should never be used as this will destroy the child’s confidence and ability to believe that they can make the changes they so desperately want. No child wants to be wearing nappies on sleepovers, no child wants to wake up smelly in the morning.
The focus should be on the dry nights rather than the wet ones. In fact, bedwetting and wet beds are expressions which should no longer be used when talking to or about the child.
Bedwetting is a condition which responds very well to Hypnotherapy … given time, patience and positive attitude!
Setanta Hypnotherapy Clinic, Peel, Isle of Man
If you would like to book a Free Consultation to learning more about Hypnotherapy for Enuresis please call Mary Nathan on Tel. 842938 or email:
Hypnotherapy for Young Children and Teenagers
Hypnosis for Children at Bedtime