email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
The Creek"Who Could That Be at This Hour?"100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian Drew3 Willows33 Minutes47A Company of FoolsA Corner Of The UniverseA Crack In The LineA Frog ThingA Great and Terrible BeautyA Monster CallsA Monster CallsA Northern LightA Step From HeavenA Step Toward FallingA Stir of BonesA Tragic Kind of WonderfulA Walk in the Rain With a BrainA Wish for Wings That WorkAdam Canfield of the SlashAfterAlice MacLeod, Realist at LastAll Rivers Flow to the SeaAll SoulsAll the Bright PlacesAll the WayAll Unquiet ThingsAmerican GirlsAmong the HiddenAmong the ImpostorsAnatomy of a BoyfriendAnatomy of a MisfitAngus, Thongs and Full-Frontal SnoggingAnnie's BabyAnything Could HappenAristotle and Poetic JusticeAristotle and the Secrets of LifeArizona KidArtemis FowlAs Simple as SnowAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAt the End of WordsAway Laughing on a Fast CamelBad Girls ClubBad RatsBang!Beating HeartBeauty QueensBecause of Winn-DixieBefore I DieBefore I FallBetween Mom and JoBeyond MagentaBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBig Rabbit's Bad MoodBlack HelicoptersBlack-eyed SuzieBlind SightBog ChildBoy Kills ManBoy ProofBoysBoys Are DogsBoys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking BootsBraceBrainstormBrave HeartsBreakfast Served AnytimeBreaking PointBronx MasqueradeBruisesBrushing Mom's HairBrutalBurnCatalystCathy's BookCathy's KeyCaveat EmptorCharlie and the Chocolate FactoryCharlie and the Great Glass ElevatorChild Insanity in England, 1845-1907Children and the Politics of SexualityChildren's RightsCity of CannibalsCity of HalvesClaiming Georgia TateClawsClay's WayConfessions of a Teenage Drama QueenConfessions of an Angry GirlContentious IssuesCoralineCountry Girl, City GirlCrispinCrossesCruise ControlCulture and Conflict in Child and Adolescent Mental HealthCut Both WaysDancing in My NuddypantsDani Bennoni: Long May He LiveDead Little Mean GirlDear Zoe,Define NormalDeliriumDeliverance From EvilDestination UnexpectedDirty Little SecretsDiscovering Pig MagicDivaDivergentDoing ItDown the Rabbit HoleDrawing a BlankDuck! Rabbit!Ellison the ElephantEmma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a TreeEmpress of the WorldEscape Under the Forever SkyEvery Exquisite ThingEvery Little Thing in the WorldEverything Is FineEverything on a WaffleFacelessFacts About ADHD ChildrenFade to BlackFade to BlueFaith, Hope, and Ivy JuneFaking NormalFans of the Impossible LifeFeather BoyFile Under: 13 Suspicious IncidentsFinallyFinding H. F.FiregirlFirst CrossingFlashcards of My LifeForbiddenForest of the PygmiesFoxFreak the MightyFreaky Green EyesFree?FreewillFrictionGeektasticGentlemenGeography ClubGeorgeGeorge's Marvelous MedicineGetting Over Garrett DelaneyGhost at the WindowGirl PartsGirls Acting CattyGirls in PantsGirlsourceGLBTQGoing BovineGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGossip GirlGotta Get Some Bish Bash BoshGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGutsHamletHandbook for BoysHappy Halloween, Li'L SantaHarmlessHarry the Hypno-potamusHate ListHear Us Out!HeartbeatHeartbeatHeroHippie ChickHitler's DaughterHonor GirlHootHow to Build a HouseHumanism, What's That?Hurt Go HappyI Am Not Joey PigzaI Donít Want to be CrazyI Need You More Than I Love You and I Love You To BitsI Saw It HappenIf a Tree Falls at Lunch PeriodIf I StayIf We KissIn the Company of CraziesInvincibleIt Happened to NancyIt Was A Dark And Silly NightIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalIt's Perfectly NormalJacob's LadderJakarta MissingJake RileyJames and the Giant PeachJennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, ElizabethJoey Pigza Loses ControlJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJokerJumping Off SwingsJumping the ScratchKeeping the MoonKeeping Your Child in MindKids Gone WildKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKim: Empty InsideKiss of Broken GlassKissing in AmericaKissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys)Knocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLast CallLast DecemberLeaping BeautyLemony SnicketLess Than PerfectLiarLittle ChicagoLizard LoveLizard RadioLizzy's Do's and Don'tsLock and KeyLooking for BobowiczLooking for NormalLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogLove, AubreyLucy in the SkyLukeís Way of LookingMadappleMade For YouMaking the RunMaking the RunMany StonesMapsMargaux with an XMary Pope Osborne's Tales from the OdysseyMichael Rosen's Sad BookMirrorMaskMolly Moon's Incredible Book of HypnotismMonsterMore Than a LabelMore Than FriendsMore Than FriendsMouse's First ValentineMy Brain Tumour AdventuresMy HeartbeatMy One Hundred AdventuresMy Perfect LifeNastybookNo Right TurnNot As Crazy As I SeemNothing But the TruthNothing PinkNow Playing: Stoner & Spaz IIOCDanielOlive My LoveOlive's OceanOliviaOlivia Saves the CircusOn the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex GodOne Hot SecondOur Broken PiecesOut of BoundsOut of the DustPandemoniumPanic at Toad HallPaper TownsPaperweightPatrolPeachesPeriod PiecesPictures of Hollis WoodsPiggyPINSPlanet JanetPlanet PregnancyPlaying a PartPretty Girl-13Prince William, Maximilian Minsky & MePrincess in LovePrincess in the SpotlightPrisoner of Night and FogPrisoners Under GlassProject Sweet LifePsychotherapy with Adolescent Girls and Young WomenPuddlejumpersPunkzillaPurgeRainbow PartyRebuttalRequiemRethinking Gender and Sexuality in ChildhoodRevolting Rhymes & Dirty BeastsRosy Cole's Memoir ExplosionSabrielSaving GraceSay YesScatSchool of FearSee You at Harry'sSexuality in AdolescenceSexyShadows on the WallShatteredShelterShooterSide Effects May VarySilence is GoldfishSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSins of the FathersSix Impossible ThingsSkelligSmackSmall Avalanches and Other StoriesSolitaireSome Assembly RequiredSomeday This Pain Will Be Useful to YouSomeone Like YouSomething About AmericaSong for EloiseSophie Pitt-Turnbull Discovers AmericaSophie Spikey Has a Very Big ProblemSophomore SwitchSplit ScreenStartled by His Furry ShortsStone WaterStory of a GirlStuffSuffer the ChildrenSummer of the SkunksSurviving HitlerSweetheartsSymptoms of Being HumanTalkTargeting AutismTeaseTeen Angst? NaaahTeen TelevisionThat SummerThawThe 10 PM QuestionThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianThe Actual Real Reality of Jennifer JamesThe Amnesia ClinicThe Arctic IncidentThe Artsy Smartsy ClubThe Bear MakersThe Beast of CretaceaThe BFGThe Big BurnThe Book of JudeThe Boy Who Climbed into the MoonThe Boy Who DaredThe Boyfriend ListThe Buffalo TreeThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Case of the Case of Mistaken IdentityThe Cemetery BoysThe Chosen OneThe Clouds AboveThe Color of AbsenceThe Crazy Things Girls Do for LoveThe Dating GameThe Day Leo Said I Hate You!The DaydreamerThe Diary of a Killer CatThe Diary of Pelly DThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round ThingsThe EndThe Ersatz ElevatorThe Eternity CubeThe Eyes of van GoghThe Flight of a DoveThe Future of UsThe Geography of GirlhoodThe Geography of You and MeThe Ghost NetworkThe GiantessThe Great BrainThe Grim GrottoThe Heretic's DaughterThe Hookup ArtistThe Horse and His BoyThe Hostile HospitalThe Last Chance TexacoThe Last Time I DiedThe Last Time We Say GoodbyeThe Little TernThe Love Curse of the RumbaughsThe Lucky PlaceThe Memory of LightThe Men They Will BecomeThe Miseducation of Cameron PostThe Mystery of the Third LucretiaThe Naked Truth About SexThe Neil Gaiman Audio CollectionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Outcasts of 19 Schuyler PlaceThe Palace of LaughterThe PanopticonThe Penultimate PerilThe Porcupine of TruthThe PostcardThe Princess DiariesThe Rules of SurvivalThe Same Stuff as StarsThe Sands of TimeThe ScarThe Serious KissThe ShakeressThe Silent BoyThe Silly BookThe Sledding HillThe Slippery SlopeThe Snow SpeaksThe Spider and the BeeThe SpindlersThe StepsThe Story of Frog Belly Rat BoneThe Tail of Emily WindsnapThe Teenage BrainThe Thief LordThe Thing About JellyfishThe Thought that CountsThe Treasure Map of BoysThe TwitsThe UninvitedThe View from SaturdayThe Vile VillageThe Virginity ClubThe WilloughbysThe Wish HouseThe Witch of Blackbird PondThe Witch's BoyThe Wolves in the WallsThe Wolves of AndoverThen Again, Maybe I Won'tThen He Ate My Boy EntrancersThey Broke the Law-You Be the JudgeThings I Have to Tell YouThirstyThirteen Reasons WhyThis Book Is Not Good For YouThis Burns My HeartThis Full HouseTime Stops for No MouseTransgender Children and YouthTrue BelieverTrue BelieverTruesightTwenty Boy SummerTwistedUnder Pressure and OverwhelmedUnder the Wolf, Under the DogUnder WildwoodVery Far Away from Anywhere ElseVirgin Sex for GirlsVirgin Sex for GuysWalking on GlassWastelandWatch Me Do YogaWe're Not MonstersWelcome to the ArkWhale TalkWhat Comes AfterWhat HappenedWhat I Saw And How I LiedWhat the Birds SeeWhat Works for Bipolar KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Jeff Comes HomeWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen You Reach MeWhere She WentWhere The Kissing Never StopsWho Has What?Why Are You So Sad?WildwoodWill You, Won't You?Witch ChildWith Their EyesWolf on the FoldWonderlandWorlds ApartWurst Case ScenarioYogaYoga 4 TeensYou Hear MeYou Know You Love MeYou Look Different in Real LifeYour Body Is AwesomeZane's TraceZapZazoo
Linda Thomson created the character Harry the Hypno-potamus (vii) "who helps children to help themselves." In his introduction (vii) Dr. Kohen says Thomson's first Harry volume stimulated clinicians "to develop other stories" while encouraging "parents and children to develop their own stories to facilitate healing and resolve problems," a critically important point about the democratic ownership of that other-guided focus that hypnosis is as a meditative state sourced from a part of ourselves and only incidentally by a practitioner. She appears surprised (ix) that "parents, school teachers, and other professionals not trained in hypnosis were using the metaphors with children." And even children were picking up the book on their own. "The most amazing and effective metaphors are the ones the children create themselves."
A key to the effectiveness of (right-brain) metaphor is that (4-5) "the child views the problem as something that is happening to somebody else; therefore, she does not feel personally threatened," without, we hope, experiencing herself as an object. The positive messages to the unconscious (5) "also replenish the soul." That imprecise reference to the deeper self shows possibilities for self-development and integration that metaphor work with children might expand in subsequent works. Not surprisingly, then, a style of paramedical, Freudian-like focus on specific problems, rather than on global strengthening of an inner core, undergirds this clinical approach. For example, four categories organize problems children may face: anxieties, fears, phobias; habit disorders; pain; other uses.
A typical strategic pattern clearly informs the hypnologic stories: contextual background, elicited problem, suggested solution, hypnotic induction, reinforcement of inner strengths, resolution. Fear of costume, clowns, or masks, Thomson informs us in the introduction (9), is not unusual for young children. Examples of specific topics include: fears of bugs, examinations, invasive medical procedures, and pill swallowing; toileting anxieties, fear of heights; habits like finger-sucking, stuttering, and more seriously, encopresis and cyclic vomiting; bodily pains, including sickle-cell effects; a whole range of contentious social-psychologically proposed issues including sadness, bullies, anger (ambivalence), being a foster child, sleeping problems, and "ADHD."
The imaginary Ashland Zoo is the site where the particularly adept Harry the Hypno-Potamus solves his loneliness issues and encourages support groups to assist an unusual range of other animals. Especially graphic stories include those of Moshe the Happy Hoatzin (35) who imagines rising in a balloon while dropping packs containing fear and worries, Gurgevich Gibbon with a finger-sucking problem, George BbbbonnnnoBO whose issue you can guess, Eric the Platypus whose bill can detect electric fields given off by prey--not his problem; the particularly fetching image of Carol Kinkajou with the habitual cough that becomes a host tree that gradually diminishes as Carol imagines herself as a fig tree growing around it eventually (87) "to stand tall, all on its own." What's good about this last metaphor is that it recalls an old headache commercial showing a plaster bust of a woman the real version of whom broke through the one with the headache. This Goethian growth from the inside out leads to some unavoidable strictures that must be raised about the book's exclusively gouge-and-spackle focus.
Except for the social and social-psychological parts of the book, there is little to complain about re the specific developmental, especially physiochemically based, issues that arise for the children. The problems approach probably works well when it does. Far better would be a global core-self-growth series of inductions, at least as supplements, that would head some problems off at the pass. Related to this is my sense that replacing "down" with "(deeper) in" for breathing and imaginary movement would avoid possible negative suggestiveness of "down." The typical kind of fantasy trip in which the person arrives at a key message from the self to the self, as in the "higher within" movement in Assagioli's Psychosynthesis left out of the bibliography, would probably inspire very good child-produced metaphors. This could as well avoid the unfortunate mystification of needless talk of trance, merely the "transir" movement from daily practical attention to the right-brain meditative. Oddly, hypnotic meditation makes us intensely focused while much of our everyday awareness is diffusely hypnotized, so to speak.
That only one child's contribution apparently came up by chance leads us to the professional directedness of the stories. In no case does the ambivalently democratic Dr. Dan encourage the animal to consider its own solution. Merely posing that possibility often releases creative solutions. Directly opposed to Thomson's factual affirmation that it is the person who creates the inner road to a solution as self-hypnosis is the historically false notion that only clinical professionals can legitimately practice these modalities."Only as part of treatment plan" (22) makes all attempts at solution dependent and other-directed and to that extent chips away at the self-directed healing power that the democratically available practice of hypnology enables.
A few issues require some comment. (139-141) An old hypnosis trick uses something like a dot of iodine suggesting that "as the stain wears away so will the wart reduce to nothing" thus avoiding warfare images of resistance; as once used in est, headaches (110) the subject describes by color, shape, texture, weight diminish or disappear, but this doesn't work for a concussion where pain calls for an examination--I once saw a person reduce one to a fly that left through space imagined between the eyes, disappearing in the distance; "why?" (45) may uselessly rationalize when "what?" and "how?" better elicit surrounding circumstances and related feelings; it's a touchy issue to suggest Bloom Raccoon's (47) stimulus generalization of one bug sniffed up the nose to all bugs; propagandistic advice to tell teachers, or worse, "tell the bully to stop, that you don't like it" (165), waiting for what?--"Oh, yeah, I'm sorry"-- seems silly post-Columbine.
I would rather see children develop critical, empirically based judgment rather than accept unexamined thumb-and-forefinger muscle-testing (114) and pendulum movement (100-103) children cannot evaluate.
Finally, Raz Ratel (129) raises the historical issue of ADHD. It took twenty years for the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture a non-disease for the Ritalin they already had with its paradoxically calming effect on children. It passed through such mystifying labels as "minimum brain dysfunction," "hyperkinetic reaction," and, oh, as far back as 1902, "defect of moral control," apparently the bourgeois Dr. Still's reaction to a lower-class disease. It's up to parents to decide whether to use it considering the relation of expected childhood energy in boxcar educational contexts among other things.
I had not expected to find so much to take exception to in a book for children. I only wish to reaffirm that the author's purpose is to help children with troubling issues. I am sure the book will do that well. By the way, this glossy-page hardcover lists for fifty dollars no doubt to appeal to those upper-middle-class professionals like the clinical contributors who would find that format itself more authoritatively cogent as opposed to a wholly paper version at half the price with wider appeal.
© 2009 Anthony P. Bober
A.P. Bober has studied a psychology spanning Skinner and a humanistic-clinical view based on existential phenomenology and had been a PhD candidate in a substantive yet philosophic European-based sociology including the "critical" view. His teaching augmented courses in group theory/"small-group developmental dynamics" (lab) while introducing "sociology of knowledge" and "issues in biological anthropology," with publications in the first two fields. Currently he is writing a book on mystical experience as metaphorically tied to neuroendocrinology.