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Anxiety, fear, and worry among children and teenagers are on a continuum from transient disruptions to clinical disorders. For example, when faced with the common stressor of an immunization or blood draw, a child might display momentary bother, then shift his or her attention. Another child’s extreme fearfulness about upcoming threat and danger might prompt overwhelming anticipatory anxiety and catastrophic worry, followed by a panic episode and uncontrollable escape behaviors during the procedure, reﬂecting a clinical diagnosis of speciﬁc phobia. It is unfortunate that most pediatric medical and mental health professionals receive little training on how to assess and treat children and teenagers with these challenges. The use of superﬁcial, one-size-ﬁts-all scripts or other global suggestions to “relax” or “get calm” are common approaches when using hypnosis for such young people. In contrast, determining speciﬁc goals and tailoring suggestions to the needs of a particular pediatric patient is the theme of this article. Leading experts in the ﬁeld of pediatric hypnosis, Kohen and Olness (2011) emphasized the importance of empowering the client:
Clinicians treating youth with anxiety, worry, or fear can best design speciﬁc hypnosis goals and suggestions that are individualized for a particular child when using a developmental psychopathology perspective and an assessment focused on the causal processes fueling speciﬁc symptoms. The use of HOW questions isolate underlying patterns in thinking, feeling, behaving, and psychophysiological responses, which then become the speciﬁc hypnosis goals to ﬁt the presentation of each particular child. By focusing on underlying risk factors for childhood anxiety and difﬁculties with emotional, cognitive, behavioral and psychophysiological self-regulation,