Skip to main content

How can Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder be Treated with Hypnosis?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) presents in children with various symptoms including frequent daydreaming, forgetting, or losing things, restlessness, talking too much, making careless errors, taking unnecessary risks, difficulty resisting temptations, trouble taking turns, and difficulty in getting along with others (Felt, 2014).  

While genetics play a role in whether a child develops ADHD, the child’s environment plays a significant role in whether the symptoms of ADHD cause major life disruptions.  For example, children who are prone to ADHD may thrive in a structured and supportive environment.  On the other hand, children who are left to their own devices may struggle academically and socially, which can lead them to develop anxiety and depression. 

It is estimated that nearly 10% of children in the United States suffer from ADHD, and boys are twice as likely than girls to be diagnosed with this condition.  More than half of children with ADHD have been diagnosed with at least one additional mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder.  In decreasing order of prevalence, these include behavioral or conduct problems, anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, and Tourette Syndrome (Danielson, 2018). 

The relationship of ADHD with these other disorders is a complex one.  For example, inability to focus can lead a child to become bored and therefore act inappropriately in a classroom.  On the other hand, a child dealing with behavioral issues, anxiety or depression may have difficulty in focusing that can exacerbate existing ADHD or can lead to a misdiagnosis of ADHD. 

Treatments for ADHD include behavior therapy and often medications (Felt, 2014).  Behavior therapy that can be implemented by parents includes creating a routine, providing limited choices, and helping the child manage distractions and making plans regarding how to tackle projects.  Offering rewards for improved behavior can be extremely helpful. 

Hypnosis for ADHD 

As suggestion has been shown to help children with ADHD (Thibault, 2018), it can be expected that suggestions given as part of hypnosis therapy will be effective as well.  This has certainly been the case in my clinical practice.  The following techniques also can be useful in adults who deal with ADHD. 

Calming suggestions are helpful as anxiety can lead to difficulties with attention.  A child can learn to become calmer with hypnosis by imagining being in a calm environment of their choice.  Alternatively, they can be instructed to become calmer through use of slow, deep breathing. 

Focusing suggestions have helped my patients stay on task.  Enhanced focus can be achieved through entering a hypnotic state at the beginning of a class period and giving the self-suggestion of “Be calm” or “Focus.”  Alternatively, children can be coached to imagine being in a classroom environment and remaining focused and calm as a form of rehearsal. 

Ego Strengthening suggestions can help boost children’s confidence in themselves, which can lead to improved academic performance.  Such suggestions include a discussion of how children’s mastery of previous challenges (e.g., learning how to ride a bicycle) demonstrates their capacity to overcome present challenges.  A discussion of how positive self-talk can help children achieve their goals often enhances confidence dramatically. 

The Subconscious can be recruited to help improve focus.  For example, once the subconscious is defined as a helpful part of the brain of which they are usually unaware, children can be taught to ask their subconscious to help them focus.  If a subconscious states that it can focus well, it can be invited to teach the child what it knows.  Sometimes, this kind of suggestion leads to an immediate improvement in the ability to pay attention. 

Take Home Message 

Self-therapy with hypnosis can be taught rapidly. As there is no side-effect to the use of hypnosis, I believe that children should be offered this alternative before they are prescribed medications in the treatment of ADHD.  

About Center Point Medicine 

You can learn more about Center Point Medicine, hypnosis, and other great topics by following us on social media or heading over to our website. New blogs are added weekly. A list of all current blogs can be found HERE. 

For medical professionals looking to open their own Center Point Medicine office providing pediatric counseling and hypnosis services to your local community, please follow this LINK to learn more about our franchising opportunities.  


CPM | Facebook     CPM | LinkedIn     CPM Official Website     CPM Franchise 




Danielson, Melissa L, Rebecca H. Bitsko, Reem M. Ghandour, Joseph R. Holbrook, Michael D. Kogan, and Stephen J. Blumberg. 2018.  “Prevalence of Parent-Reported ADHD Diagnosis and Associated Treatment Among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 2016.” Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.  47 (2): 199-212. 

Felt, Barbara T, Bernard Biermann, Jennifer G Christner, Param Kochhar, Richard Van Harrison. 2014. “Diagnosis and Management of ADHD in Children.” American Family Physician. 90 (7): 199-212. 


Thibault, Robert T, Samuel Veissière, Jay A. Olson, Amir Raz A. 2018. “Treating ADHD With Suggestion: Neurofeedback and Placebo Therapeutics. Journal of Attention Disorders. 22 (8): 707-711. 

Profile Photo or Ran D. Anbar, MD, FAAP Ran D. Anbar, MD Ran D. Anbar, MD, FAAP, is board certified in both pediatric pulmonology and general pediatrics, offering hypnosis and counseling services at Center Point Medicine in La Jolla, California, and Syracuse, New York. Dr. Anbar is also a fellow and approved consultant of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Dr. Anbar is a leader in clinical hypnosis, and his 20 years of experience have allowed him to successfully treat over 5,000 children. He also served as a professor of pediatrics and medicine and the director of pediatric pulmonology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, for 21 years.

You Might Also Enjoy...

sign that reads drug free, gun free school zone

School Shooting and Young People

Improved mental health care should help decrease violent behavior. However, our society and mental health care industry will need to undergo significant changes to enhance such care.
Sign that reads vaping regrets

Nicotine Addiction as a Result of Vaping

Hypnosis can be used to help overcome vaping and nicotine addiction including through its use to reinforce the reasons for quitting, and as a method to enhance coping with nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Young women at a party on their phones not engaging with anyone, together but isolated

Pitfalls of the Smartphone

In 2022, use of a smartphone is an important part of daily life.  However, it is clear that its near constant use is detrimental.
two hands holding pieces of paper in them one reads Good News the other reads Bad News

Dealing with Hard Times

Through learning how to change our thought patterns we can learn how to deal better with bad events.