Whether it's a battle with confidence, a fear of the dark or terrible tantrums, it's very common for little ones to have behavioural and emotional ups and downs. If you're wondering what you can do to help, the latest therapy hot from Australia could be the answer. The Goulding SleepTalk process is a simple, non-intrusive therapy to boost self-esteem and help children overcome behavioural challenges. What's more, it's easy to learn and only takes a few minutes a day at bedtime.


How does SleepTalk work?

The SleepTalk process is designed for children aged between two and 12 years and is all about reassuring your child by letting her know how much you love her. But rather than by showering her with kisses and cuddles, it works while your child is asleep.

"SleepTalk is a very simple process that's similar to hypnotherapy in that it works by the power of suggestion," explains SleepTalk Consultant, William McKay. "A therapist simply teaches you to tap into your child's subconscious while she's asleep and give her the reassurance of your unconditional love by whispering positive thoughts to her."

The power of positive thinking

After an initial consultation to talk through any concerns you have about your child's behaviour and emotions, William teaches the first stage of SleepTalk. "Once you've put your child to bed and she's been asleep for about 40 minutes, go into her room and gently stroke her forehead. This isn't enough to wake her up but it will move her into a receptive state while she sleeps," he explains.

It's while your child's in this receptive slumber that her brain will subconsciously open up to the positive suggestions you make. "I teach parents a pattern of positive phrases to recite to their child while she's in this receptive state," explains William. "They focus on letting your child know how much everyone loves her to provide a sense of security and happiness. You repeat these sentences three or four times before using another set of phrases that will send her back into a deeper sleep," says William.

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And after just a month of repeating the therapy with your child every night, you should already see the results. "I was amazed at the changes in such a short time," says Emma*, who took her son, James*, 4, for SleepTalk therapy after his dad died. "James joined nursery late so the other children had already formed close friendships. He didn't mix easily, he was struggling academically and he seemed nervous of going to the toilet on his own. But after just a month using SleepTalk, James was more energised. He'd started looking forward to school and he was making more friends. His behaviour in class had also improved and he's become a much more loving and cuddly little boy!"

The next step

"The next stage is about addressing any specific worries you have about your child," explains William. "It can be absolutely anything, whether it's nail biting, low confidence, bedwetting, or you think your child may be being bullied."

At this point, your therapist will teach you a set of new, more focused phrases to use with the original positive sentences. Linda* took her son Jack*, 9, to SleepTalk sessions when she became concerned that he was being bullied at school "My main worry was Jack's anxiety," she says. "So once Jack's behaviour had improved overall, I started to add, 'You are safe, secured and loved. You are confident and you are calm, relaxed and secure within yourself.' Jack had been coming to sleep in my bed but after using this phrase for a few days he started sleeping in his own bed."

Happy child, happy families

And it's as simple as that! Once you've got into the routine it's easy to build up to address any other issues your child may have. "There's no such thing as too much SleepTalk," explains William. "The wonderful thing is that it's not only your child who benefits, the whole family will feel happier."


*Names have been changed