Thumb -sucking will destroy your child’s smile. Resolved! Counselling for Children could help put a stop to it

If you’d like to help preserve your son or daughter’s beautiful smile then get in touch with Resolved! Counselling for Children. Many other children have learned to let the habit go. Yours could be the next!

Thumb-sucking is quite cute in babies and toddlers. The older they become, however, the more worrying it gets. It’s not simply the problems it causes with developing jaws, there’s also the risk of being teased, socially isolated and bullied by others who let the habit go years ago.

There’s a dentist somewhere in Oxfordshire or Berkshire who sends clients my way if they’re unable to give up sucking their thumb by themselves.  Once upon a time I helped someone close to them to stop and now they are one of my best sources of referrals. In Reading, Oxford, Wallingford and Thame there are children who are growing up free of the risk of wrecking their teeth.

Thumb-Sucking has a purpose, however

Most children simply grow out of the habit when it’s no longer of any use to them. Some, however, particularly if they’re a little anxious, hold onto the habit because they find it soothing. 

The soothing nature of the habit is what we call its ‘positive intention’. In order to be free of the habit another way of dealing with emotions will have to be learned. Another means of dealing with anxiety will need to be installed and the cause of that original anxiety dealt with, once and for all.

Thumb-Sucking is also an unconscious habit and most therapies will fail to address this aspect  of the activity

child bruxism and psychotherapyI spend a lot of my time working with BFRBs (bodily focused repetitive behaviours). BFRBs include habits such as nail-biting, trichotillomania and skin picking, otherwise known as dermotillomania. What makes these habits difficult to work with it both the underlying anxieties which render them ‘necessary’ but also the fact that they can often be undertaken without any conscious awareness that they’re taking place.

This is why I utilise a combination of traditional child and adolescent psychotherapeutic approaches together with mindfulness and hypnotherapy. This combination ensures that your son or daughter will be aware of what their hands are doing, at all times, and, because hypnotherapy talks to the unconscious mind, be able to cease the habit whilst asleep.

Over the course of relatively few sessions the habit can be abandoned, one step at a time, as underlying emotional difficulties are resolved and left behind. It’s a deeply ingrained habit, after all, foetuses are to be seen sucking their thumbs in the womb, but if your son or daughter is willing to engage then it can and will be beaten.

This is a vital point. Your child really does need to want to stop. Promising them a reward if they should stop isn’t enough by itself. Their trying to please you by stopping won’t be enough by itself. Please don’t browbeat them into accepting the need for change. Bring them to see me, get in touch when they themselves realise that this habit can’t be allowed to continue any longer.

Get in touch to save their smile!

You could contact me by using the form at the bottom of this page. You could email me at You could call me on 07786 123736 / 01865 600970 or 01183 280284.

If you would like your child to stop thumb-sucking and if they, themselves are ready then Resolved! Counselling for Children could hold the answer.  If you live in or around Reading, Oxford, Wallingford or Thame then simply get in touch and we’ll discuss how it works and when we could get started.

You must be logged in to post a comment.