A young girl named X. waited 45 minutes at a Catholic Church Health Fair to meet with Dr. Stone. Dr. Stone asked, “How can I help you?” X. replied, “Can you help me get rid of my anxiety?” Dr. Stone answered back, “Sure, I can help you but I must get permission from your mother or father.” How old are you?” She said, “Nine.”
After X.’s mother gave Dr. Stone permission to hypnotize her daughter, Dr. Stone asked X. when the problem started. She said her nightmares began after watching the movie, “The Blair Witch Project.” Next X. drew a picture of what happened to her at night. During sleep she saw a witch, the witch screamed a “scary boo,” X. called out to her mother and her mother came to her aid as seen by the image of the mother standing in the doorway. Dr. Stone asked X. to draw a picture of what she wanted. X. drew herself yawning in the sitting position and lying back to fall into a deep sleep.
Dr. Stone hypnotized X. and regressed her to when the witch nightmare first began. X. reported that scary witches started to frighten her at age 4. During hypnosis Dr. Stone told her that every little girl needs to learn a method to fall asleep and protect herself while she slept. Dr. Stone, “What will you see when there are no witches and when you feel safe?” She replied, “Fairies.” Dr. Stone asked, “How many fairies are you seeing?” X. said, “10.” Dr. Stone said, “This is your method to fall asleep and protect yourself. Each night before you fall asleep, picture your 10 fairies and count the fairies from 10 to 1. With each smaller number of fairies drift deeper and deeper asleep. Now practice your sleep technique until you are satisfied you can do this every night in your own bed.” X. when into an incredibly deep and refreshing trance.
Afterwards, Dr. Stone spoke with X.’s mother who reported X. was seeing a child psychologist since age 4. When X. was 4 there was a family tragedy in which a family member died. Most likely X. introjected the family’s grief and sadness. Because X. was so young the girl had yet to develop the psychological defenses necessary to cope with adversity and death. Dr. Stone believes that because of the depth of X.’s trance, her level of self-awareness and her new method to induce a deep, continuous sleep, X. released most or all of her anxiety.