Understanding Phobias

I was interested to hear that ITV’s “This Morning” programme were using a hypnotherapist every day last week to cure phobias. I recorded the shows as I was interested to see how they covered the subject, and you can’t beat a bit of Phil and Fearn now and again can you?

They had a different person each day with a different phobia; soup, mud, needles, balloons and pigeons. I’m glad they steered away from the common phobias such as snakes, spiders and flying as it showed that any phobia can be cured quickly and easily, no matter how “unusual” it seems. A question in one of my diploma exams was “How would you treat someone with a phobia of Giraffes?”

You see, however “unique” your phobia, the underlying principles are very similar.

The phobia is generally “learned” from somewhere, either from an actual experience or a second hand one such as a parent or friend’s phobia showing. It will generally be an irrational fear. A phobia is when a fear becomes so lodged into the subconscious that it then proceeds to override all of your normal thoughts if it becomes triggered. For instance, consciously and rationally the lady in the programme knew that mud wouldn’t cause her harm but once her phobia was triggered it was overwhelming.

When she worked with the hypnotherapist her fear was conquered. With hypnosis, by accessing the subconscious mind, we can desensitise the fear by lowering and removing the anxiety attached to it. Anxiety is driving the fear. It is about the anticipation or dread of something bad happening. The beauty of hypnosis is that you are naturally reducing anxiety symptoms of racing heart, sweating, dry mouth, clamminess. You are in effect learning to be calm and relaxed. By reducing the anxiety attached to say a fear of dogs, then the fear that was born by one dog and then became a fear of all dogs, goes back to its proper place in your mind – as just a bad experience and be saved in your mind as such.

When you conquer a phobia, it can literally open up a whole new world for you. A recent flying phobic client of mine has not long returned from an amazing holiday in Australia. What would you be able to do if you weren’t afraid anymore?

Pay it Forward

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