Hypnotherapy for phobias
Table of Contents
Phobias defy logic and reason. They are an unconscious response to a perceived threat and can trigger the flight or fight response or panic attacks. Their origins are often hardwired for primeval survival when we needed to defend ourselves against predators and the dangers of the natural world.
If spiders make you scream, needles make you nauseous, dentists fill you with dread or flying makes you faint, you’re not alone. These fears are commonplace. Most of us have a phobic response to one thing or another and sometimes these can have a detrimental effect on our lives.
Irrational and outside of our conscious control, when a phobia is triggered our imagination runs riot creating an extreme emotional reaction. Hypnotherapy for phobias uses your brilliant, creative mind to replace the fear with alternative ways of thinking, feeling and responding, restoring calmness and control.
A recent ‘Clinical Review’ of hypnosis and relaxation therapies published in the BMJ looked at the existing research on hypnosis and concluded: ‘There is good evidence from randomised controlled trials that both hypnosis and relaxation techniques can reduce anxiety‘, the same report also concluded that hypnosis was proven to be effective in treating panic attacks and phobia.
(Vickers and Zollman, ‘Hypnosis and relaxation therapies,’ BMJ 1999;319: 1346-1349)
What are phobias?
Phobias are fuelled by anticipatory anxiety which makes the sufferer hypervigilant and super sensitive to any exposure. For example, someone with an extreme fear of spiders will check every corner of every room they enter in case one is lurking. When phobias stop you from doing what you want to do, hypnotherapy for phobias can deconstruct them, dissociate you from their cause and desensitise you to their triggers so you can get on with your life.
Often associated with childhood trauma, it takes a bit of detective work to get to the bottom of them. Some sufferers have vivid memory of the trauma, others may have repressed them and have no clue why they are so afraid. Whatever the story behind them, there are simple strategies to relieve the fear permanently.
Strange but true
Phobia causes are many and varied, from the debilitating anxiety of agoraphobia, fear of crowds or being trapped, to the slightly strange, like buttons, balloons or clowns. There is even a phobia of phobias. It seems there is no limit to the variety of often benign and completely harmless things we can frighten ourselves with. It’s lucky that our hypnotherapy for phobias programme offers such an easy way of talking you down from the proverbial ledge.
Phobia causes are many and varied, from the debilitating anxiety of agoraphobia, fear of crowds or being trapped, to the slightly strange, like buttons, balloons or clowns. There is even a phobia of phobias. It seems there is no limit to the variety of often benign and completely harmless things we can frighten ourselves with. It’s lucky that hypnosis offers such an easy way of talking yourself down from the proverbial ledge.
It is these hidden away or repressed memories and emotions that can and often will, sooner or later, create a phobia. So the phobia continues to serve as a warning of the approach of potentially similar incidents. Hypnotherapy helps deconstruct the impact of the initial sensitising event which originally caused or created the phobia.
Types of Terrors
- Aerophobia: fear of flying
- Acrophobia: fear of heights
- Agoraphobia: fear of crowds and being trapped
- Arachnophobia: fear of spiders
- Claustrophobia: fear of enclosed spaces
- Emetophobia: fear of being sick
- Entomophobia: fear of insects
- Hydrophobia: fear of water
- Ophidiophobia: fear of snakes
- Pyrophobia: fear of fire
- Speksophobia: fear of wasps
- Xenophobia: fear of strangers
There are hundreds more. Did you know that there is even a fear of phobias? Yes, you’ve guessed it, phobophobia!