So what do you do? Run, freeze, feel sick or simply want to cry?
There are, in the main, two types of phobias. There is the simple phobia where a person reacts negatively when they come into contact with the thing that causes fear, i.e. dentists, needles or spiders. Then there is the complex phobia which causes fear and anxiety continually.
One such example is Emetophobia - a fear of being sick, and considered to be one of the most common phobias in the world. It can affect the sufferer in ways such as not wanting to collect their children from school in case that child is feeling ill, or maybe even putting off becoming pregnant because of the fear of sickness.
Another complex phobia is Social phobia, a fear of social situations, such as weddings, public speaking or simply going out to dinner with people - even if they're friends! Frequently people with a social phobia have a fear of embarrassing themselves or of being humiliated in public.
A phobia is defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding despite the fear, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational.
However, the good news is that your brain has an ability to learn, in fact you are
constantly learning are you not? Learning new habits such as being more relaxed and calm can help overcome simple phobias very quickly. Now here's an interesting fact, habits exist on the same subconscious level as phobias and hypnosis help create new habits or patterns of behaviour - see the connection?
The basic feature of any phobia is a conflict between the conscious and subconscious. Hypnotherapy communicates with the subconscious, filtering through how the client wants to be rather than how they currently are.
It has to be stated here that the client has to want to change their pattern of behaviour. They will also need to get on board with the treatment i.e. listening to a mind-strenthening CD.
Once I went to a local GP surgery with a delightful 16-year old I'd been working with on his fear of needles. It has to be said he had a reasonably severe reaction if someone came near him as he would simply want to escape and would lash out in order to do so. As he lay on the couch at the GP surgery, he was laughing at the technique I was using to enable him to overcome his fear. When we came out into the waiting room after he'd had his jabs, he was delighted that he'd accomplished something he'd originally thought impossible. There are some real highs to my job it has to be said!
Interestingly, Richard Bandler (co-creator of NLP) has observed that people who have overcome phobias put themselves in the position of a detached bystander, observing themselves having the phobia and that helps overcome it. Those who have failed to overcome it imagine themselves as if they were actually there experiencing the phobia. Then the brain responds as though the experience is actually happening now (even if it's not) and that plunges them deeper into the fear.
Finally, I would like to state that I used to have two phobias - one was a semi-rational fear of flying, the other was an irrational fear of frogs. I've had hypnotherapy for both, so I speak from past experience when I say I know how those of you with phobias feel!
Maybe it's time for change? As I well know, it makes a lovely difference when you get it sorted.
Thank you so much, words cannot justify my gratitude.
You have been wonderful in helping me overcome something so incredibly debilitating.
I never thought I would see this day. I already feel different - as I hoped I would.
Thank you again, Nicola, you are my genie!
Sonia overcoming her fear of heights!
...hypnotherapy in central Cirencester - believe in change