Fear is a natural and healthy response we all have to danger. It’s a survival instinct designed to help us avoid and escape threatening situations. Phobias, however, are different. To start with, phobias are more intense than fears - they can lead to severe anxiety and panic attacks for some people.
Phobias develop when someone has an exaggerated or unrealistic fear surrounding a certain situation or object. If this situation or object is common in day-to-day life, the phobia can restrict a person’s life, holding them back from doing what they want to do and causing a lot of distress.
Many phobias exist in our subconscious and are learned responses. This makes them particularly vulnerable to hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy can help you unlearn the fear response, build up your exposure to the phobia and in time ease the associated anxiety.
A phobia may be the result of a severe past trauma. A painful emotional experience in the past can produce an unreasonable and irrational fear of the same situation, object or place that caused the fear originally. The person can be conscious of the trauma but, in most cases, the trauma is deeply buried in the sub-conscious
This type tends to centre around a specific object, animal, situation or activity. These tend to develop in our youth and may become less severe as we grow older.
Examples of specific phobias include:
- Animal phobias (eg. spiders, snakes or dogs)
- Environmental phobias (eg. heights, germs, open water)
- Situational phobias (eg. flying or visiting the dentist)
- Bodily phobias (eg. having injections, vomit or blood)
- Sexual phobias (eg. fear of getting a sexually transmitted infection or performance anxiety)
- Other (eg. certain objects or food items)
Phobias work on a subconscious level. This means that no matter how much we tell ourselves that XYZ isn’t life-threatening, our minds and bodies still react with fear. The aim of hypnotherapy is to communicate with the subconscious and change the way you feel and behave towards your phobia.
The process itself involves me putting you into a very relaxed, hypnotic state. I will then move on to using different techniques to help change your response.