Today, May 18th 2017, on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 Breakfast Show, a hypnotherapist helped cured the sports reporter Vassos Alexander of his snake phobia as you can listen to here.
Putting my mild jealousy to one side about not doing it myself, I thought it was a brilliant 15 minutes of radio because as an average listener, you weren’t sure if it was going to work or not. And I’m sure many thought it wouldn’t.
As a hypnotherapist (who ironically used to work in radio), I was pretty certain it was going to work, as the therapist was clearly competent.
So, with over 9m listeners every week, has Chris Evans helped change the face and perception of phobias? Quite possibly yes. Here’s why:
- It showed hypnotherapy for phobias works. With a lot of scepticism, people aren’t sure if hypnotherapy works. It was clear that Vassos was truly terrified, as all phobics are. And after the end of the treatment, his phobia has disappeared as he could touch a snake! According to the NHS, upto 10% of the population have a phobia. That’s 6m people. As such, a huge amount of people now know that their phobia can be sorted. And due to the sheer amount of listeners he has, loads of people will be telling people they know who have phobias about this.
- It’s quick. After just several chats on FaceTime, the work with the therapist was done. You can therefore see this compares hugely favourably compared to the likes of say CBT, which takes 6-12 sessions, or medication, which people can be on for a lifetime. With the pace of life in London being ever more hectic, which one would you want to choose?
- Hypnotherapists sound normal. When I tell people what I do when I first meet them, you get the inevitable quotes from Little Britain (which of course aren’t at all annoying). However, you say hypnotherapy and inevitably perhaps, people conjure up all manner of ideas. What was brilliant today, was that you could hear that the hypnotherapist sounded just like a normal person. I think that and the result will have allayed a lot of people’s concerns.
How do you know if you’ve got a phobia or a fear?
This is an easy question to answer. When you think about whatever the phobia is of e.g. snakes, it makes you feel really uncomfortable and you want to move very fast. Heartbeats will be elevated, adrenaline and cortisol (stress) will be flodding through the body and there’s likely to be a lot of negative emotions.
Phobias are classified clinically as ‘an irrational response to a given person, place or thing’. Put another way, they make no sense. If you aren’t getting those responses, it’s more likely you have a fear as opposed to a phobia.
How are phobias created?
Phobias are created one of three ways:
- We experience something unpleasant
- We copy someone’s reaction e.g. a parent to something they find unpleasant
- We read, watch, hear something about something and create a phobic response that way (it’s why a lot of people got phobic after 9/11)
As a result of any / all of these, essentially what happens in 1/75th of a second is a phobia is created. And then anytime you remember, talk about the thing, a phobic reaction is created. Or, you imagine being in a situation in the future where the phobic stimulus is present and bam, away you go. People who have phobias feel truly terrified.
You can read more about how we deal with phobias and also listen to Dame Kelly Holmes talking about here experience with us, which she rated as ‘10/10’ here.
What do you do if you’ve got a phobia?
I’m bound to say this of course and you should go and see a really good hypnotherapist. Nobody can offer you a guarantee, because we’re all individuals and treatment can vary. However, there are probabilities of success. Rather terrifyingly, it’s a massively unregulated industry and it can be tricky to know what to do. As such, check out my guide here to give you some tips on how to find the right therapist for you.
At Fix My Mind, we are massively experienced in phobias and you are in very safe and capable hands. All the team are trained in a range of techniques in which to deal with phobias, including the revolutionary Havening technique. We’ve over 70 5* reviews and we offer a free 20minute consultation and one hour download to all potential clients.
So, why not look at changing your phobia today?