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    Feature image for How Kelly Holmes stopped her phobia with hypnotherapy

    February 7, 2015

    How Kelly Holmes stopped her phobia with hypnotherapy

    This week on the BBC Radio 4 show ‘I’ve never seen Star Wars’, Dame Kelly Holmes stopped her fear and phobia of water using hypnotherapy in just one session.  As I’m the hypnotherapist who worked with Kelly in our session in London, I can explain just how normal the process is and how it works.

    What I can explain is how to stop a phobia, though as I’m sure you’ll appreciate from a confidentiality perspective, I can’t explain what happened in the session.

    As you can hear here (from 12min 40 secs), Kelly talks about her ‘lifelong fear of drowning’.   As with any phobia, the idea of being presented with a phobic stimulus is grimly unpleasant.   However, as you hear later in the clip, Kelly dived straight in and swam 5x25metre lengths. When asked she gave her experience of our hypnotherapy session 10/10.

    So, how do you stop a phobia?

    Stopping a phobia this way is possible*.  Essentially there are 3 key steps in doing this and I call them ‘E.E.O.’.  This stands for ‘events, emotions and outcomes’.

    1. As a phobia is a learned behaviour, it has a start point. It may be something minor or major and the key is to initially identify it. Once that’s been identified, a client will scale emotional intensity (called a SUD) from 0-10, with 10 being the worst. Using various techniques, we work until that intensity becomes manageable across the key moments in someone’s life where they’ve been phobic.
    1. If there is any emotion/s attached to a phobia e.g. fear, we work through all of these these too, taking them to a level where the client is comfortable. Again, I use a SUD scale to do this.
    1. Some clients have had a phobia a long time and don’t necessarily know how to be around the stimulus that used to make them phobic. As a result, I work with them to help them know how to be different and OK around the thing that made them phobic.

    As Kelly mentions on the show, one of the techniques I use is called Havening. It has been developed by a leading neuroscientist, whose published work on the likes of phobias, panic attacks and trauma can be found here.

    As one of only a handful of people trained in Havening, I use it in my practice alongside hypnotherapy, NLP, TimeLine Therapy & TFT to help my clients get their result in just one session.

    When asked, Kelly gave the experience of hypnotherapy 10/10. Lots of other reviews and testimonials can also be found on my site.  I always say to my clients, ‘I can’t get you to love what you’re phobic of, but I can help you be OK around it’.   And as Kelly said she dived in and swam 5x25metre lengths.

    I hope that you have found this interesting and if you would like to know about how you can be helped to stop your phobia, then either do email me at or call 0800 122 3073 for a free 20-min consultation.

    Thanks for reading

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