What is a phobia – and what causes it?
A phobia is an unconsciously learned response to a stimulus – be that dogs, flying, crowds or something else. It is usually the result of something you’ve experienced in the past – even though you may not remember it.
If you’re not sure if you have a phobia or not, here are some examples that suggest you probably do:
- You don’t confined or unfamiliar spaces or don’t like going outside – or it takes you a long time to mentally prepare for leaving the house.
- You avoid social situations because they make you feel stressed, uncomfortable or worthless. Maybe they dent your self-esteem or make you feel like you’re going to have a panic attack.
- You become very uneasy in the presence of dogs, possibly feeling like they are going to bite you. This may seem like an irrational fear – especially if you’ve never been attacked.
- The sight – or even the suggestion of – a spider, snake or mouse makes you jump out of the way and sends your heart racing.
- You avoid flying, or will only get on a plane if you’ve had a few drinks or taken anxiety medication.
Common phobias – and uncommon ones
As well as the more common phobias listed above, there are countless other phobias relating to everything from water and noise to crowds or even vomit.
Phobias are involuntary reactions to something that has troubled you in the past – and they can be ironed out quickly and effectively with clinical hypnosis – usually in just one or two sessions.
Being free of your phobia once and for all so that everyday life becomes much easier is priceless.
How we treat phobias using hypnotherapy
When I help people with a profound fear of something, my goal as a hypnotherapist is to help the brain to ‘re-learn’ its response to the triggers that are associated with the phobia.
In times of stress, your mind is only trying to help you – but in fact it is making life difficult, because it is over-reacting and making things worse. The phobic response is flooding your mind with negative thoughts and making you anxious.
Targeting the root cause of the phobic response
During hypnotherapy for phobias, we target the part of the brain that deals with the stress response and equip it with an alternative, more positive way to deal with trigger events.
The aim is to neutralise whatever your fears and triggers are so that you are able to face your phobia in a calmer, more confident way – and without the phobic reaction/physical response (severe anxiety, sweaty palms, feelings of sheer terror, shortness of breath etc.) that you experienced before.
I will also give you a set of powerful mental tools and techniques that you can use to ‘dial down’ fear and reduce anxiety if you find yourself in a difficult situation in the future.