Jeff Dunbar BBA CH
Fears and Phobias are so common place that almost everybody has something that they feel “funny” about, that they know is a bit irrational, but nevertheless, find causes them a problem. It could be that you have a fear of Spiders, perhaps you “need” to sleep with the light on, or perhaps you dread having to make a best man’s speech or presentation of some kind.
On the whole, people generally manage to deal with these “minor” issues and they tend not to be too damaging to a person’s life.
There are, however, many people who also find that their fear or phobia plays havoc with their lives preventing them from getting on with things, or perhaps “forcing” them to miss some great opportunity in life. For example, many people feel a bit “uncomfortable” about flying in a plane, but nevertheless, still fly and enjoy the benefits of whatever lies at the end of the plane journey, but for those who have developed a more “severe” phobia of flying they may be so phobic that they never take a foreign holiday, or turn down a promotion because it might entail inter-continental travel.
People suffering from severe Agoraphobia may never leave their homes becoming socially withdrawn and fearful.
It is important to recognize that Fears and Phobias may be mild or severe and that no two people suffer fears and phobias in the same way.
The most common Fears and Phobias that people look to Hypnotherapy to help with are:
In fact, the list of Fears and Phobias is without end as people can actually have fears or phobias about ANYTHING. (There is even a Phobia of “Phobias” called “Phobophobia”).
That’s a good question! From our point of view we recognise that the object or experience that produces the phobic response is almost always a “substitute” for some other fear or worry that we “carry” around with us. In other words we are not actually frightened of the thing itself, but having something definitive for us to “label” as the thing that causes the fear helps us to make sense of the “hidden” fear within us.
For example, people who have a Fear of Flying are, in 98% of the cases, actually afraid of being “out of control”. It’s just a lot easier to call it “Fear of Flying” than to face the fact that you have a “control” issue in your life!
So, if you regard fears and phobias from this point of view, it is relatively easy to see how almost any object or experience could feel “phobic”.
Please do not misunderstand what we are saying here, the “fear” and “anxiety” that you experience when confronted with your “phobia trigger” is REAL, it’s just that the cause of it is something else.
The possible causes of fears and phobias may be that:
1. You have actually had a very negative experience of one of the things you are phobic about and this has been “engrained” in your mind as a perfectly reasonable response. (For example, you’ve actually been involved in an aircraft crash, or bitten badly by a spider)
2. You have some “trapped” or “unresolved” emotional trauma or experience in your past and this emotion seeks some way of being expressed, so your mind finds an outlet in a fear or phobia.
3. You have developed a certain thinking “style” known as “anticipatory anxiety” and it is in fact this “pre-worrying” that causes the anxiety NOT the thing you believe you’re afraid of!
Hypnosis for Fears and Phobias
Clinical Hypnosis is probably what most people think of when they imagine going to a Hypnotherapist for help. The sessions normally involve using Hypnosis to help you to initially get into a very relaxed state.
Once in this “suggestible” state of Hypnosis we would then provide you with some carefully phrased positive suggestions and metaphors to help you to “re-frame” or think and feel differently about your fears and phobias. In most cases this has been the “standard” way of dealing with fears and phobias using Hypnosis for at least 100 years.
Analytical Hypnosis is designed to help you uncover (or recover) previously hidden or repressed experiences from your past that may be the original cause of the anxiety that you feel today and now label as your “phobia”.
By uncovering these hidden emotional experiences you will be able to make much more sense of your fears and phobias and it is our experience that following a successful course of analytical hypnotherapy that fears and phobias can be significantly reduced or even removed completely.
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