Fears & Phobias
About 11% of the population have fears or phobias. They exist when our body triggers the fight or flight response to protect us from something the brain perceives as dangerous. Sometimes this is a very valuable reaction and can save our lives, but unfortunately many people develop fears and phobias towards things which pose them no immediate danger. The resulting anxiety can be a real problem and prevent many people from leading a normal life.
Hypnotherapy has long been recognised as a very effective way to treat phobias. The results are good, even for unusual phobias such as a fear of clowns. Most people will be able to conquer a phobia in just a few sessions. Every phobia is treatable with hypnosis whether it be of spiders or heights, darkness or dentists.
There are literally hundreds of different types of phobias but here are some of the most common ones:
- Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
- Sociaphobia (fear of being judged negatively in social situations)
- Aviophobia (fear of flying)
- Agoraphobia (fear of open/public spaces and being away from home)
- Claustrophobia (fear of being enclosed and having no escape)
- Acrophobia (fear of heights)
- Emetophobia (fear of vomiting)
- Carcinophobia (fear of cancer)
- Brontophobia (fear of thunderstorms)
- Necrophobia (fear of death or dead things)
- Algophobia (fear of pain)
- Achluophobia (fear of darkness)
- Dentophobia (fear of dentists)
- Haemophobia (fear of blood)
- Ophidophobia (fear of snakes)
Hypnosis works by changing the subconscious perception of things as "frightening" and preventing the "fight or flight" response from being activated. There are a couple of different ways in which hypnosis can resolve phobias. Firstly when someone is in a hypnotic state their subconscious mind becomes very open to suggestions (see Why Hypnosis). Put very simply, suggestions can be made that the person will no longer feel any fear and their mind will act on it. It sounds too good to be true but this simple technique has transformed the lives of many phobia sufferers.
The second technique involves tracing back phobias to their original onset and removing the trauma associated with that event. Trauma sounds like a dramatic word for this original event but the reality is that this is exactly how the brain perceived it! For example, a fear of blood may have come from a childhood nosebleed. Not something that we would perceive as adults to be traumatic, but to that child who may not have understood what was happening, it may have been very frightening indeed. What then happens is that the brain continues to "pattern match" for similar scenarios in which it thinks it should be afraid - hence the phobia. The brain is actually trying to help - it's just a little misguided! The upshot is that by finding this event and letting the brain know that it doesn't need to associate that situation with fear anymore, the phobia can be resolved, permanently.