Recently, I have had many enquiries from people who are interested in whether hypnosis can help them with fears and phobias. And that got me thinking. What is a ‘Phobia’ and why do some people suffer from them?
What Do We Know About Phobias?
Scientific research demonstrates that a part of the brain called the amygdala is activated when it perceives a threat. The amygdala regulates the Fight Flight Freeze response. This instinctive response stimulates the production of hormones which produce physical effects – feeling hot, faster breathing, sweating etc.
The amygdala is connected to the hippocampus, where we store our memories. The next time you encounter the situation which caused the instinctive response from the amygdala, you will be reminded of it. This is how a phobia develops.
A phobia is a fear of something and fear is an emotional response to different situations, ranging from generalized anxiety to specific phobias.
Fear is a natural and desirable response to a dangerous situation. But when fear is out of proportion to the stimulus that caused it, it can become a real problem. This irrational fear may stop you going out or taking part in normal activities.
The Three Types of Phobia
Social phobias – a fear of social situations. Social phobias range from the specific, e.g. public speaking , to generalised social anxiety – the fear of being negatively judged by other people.
Agoraphobia – a fear of open or crowded spaces, or of being trapped in an inescapable place or situation. The sufferer may begin to avoid certain situations. This phobia can become so overwhelming that the individual is afraid to leave their home.
Specific phobias. Examples include
- Animals – spiders, snakes, rodents
- Environmental – heights, deep water
- Situational phobias – visiting the dentist, flying
- Bodily phobias – blood, vomit or needles
When you suffer from a phobia, you will often adapt your life in order to avoid whatever it is that you consider to be dangerous. The imagined threat is greater than any actual threat. Phobias can severely limit your ability to engage with and enjoy normal life, and often lead to relationship difficulties.
Most people know that their phobia is irrational. However, no matter how they try to rationalise it away, they are unable to do so. Phobia sufferers come to me for treatment because they want to be free from their fear.
So How Can Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Help?
With solution-focused hypnotherapy, we are able to address all three types of phobia by drawing on a range of techniques designed to treat anxiety.
Hypnotherapy is a combination of psychotherapy and hypnosis. Psychotherapy in itself is extremely helpful. Its beneficial effects are enhanced further by the application of hypnosis. Hypnosis allows the subconscious mind to make the desired, positive changes.
The good news is we don’t delve into your past to discover and analyse the cause of your phobia. Instead we focus on the positive outcome you want to achieve – freedom from your fear.
Treatment for Overcoming a Phobia
Treatment starts with an initial consultation to assess your situation and to understand your phobia and what type of phobia it is.
Specific phobias can generally be treated over a course of 4 sessions.
Just 4 sessions and you can board that flight this summer! Or clean out the shed freed from your fear of spiders!
Social phobias and agoraphobia will take a little longer. Normally 10-12 sessions.
It’s so rewarding to hear a client share their experience of presenting in the board room without feeling shaky, hot and embarrassed.
Our fears and phobias do not need to define us. Happily, advances in neuroscience and psychology mean that they can be managed effectively.
Hypnotherapy uses a variety of techniques to overcome phobias which are effective, very gentle and non-threatening. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy focuses on finding a solution, even for those who don’t believe it’s possible! Overcoming a phobia through Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is not a matter of belief. it’s a matter of wanting to find that solution.
I always remember a client who was very sceptical that I could help her to overcome her overwhelming phobia of spiders, but she was willing to try. When she walked into the clinic for her third session she said:
“It’s worked. Wow!”
I will never forget that moment!
Proof that Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for phobias.
Contact me on 07850 995869 to book your initial consultation
Not local to Horley? I offer Skype consultations too.
With my help, you CAN conquer your phobia!