Fears and Phobias
Phobia Panic Attacks Dread Dentist
HYPNOSIS FOR FEARS AND PHOBIAS
A phobia is an exaggerated fear of what is in reality a tiny or unlikely threat. Hypnotherapy is very effective at ending Phobias. Stopping Phobias is a standard hypnotherapy treatment. About ten percent of adults have some form of phobia. Most people can clear their phobias after one session.
A phobia is an unreasonable, uncontrollable and automatic fear of some person, place, thing or event. Not all fears are phobias. There is a different type of fear where the person just has to keep tight control of their thoughts all the time, or something terrible will happen. The difference is that it is not linked to something specific. That type of fear can also be cleared with hypnotherapy.
There are thousands of different phobias. Common ones include fear of heights, fear of confined spaces (claustrophobia), fear of being in an open space (agoraphobia). Others are fear of spiders, needles, birds, blood, dentists, snakes, fear of the dark... it appears that people can get a phobia about almost anything. There have been people with a phobia of the letter 'b', or terrified of open gates, or of rooms painted green.
Phobias are all in the mind, and are best treated using mind based therapies. Most fears and phobias are quickly cleared. A few of the more complicated ones need more than one session.
CAUSE OF FEARS AND PHOBIAS
A phobic reaction is a response to a perceived threat of some sort. At some time in the past the person was frightened by something and now associates that thing with fear. This is normal and healthy. When the fear gets out of proportion of the threat, then it becomes a phobia.
Phobias happen in specific situations. A simple phobias is a permanent irrational fear of specific situations, objects or animals. Phobias are marked by anxiety and avoidance. Thus some people get panic attacks when they fear they might get trapped and won't be able to get to a place of safety. For example, some people feel anxious in common places such as elevators, subways, planes, tunnels and bridges. Social phobias are found in interpersonal situations such as public speaking.
Phobias may be mildly bothersome or severely incapacitating. There are individuals who stay imprisoned in their homes for years because they have a phobia of going outside. The problem is not the threat, it is the panic attack that is triggered by it.
How do you know if you have a phobia?
There are lots of things we are quite right to be afraid of that are not phobias. For example, fear of heights is a natural and valuable form of self preservation. Heights are dangerous - you should keep away from them.
To be classed as a phobia you would need to have an unreasonable fear of heights. Phobias have distinctive symptoms:
Common phobia symptoms and sensations include:
Shortness of breath or smothering sensation
Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
Chest pain or discomfort
Trembling or shaking
Feeling of choking
Nausea or stomach distress
Feeling unsteady, dizzy, lightheaded, or faint
Feelings of unreality or of being detached from yourself
Fear of losing control or going mad
Fear of dying
Numbness or tingling sensations
Hot or cold flashes
Fear of fainting
(Blood-injection-injury phobias are the only ones where actual fainting occurs).
If you can imagine yourself doing a bungee jump, even though you don't think you could actually bring yourself to do one, then you don't have a phobia. If the very idea makes you sweat and want to run away, then you do have a phobia.
That is why no amount of willpower will help with a phobia. It is also why hypnotherapy is so successful with phobias. Hypnotherapy works directly on the mind.
There are two ways of treating phobias: Graduated exposure and Metaphor Therapy.
Graduated exposure consists of letting the person experience what they fear in a controlled environment. A typical psychologist's treatment of a spider phobia would be to start off by telling the person that there is a picture of a spider in the next room, and measure how they feel about that. Then the person would be told that the was a picture of a spider in a drawer in the room, and allowed to be calm about that. The person would gradually be encouraged to open the drawer, then handle the picture. Then the person might handle a toy spider, then a more realistic one, and gradually work up to being in the room with a real spider, and eventually holding a real spider. Eventually the phobia goes away.
Fortunately, graduated exposure does not have to involve the real thing. Using a real spider can take months. Using hypnosis can sometimes do the same thing in minutes. Under hypnosis the client visualises themselves in the phobia situation and are guided through a series of visualisations where they get closer and closer to the thing they fear. The purpose of this is to convince the mind that they can deal with the phobic fear. The hypnotist can get the person to imagine a spider in the next room, imagine a picture, and so on. This clears the phobia much faster than using real objects or places.
Metaphor Therapy consists of guiding the person in altering how they think about what they fear. By changing the image of your fear, you change the fear itself.
Once the person has changed how they visualise their fear they are then invited to think about a situation where they might have had the fear in the past and to test their reaction now. Usually the only reaction is surprise that they don't feel anything now, or a slight feeling of uneasiness. If that is the case the procedure is repeated until the phobia is totally gone.
A second set of visualisations are used to transform the threat into something else. This alters the way your mind perceives the phobia object and at the same time deals with similar objects.
This process engages your imagination in situations where they would normally encounter the phobia. The situation is described but in the visualisation you sees yourself acting naturally and normally with the phobia object. The purpose of this is to rebuild your confidence and to make sure that all trace of the phobia is gone.
Panic Avoidance Training
A phobia causes an extreme fear reaction and the person goes into panic mode because they fear that they can not escape the threat. Simple training and post hypnotic suggestions teach you how to manage your own panic reaction and to prevent fear escalating.
The session finishes with a series of direct suggestions about the phobia situation. The purpose of these is alter your inner beliefs about your capability to end the phobia.
Once the pattern of response has been changed, it is changed forever, there is generally no need for a follow up. Once a phobia is changed, it is gone forever.
Fear of Blood-Injection-Injury
Fear of Blood phobia, or more exactly the Blood-Injection-Injury phobia, is different from all other phobias. Instead of the usual increase in heart rate and increased blood pressure the opposite occurs. The person's heart rate and blood pressure falls, and they feel dizzy and may lose control and faint. This susceptibility has a physical component and tends to run in families. The person feels faint quite easily and the phobia develops as fear of the possibility of losing control and fainting in public, rather than fear of the blood itself. The treatment consists of teaching the person how to become aware of the onset of the symptoms, and how to keep their blood pressure up by using their muscles to counteract the fall in pressure. Once the person learns how to avoid feeling faint the fear fades away.
BOOKING YOUR PHOBIA SESSION
Your phobia might seem funny to other people but even the simplest phobia can dominate your life. A simple fear of crawly things can prevent a lifetime of gardening pleasure. Fear or travelling can stop your family from going on holiday. Most phobias can be cleared quickly. Why put up with something that can be cleared in a one session?
Your session lasts about an hour, and costs $100.