Fears, phobias & hypnosis
Getting help with a phobia is one of the most common things people seek hypnosis for. Hypnosis techniques are effective for dealing with this kind of problem as we can directly influence the part of our mind that triggers this fear response.
It is normal and helpful for us to feel fear in response to certain situations. For example, it is quite legitimate to be afraid when a dog comes running towards you with its teeth bared. Normal levels of fear can keep us safe, and encourage us to find solutions to problems. We are not born with fears, but acquire them as we go through life, as a result of our experiences and the development of our thinking mind. As such, we need to learn to listen to our bodies, and learn to trust our “gut feeling”.
A phobic response is a heightened and often inappropriate feeling of fear when confronted with an animal, situation, etc. People with a phobia can have a phobic reaction even when that trigger is not present. A phobia is a learned response to an experience. Often, this learning is instantaneous and most phobias are created as a result of an appropriate feeling of fear (such as feeling scared when a dog rushes at you). But that response may not be reasonable in every situation involving the trigger (ie, feeling real physical fear whenever you see a dog is not normally helpful to you).
The symptoms of a phobia range from feeling mild anxiety, to sweating, shaking and in some cases, vomiting or even fainting. A fear becomes a phobia when it stops you from carrying on normal, safe activities. A phobic reaction can even occur when a link is made between the feeling of fear and a totally unrelated trigger.
People can experience a phobia of:
- various animals
- large crowds
- public speaking
and many other things, some of which you might not expect, such as:
- particular sounds, and
- specific scents.
Because we learn our phobias so quickly we have the ability to un-learn the response quickly, with the right tools. Hypnosis has been shown to be rapidly effective in helping people to overcome even the most debilitating phobias. In some cases, one session is all it takes to release yourself from what may have appeared to be a permanent problem. Of course, hypnotherapy will not override your normal, natural response to danger, but will help you to differentiate between a real or imagined need for a fear response.