What is phobia?
A phobia is an irrational fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no danger at all. It is more intense that just fear itself, and might lead to anxiety and panic attacks. People with phobias commonly express helplessness when facing a trigger - it's often described as an automatic and overwhelming response that is impossible to control, even just thinking about the feared object or situation is enough to make one anxious.
Often when you come across the source of your phobia, you’re likely to feel incredibly scared, nervous and anxious. You may also feel physical symptoms of fear and anxiety, such as:
fast heartbeat and/or palpitations
an upset stomach
Is your daily life affected by a
specific fear or phobia?
Clinical hypnotherapy may be able to help!
The experience is so nerve-wracking that one may go to great lengths to avoid it. For example, a person who has claustrophobia might turn down a great job opportunity to avoid having to ride the elevator 30 floors every day. Or a person who has a fear of flying, or aerophobia, might opt for the 30 hours train-boat-bus journey instead of taking a 2-hour flight.
Understanding your phobia is the first step to overcoming it. It’s important to know that phobias are common and are highly treatable. No matter how out of control it feels right now, you can overcome your anxiety and fear and start living the life you want.
Types of phobias
Irrational fears triggered by a specific situation, e.g. fear or flying, driving, going for a dental treatment, getting injections etc.
Also known as social anxiety disorder. Profound fear of being in a social gathering, fear of speaking in front of a crowd, or even fear of eating in public etc.
Overwhelming fear of being in an environment, e.g. small spaces (claustrophobia), or specific locations e.g. beaches, airports, car parks etc.
Irrational fear on particular things, such as animals and insects e.g. snakes, spiders, butterflies, or plants, or patterns (trypophobia) etc.
Treatment for phobias
Fortunately, there are many types of therapy and treatment for phobias, including medication and behavioural therapies.
Here we'll focus on how clinical hypnotherapy can help you overcome your fears and phobias.
Phobias work on a subconscious level. This means that no matter how much we tell ourselves that the stimulus (e.g. a butterfly) isn’t life-threatening, our minds and bodies still react with fear. The aim of hypnotherapy is to communicate with the subconscious and change the way you feel and behave towards your phobia. Clinical hypnosis is extremely effective in treating these problems also because the fundamentals of hypnosis is deep relaxation, which is a direct opposite of anxiety.
Hypnosis for phobias works by detaching the stimulus from the emotional response (fear) and 'updating' the brain with a new, more realistic response. Hypnotherapists commonly combine hypnosis with other techniques to help patients with manage their phobias, including exposure therapy and desensitisation, which will help you gradually and gently confronting your phobia whilst being in a calm state, until you are no longer fearful of the stimulus.
The number of sessions this will take will differ from person to person and will depend on the severity of the phobia. Some people feel more able to cope after a single session, while others need ongoing reinforcement. Contact us to book a session!