Funny things, phobias. We’ve never met a client yet who didn’t tell us that they knew it was irrational to fear the object of their phobia in the way that they did. They’ve told themselves this a thousand times and maybe also been given this message by many others (all trying to be helpful and/or supportive).
Consciously understanding that there is nothing to fear, however, has made no difference whatsoever! By the time they come to see us for a hypnotherapy session, clients have often lived with their phobia for some time and, in some way or other, had their life restricted by it.
As hypnotherapists we often refer to trance states and when someone has a phobia they are experiencing a whole host of these, seemingly at the same time, such as:
Thinking back to previous times when they have panicked about their phobia and, because we are creatures of habit, it seems appropriate to respond in the same way again!
Worrying about what will happen if they don’t get away from the object of their phobia.
Time seems to slow down and it can feel as though they are in the presence of the object of their phobia for much longer than they actually are.
Seeing the object of their phobia as much bigger, much more powerful, much more dangerous and much more intrusive than it actually is.
The person has (in the words of the neuroscientist, Joseph Le Doux) been ’emotionally hijacked’ by their phobia and they are now absolutely in the hands of their unconscious.
Whilst their conscious mind knows their reaction is irrational, their unconscious remains stubbornly convinced that the response is appropriate. In fact, it believes it is doing them a huge favour by looking out for their safety and well-being so brilliantly!
How can cognitive hypnotherapy help?
We can assist by helping you to engage with your unconscious in a way that can convince it to let go of that old belief and adopt a new attitude towards the object of the phobia. Just imagine how different life would be living without the fear? What might you be able to do that you couldn’t do before? How would you feel differently? If you have children, how great would it be to be assured that you were not unconsciously teaching them that they too should fear that object?
We use a variety of NLP techniques (for more information click here). We do not use exposure techniques and if you cannot even bring yourself to even name the thing you fear, you can call it something entirely different: we referred to one client’s fear of spiders as ‘Berties’ throughout our session!
So whether it’s a phobia of spiders, mice, cats, needles, flying, dentists or whatever … give us a call. Just imagine how life would be if you could help your unconscious let go of its heroic attempts to keep you safe!
Fear and Worry Statistics
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
Date Verified: 8.28.2012[/blockquote]