Phobias and Fears
There are, apparently, over 3,000 different phobias with clinical names. The dictionary tells us that a phobia is 'an irrational, uncontrollable fear of a specific object or situation', but sufferers of phobias will tell you that it feels so much worse than that. Sometimes, for whatever reason, our hippocampus holds templates that tell us that certain things are life-threatening when, in fact, they are not. Symptoms can include everything from nausea, dizziness, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, palpitations... the list goes on and is different for every sufferer.
There are two types of phobia – specific and non-specific (or complex). As the name suggests, the specific phobia relates to one specific stimulus, such as spiders, bridges or needles, for example. As anxiety increases, as does the fear level relating to that particular thing. Non-specific phobias, however, are much more generalised and include agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces, the outdoors or in crowds) and social phobia (which can include speaking in public, social environments and blushing), amongst many others. While the details of the phobia may be quite specific in themselves, these can easily become an opt-out and grow to affect every aspect of a person's life. Interestingly, the biggest phobia to humans is noise and when our anxiety levels increase, we become much more susceptible to this phobia.
Hypnotherapy – especially Solution Focused hypnotherapy – can help put those irrational fears and terrors into perspective and change the negative thought patterns around the subject matter.
Of course, as my tutor told me when I was studying, hypnosis doesn't make you an idiot – it won't make you lose rational fear from situations! If you have a fear of heights, hypnotherapy won't suddenly give you the urge to jump off a cliff, but it can help you stop having panic attacks at the mere thought of climbing a ladder!
Generally, specific phobia treatment lasts for three sessions (plus the initial consultation), using a very simple psychotherapeutic technique. Non-specific phobias, however, are slightly more complicated and, as such, may probably need a few more sessions*. This can be discussed in more detail with the hypnotherapist.
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*Hypnotherapy is an effective method of treatment, however success is not guaranteed and full client commitment is important. For example, listening to our accompanying therapeutic audio tracks between sessions is a vital element in the process and participation is required. This will be fully explained in the initial consultation. Results may vary from person to person.