If you know what it is to start sweating at the sight of a spider, panicking in a lift or feeling nauseous at the mere mention of a bridge, you are not alone. Experiencing varying levels of fear in certain situations is natural – and sometimes absolutely necessary – but at other times it can be a debilitating, overwhelming reaction to a particular thing or situation that other people might find strange or over-the-top.
You are not alone - millions of us have phobias
It's estimated that 2.5 million of us in the UK suffer from a phobia of one thing or another – whether it be a common fear like social shyness, needles or claustrophobia, or more unusual phobias such as fruit, teeth cleaning or beards. Interestingly, the biggest phobia to human beings is actually noise. As anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of enduring less than considerate neighbours will testify, I'm sure...
The Oxford English Dictionary describes the word 'phobia' as 'an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something', as opposed to having a more reasoned reaction to that subject. Of course, there is a huge difference between being afraid and having a phobic response. Phobia symptoms are much more pronounced and exaggerated, often including anxiety, sweating, nausea, trembling, shortness of breath, dizziness and an upset stomach. And these symptoms can seriously affect the sufferer's life - especially if the subject of their phobia is something which they encounter on a regular basis.
The sciencey bit!
Anxiety disorders, phobias are triggered by a part of the brain called the amygdala (generally known as the flight/fight/freeze and depression area) which decides that whatever the person is facing needs to be dealt with as though life-threatening, but it is another part called the hippocampus that is responsible for holding the phobia templates. And it is those templates, those thought patterns, that can be altered using hypnotherapy to change the extreme responses for a more reasonable reaction.
Hypnotherapy can help you overcome your phobias
Scientifically proven time and again, Solution Focused hypnotherapy works using psychotherapeutic techniques to achieve an extremely high success rate with those patients treated for phobias within just three sessions.
Indeed, a client of mine came to see me with a phobia of motorway driving. It had got so bad that she was regularly driving well out of her way just to avoid a small stretch of motorway she would otherwise have to drive on. Her nerves were shot, she was wasting hours of her life taking detours and it was becoming a severe problem in her marriage. After an initial consultation and three further weekly sessions, she texted me to tell me that she'd driven on a motorway for the first time in two years and only felt the faintest bit of nervousness.
If you have a phobia – no matter what it is – come and have a chat at my Leeds-based practice. I'm positive that we can help you to conquer that fear and get your life back on track!
For more information, read our phobias page here. You can contact us through the site or email now at firstname.lastname@example.org.