I recently read about a women who had a severe phobia from an incident that happened when she was 5 years old. This incident with water when she was a child had meant that she had been petrified of water going over her head since then, and she had spent decades taking an hour to wash her hair in small sections while only in a shallow bath. The article explained how one session of hypnotherapy had helped her to finally overcome her 30 year phobia.
A phobia is an irrational fear of a particular stimulus. This stimulus can be a situation, a thing, or an activity. People with phobias will either go to great lengths to avoid whatever it is they fear, or they will tolerate it with considerable anxiety. For some people, a phobia can trigger panic attacks. In severe cases the phobia can end up literally controlling a person’s life. Phobias are often formed in childhood or adolescents and common examples of some phobias include:
Animal phobias – such as dogs, spiders, snakes or rodents
Environmental phobias – such as heights, deep water and germs
Situational phobias – such as visiting the dentist or flying
Bodily phobias – such as blood, vomit or having injections
Sometimes people choose to live with a phobia and they take great care to avoid the object or situation they’re afraid of. Avoiding parks to avoid coming into contact with a dog as an example, not going in the sea to avoid deep water, avoiding a dentist check up or not going abroad for fear of having the injections needed or travelling on a plane. By avoiding the cause of the phobic response can really restrict a persons life and by continually trying to avoid what you’re afraid of will make the situation worse.
I have been using Hypnosis for nearly ten years to help people with a wide range of phobias and it is a highly effective treatment. I haven’t come across a phobia of water that has restricted someone having a shower and water going over their face but I have come across a wide variety of others phobias that have a huge impact on a persons life. A significant percentage of the population suffers from a phobia of one type or another. For some individuals it can be mildly distressing but manageable. For others it can be seriously debilitating. I have treated a wide variety of phobias – spiders, needles, lifts and escalators, dogs, flying, heights, certain foods, birth, enclosed spaces, vomit, trains, motorways, sniffing, to name but a few. Each person I have worked with has been able to overcome their phobia and live a richer happier life, opening up all sorts of new positive experiences
Hypnotherapy works by accessing the underlying cause of the phobia and eliminating the person’s conditioned response to the stimulus. When hypnosis is used to treat a phobia, my initial goal is to discover the initial event from which the phobia developed. The cause is often a traumatic event which occurred at an earlier time in the person’s life. Sometimes the person cannot remember the event as the trauma is repressed, but I have found mainly it is remembered, if not just by the person being told about the cause from a parent. Using hypnotherapy and other therapy ‘tools’ I can help a client to address this old memory and they can better understand the event and see it in a new way that is no longer threatening. When we achieve this the phobia dissolves and new understanding is created setting the person free.
Read more about this woman’s phobia and how hypnotherapy helped her HERE