Lindsay Hughes

Hypnotherapy | Massage

Phobias

Fear is a natural and healthy response we all have to danger. It’s a survival instinct designed to help us avoid and escape threatening situations. Phobias, however, are different. To start with, phobias are more intense than fears – they can lead to severe anxiety and panic attacks for some people. 

Phobias develop when someone has an exaggerated or unrealistic fear surrounding a certain situation or object. If this situation or object is common in day-to-day life, the phobia can restrict a person’s life, holding them back from doing what they want to do and causing a lot of distress. Many phobias exist in our subconscious and are learned responses. This makes them particularly vulnerable to hypnotherapy. 

Hypnotherapy can help you unlearn the fear response, build up your exposure to the phobia and in time ease the associated anxiety. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. Often you’ll feel the symptoms when you come into contact with the phobia, but for some people, the symptoms can come on simply from thinking about it. 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:

  • dizziness/lightheadedness
  • sweating
  • fast heartbeat and/or palpitations
  • nausea
  • shaking
  • an upset stomach

If the source of the phobia is something you don’t come into contact with often, this phobia may not interfere with your everyday life. If it is something you are likely to come into contact with day-to-day, however, your phobia may have a larger impact on your life.

Specific phobias

Also known as ‘simple phobias’ this type tends to centre around a specific object, animal, situation or activity. These tend to develop in our youth and may become less severe as we grow older. Examples of specific phobias include:

  • animal phobias (eg. spiders, snakes or dogs)
  • environmental phobias (eg. heights, germs, open water)
  • situational phobias (flying or visiting the dentist)
  • bodily phobias (eg. having injections, vomit or blood)
  • sexual phobias (eg. fear of getting a sexually transmitted infection or performance anxiety)
  • other (eg. certain objects or food items)

Phobias work on a subconscious level. This means that no matter how much we tell ourselves that XYZ 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 clients feel and behave towards the phobia.

The great news is that I can work quickly, normally 4 sessions is sufficient to address phobias as long as clients are only experiencing low levels of stress.