Phobias are one of the most common conditions treated by hypnotherapists. Phobias are an anxiety disorder, but an anxiety disorder that is highly specific in its manifestation. A phobia is a fear that has grown so strong as to become irrational.
Some of the most common phobias concern quite everyday objects. Fear of spiders, fear of heights, fear of needles and fear of open, or enclosed, spaces are very common. But even a fear of something less common can cause difficulties, because of the way that the fear grows to become irrational. For example, snakes are not at all common in the U.K. and yet someone who has a snake phobia might avoid quite simple activities, such as going to a park, gardening or even unpacking fruit and vegetables because of the mere possibility, however unlikely, that a snake might appear. Eventually the phobia might stop this person from leaving the house.
We all have things that can make us uneasy. However, for most of us, these fears are not significant enough to have any impact on daily life. It’s different for phobia sufferers. As in the snake example above, they will often avoid even common situations out of fear, even though they may know on a more rational level that there is no real threat. For some people, even thinking about the object of their phobia can cause anxiety or even a panic attack.
This can have a significant impact on their life. Some phobia sufferers are unable to leave home. Others can’t sustain relationships. Phobia sufferers are often aware that their reaction is out of proportion to the object of their fear, but they are helpless to control it. To them, the fear is very real and debilitating.
All phobias can be treated and hypnotherapy is one very effective approach. Its effect is remarkably quick, with even long-term phobias usually seeing dramatic improvement in two to three hypnotherapy sessions.
Unlike some phobia treatments, hypnotherapy for phobias does not involve exposing you to the object of your fear. While you are in the deep relaxation produced by a hypnotic trance, your hypnotherapist will explore the cause of your phobia and then neutralise your fear. You will not feel any stress or fear at any point; in fact after being in a hypnotic trance you will be extremely relaxed.
Another advantage of hypnotherapy for phobias is that the effects are long lasting. For most people after a handful of treatments, the fear simply never comes back!