Imagine a time when your phobia no longer controls you. Is that what you’d like life to be like? Therapy for phobias offers strategies to reframe anxious thoughts, promote relaxation, and lead you towards a life where fears no longer hold you back. Get in touch with me to see how I can help you achieve a happier future.
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What is a phobia?
A phobia is a feeling of fear, anxiety, or panic that is out of proportion to the situation you’re in. Fear is supposed to protect us by making sure we remove ourselves from dangerous situations. However, when we have a phobia, this mechanism is over-sensitive. We feel an overwhelming need to remove ourselves from whatever it is that makes us scared, even if we know logically there is little or no danger. Therapy for phobias helps us to put things back in perspective and keep safe in other ways.
This is quite similar to what I’ve said about anxiety on another part of this site. The difference is that anxiety can feel generalised and free-floating, but phobias are attached to a specific thing or situation.
Types of phobia
Phobias can attach themselves to just about anything. The most common are said to be fear of spiders (Arachnophobia), fear of snakes (Ophidiophobia), fear of heights (Acrophobia), fear of situations in which escape is difficult (Agoraphobia), fear of dogs (Cynophobia), fear of birds (ornithophobia), fear of thunder and lightning (Astraphobia), fear of injections (Trypanophobia), social phobias (e.g. fear of public speaking), fear of flying (Pteromerhanophobia) and fear of germs or dirt (Mysophobia). More unusual phobias include fears of clowns (Coulrophobia), books (Bibliophobia), or knives and sharp objects (Aichmophobia).
It can be challenging to live with phobias, especially the more unusual ones. Phobias are irrational or an over-sensitivity to the amount of danger you’re really in. No one says you have a phobia of fire if you run out of a burning building! Because of this, other people don’t always understand how you’re feeling and may even ridicule your fears.
You may tell yourself that you are ‘over-reacting’ or ‘being silly’. But this isn’t true. If you could just ‘snap out of it’, you would. Phobias are very real and can be very unpleasant; they make you feel out of control and some have far-reaching consequences. Many affect your life on a regular, or even daily, basis.
Hypnotherapy for phobias
Therapy for phobias aims to correct the oversensitivity to whatever your phobia is about. This doesn’t mean making you dangerously overconfident – for example, if you have dromophobia (fear of crossing roads) you’re going to want to hang onto a reasonable level of caution around traffic. It does mean setting you free from a fear that’s restricting your enjoyment of life.
A course of hypnotherapy for phobias might involve learning coping strategies to control the symptoms of your phobia, and/or looking at why your phobia developed in the first place. I might suggest we use some EMDR or BLAST as well as hypnosis. You can find out more by downloading this free information sheet.
Everyone is different and every phobia is different too. Finding the right balance between these approaches is going to depend on you and your circumstances. You’ll need to commit to change and challenging the boundaries your phobia has created, and that can sound scary. But remember that, in the long term, it can be better to learn to control your phobia than to live with it controlling you.
Please contact me if you want to ask for more information, or to book sessions in my office in Normanton or online.