What causes phobias?
Phobias are often caused in childhood, where the child experiences a real fear, but the mind manages to repress the feeling of terror, from the situation that caused it. This leaves the mind with the memory of a strong fear, and nothing to attach it to. The mind struggles with this uncertainty, and will therefore, symbolically attach this fear, to a real object or situation that it does know about, be it a spider, a high balcony, a social event…etc.
Whenever the person now comes into contact with the object or situation, they feel the fear that the subconscious mind has associated with it and they have a ‘phobia’. Sometimes, however, phobias can develop after experiencing a distressing situation. The initial sensitising event, or triggering incident, may vary from witnessing, for example, an accident or even just hearing about terrible disasters in the news!
Alternatively, a child may model their behaviour on that of their significant adult who has a phobia in their own right, and as a result, this can cause the child to become phobic as well. An example of this, would be a child who became terrified of water, simply because the mother was frightened of swimming and acted in a terrified manner, whenever the prospect of swimming or going near water presented itself. The child would quickly have picked up on the mother’s fear, absorbed and created a duplicate behaviour pattern, and thus developed a conditioned response.
Phobias are very closely connected to Stress and anxiety and many of the same symptoms would present themselves ie: sweating, numbness, butterflies, shortness of breath, nausea, pins and needles etc (please read the Stress and anxiety management section for more detail.) This is an area which can devastate people’s lives depending on the degree of severity and the nature of the phobia. There are literally hundreds of different types but some of the most common include:
- Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
- Sociaphobia (social anxiety)
- Aviophobia (fear of flying)
- Agoraphobia (fear of anxiety attacks)
- Claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces)
- Acrophobia (fear of heights)
- Emetophobia (fear of vomiting)
- Carcinophobia (fear of cancer)
- Brontophobia (fear of thunderstorms)
- Necrophobia (fear of death or dead things)
The reason why Hypnotherapy and NLP are so successful in the treatment of phobias is because phobias reside in the unconscious part of our minds. If you suffer with a phobia, you are probably conscious of its irrational nature, but are still unable to use your conscious mind to overcome it.
Because Hypnotherapy and NLP bypass our conscious mind and focus on retraining our unconscious, people can experience very real and significant change extremely quickly. Hypnotherapy can also be used to enable the client to revisit those childhood memories which may have triggered the phobia and view them through their adult perspective, thereby changing these deep rooted fears for good and leaving the client free to live the life they deserve.
I am offering 10% off the first session over Christmas and into the New Year. Offer ends Feb 5th 2013.