FEARS & PHOBIAS

A phobia is an irrational, overwhelming and debilitating fear of a specific object, situation, place or living creature. ​Exposure to the object of fear, or even thinking about it, can cause severe anxiety & panic.

FEAR IS A SURVIVAL INSTINCT AND A NATURAL, NORMAL RESPONSE TO DANGER.

We need to feel fear as a warning to help us avoid threatening situations. It can become a problem when we begin to feel fearful of things and situations that are low risk or not at all dangerous. Phobias are irrational fears; all the more frustrating as the conscious mind knows logically that they are safe, but the subconscious triggers a stress response which can severely restrict the life of the sufferer. 

 

Phobias are often learned responses.

 If children see a large spider they may react with curiosity; if mum reacts by screaming and jumping on a chair, the child’s subconscious mind records this as the correct response to a spider. As the child gets older they realise that a tiny spider can’t possibly hurt them, but the panic response is still triggered and is impossible to override with logic. Even as an adult, if you have a scary moment on a wobbly ladder the subconscious may become overprotective and decide that anything higher that a couple of feet off the floor is life-threatening and must be avoided.

MY FEAR OF HEIGHTS STARTED WHEN I WAS A TECHNICIAN ON A CRUISE SHIP.

I had to change a light onstage in rough seas; we hit a wave while I was up a stepladder and I almost fell. I had to grab a stage light and hold the ladder upright with my feet until the ship was stable enough to climb down.

A couple of years later, I turned down my dream job because I was too scared to climb a ladder!

PHOBIAS CAN BE DANGEROUS

Phobias can become life-threatening when, for example, a fear of hospitals or needles prevents you from having life-saving medical treatment. The subconscious is so committed to keeping you safe from the things it fears that it won’t budge under any circumstances; 

sometimes it won’t even let you see a hypnotist! ​

Phobias are particularly vulnerable to hypnosis as it deals with the subconscious directly; the hypnotist is able to negotiate with the subconscious, address any barriers or objections, and change the negative pattern. Once those irrational beliefs are addressed, the subconscious will be able to let go of the fear and give you back your life.

"Claire told me she could teach me to control my subconscious, I wasn’t very good friends with it, she taught me to be amused by it and not be cross with it. I went to her as I was frightened on outside metal staircases. I can now walk up them and not worry about them falling apart." —Melita

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