Hypnotherapy can beat fear of crowds


Christmas is just around the corner and, for many, that involves facing the crowds malls and streets for that last-minute shopping. But, some of us do not like crowds at all. This can be frightening and for those with anxiety can be a trigger for panic attacks. The fear of crowds is called agoraphobia. But it can be treated and hypnotherapy has been shown to have a high success rate in dealing with this and other phobias and anxieties.

Hypnotherapy can get you out and shopping in the crowds, at the Boxing Day sales or at your favourite musician’s concert once again. Along with phobias about spiders, snakes and heights, agoraphobia is in the top 10 most common phobias.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy is the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy association representing over 1,800 professional hypnotherapists, fully insured and trained to the highest standards.

Treating phobias and anxieties is part of the hypnotherapist’s job.

So, what is a phobia, like agoraphobia?

A phobia is an irrational fear, literally a fear without good reason, or a fear of something that may not happen. With agoraphobia, for instance, you know it is irrational but the fear of being crushed, suffocated or having no escape route is ‘real’. And this causes stress and panic. This physical or unwanted response is known as a stress response. People often describe their reaction to something as being ‘paralysed with fear’ or ‘having butterflies in my stomach’.

But while you might want to avoid whatever is triggering the response, it can be treated successfully. These reactions are something most hypnotherapists hear from a client who has come to see them for treating a phobia.

You might ask how your phobia will be treated by a NCH-registered hypnotherapist.

Part of the solution is to see that phobia in a different context starting from an objective perspective and then gradually building up exposure from a minimal to comfortable level.

Using hypnotherapy this can be done rapidly as the subconscious is able to process information more effectively without the interference of the critical mind. This is a known as desensitisation.

Often phobias can be treated in just a few sessions. There is, however, no guarantee as change depends on the individual’s willingness to embrace it. Most therapists will therefore give you a realistic expectation of how long treatment may last.

During the treatment, you will feel comfortable and protected, ready to face your fears. Most of the time, we are distracted by our surroundings, whether this be the TV, your children or other distractions. In addition, our conscious minds are cluttered. You may be worried about paying a bill, concerned about an upcoming project or planning tonight’s dinner.

Even during a hypnotherapy session, these day-to-day concerns could distract us from focusing on our problems. But in the hypnotic state induced by your hypnotherapist, you are deeply relaxed. Your conscious mind is quieted, allowing your subconscious mind to deeply focus on your issue (in this case, your phobia). You are also calmer, and therefore more receptive to facing your fear.

You can find a hypnotherapist in your area by looking at the NCH’s hypnotherapy directory and, who knows, you could out shopping before it is Christmas!