Around 2.4% of adults in the United Kingdom have a medically diagnosable phobia, according to a recent NHS survey, that’s around 1.3 million people.
The NHS says: “A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal. Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object. If a phobia becomes very severe, a person may organise their life around avoiding the thing that’s causing them anxiety. As well as restricting their day-to-day life, it can also cause a lot of distress.”
Phobias occur when your brain links a specific trigger event to danger.
This could be having a turbulent flight, watching a giant spider on TV, or having a large dog knock you over when you were a child. You might know about many common phobias, such as fear of spiders, heights or flying, but have you come across these phobias before?
According to the National Council for Hypnotherapy, “A phobia is an irrational fear, literally a fear without good reason, or a fear of something that may not happen”. These phobias develop as coping mechanisms to serve a purpose, to keep us safe from a perceived danger, but they become dysfunctional. The mind is designed to generalise, it’s designed to keep you safe, and so whenever you see that thing in future, it says “look out, avoid this”, even if it’s not logical or rational.
Because phobias are rooted in emotional memories, talking therapies which try to rationalise the thought pattern can fall short. Hypnotherapy can help. In hypnosis the unconscious is able to process information more effectively without the interference of the conscious critical mind. There are different types of hypnotherapy and skilled hypnotherapists may combine different forms or use hypnosis in conjunction with other treatments depending on the needs of their client.
Often phobias can be treated in just one session, depending on the willingness of the client to embrace the change, says the NCH. If you have a phobia or a fear which is affecting your life, why not try a session with an NCH hypnotherapist? You can use the NCH directory by clicking here to find a therapist near you.