Overcoming Fears and Phobias with Hypnotherapy
Is it possible to overcome the fear or phobia of something with hypnotherapy? Fear is such a general term that it may seem impossible to know where to begin, but the techniques of a hypnotherapist may be an effective solution for a wide variety of fears and phobias.
What are Fears and Phobias?
Fear and phobia (a persistent, abnormal fear or aversion) are feelings that we may all have inside of us, from one or more specific thing(s) or others. For example, fear of the dark amongst children, or in adults at a more pathological level, scotophobia/lygophobia. Bruce Dickinson of the legendary band Iron Maiden captured the feeling well in the 1992 smash hit Fear of the Dark:
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a constant fear
That something’s always near
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone’s always there
Fears and phobias can come from a wide variety of sources, many of which may be benign to others but real to you. Fear of spiders or heights, for example, may be extremely real to you but not to others. Fear of public speaking is another very common fear that affects some individuals much more than it does others.
Likewise, the root causes of fears and phobias can be extremely unique and specific to your life circumstances. Deep-seated trauma, an unpleasant childhood experience, or the awareness of a threat (real or perceived) could trigger an individual’s fear or phobia.
Can Hypnotherapy Work to Overcome Fears and Phobias?
When it comes to treating fears and phobias, it may seem like the Wild West as there is no single little ‘happy pill’ that can treat every fear and phobia under the sun. Generally, hypnotherapists break down phobias into two main categories: specific and generalised phobias.
The former refers to phobias with a specific and often unique trigger. This could include things like arachnophobia (fear of spiders), fear of octopuses, fear of needles, and so on. For whatever reason, perhaps childhood trauma or an unpleasant experience with a creature like a spider, has developed into your adulthood. Hypnotherapy would then try to locate what is called your initial sensitising event (ISE), the source of that specific phobia, and gradually remove the fear’s trigger through the subconscious.
This could include techniques such as gradually introducing imagery of the fear, without trying to overwhelm the individual with fear. This absolutely does not mean that you’ll be exposed to real spiders (or whatever the fear is), face-to-face. Instead, by gradually desensitising your aversion, your mind can then reconfigure how it responds to the fear in the future.
For generalised phobias, the approach is often far more complex. Generalised phobias are fears or aversions to non-specific, more vague ‘things’ rather than specific things. Moreover, they often happen due to a culmination of multiple events, which could include trauma and various other life circumstances that have coalesced into the generalised phobia. Examples include social anxiety or a fear of romantic commitment.
These types of phobias require a more holistic and thorough approach to resolve through hypnotherapy. Firstly, although the phobia may seem to come from multiple sources throughout the course of your lifespan, there is often one definitive moment that perhaps changed your disposition from a dislike or even apathy towards something into a full and realised fear.
If this is the case, the hypnotherapist can attempt to resolve the phobia by determining that definitive event and by using techniques to desensitise the individual, thereby potentially modifying the trigger and changing the response when exposed to that fear’s trigger in the future.
Melbourne Hypnotherapy Clinic
Consult with the friendly team at Melbourne Hypnotherapy Clinic today.