People can be afraid of a wide range of things and what can be totally acceptable to one person can be quite panic provoking to another.
What is the difference between a fear and a phobia?
A phobia is any persistent fear of a specific stimulus object or situation. Phobia is from the Greek to fear or dread. It is more than a simple fear, or a being afraid. It is to be totally terrified of the stimulus.
If their problem is spiders for instance, then can they imagine themselves holding a spider on their hand if they are rewarded with $100? What about $500, and so on. If they could bear the spider for a large amount of money, even just for a few seconds, they do not have a phobia, but rather a fear.
The person with a phobia of spiders would not be able to bear to touch one for any amount of money or any other reward. Some people are obsessive with their phobia. This means, they can’t even bear to think of the stimulus and it will likely be totally controlling their lives.
What has caused this fear or phobia?
They will often say that nothing has caused the phobia they have, it just started, they’ve always been afraid of dogs, etc. If one person is afraid of dogs and another isn’t, then clearly there is a difference between the two. One person has either been exposed to some causal event which has been repressed in the subconscious mind, or has learned to be afraid from a parent or other authority figure at some time earlier in life.
The causal event may not have been very traumatic at the time, but the young mind will have seen it out of the context that would be understood by a more mature mind in later years. It may have caused an emotional response and/or motor actions to be locked away, repressed, and the emotion and possible motor responses will have been locked away and anchored to the event.
The subconscious mind can often set up a kind of false instinct, whereby any sign of the stimulus, or even something resembling it, or associated with it, may cause a phobic reaction, and then the body’s flight or fight response will kick in and the individual may begin to panic…panic attack.
Hypnosis to relieve fears and phobias
It’s good to know that you can easily overcome fears and phobias with hypnosis, because such anxieties are extremely common. More than 10% of people will experience a simple phobia at some time in their lives. From elevators, spiders and birds, to heights, dentists and open spaces, there is nothing we can’t develop anxiety or phobias about.
But you’re not doomed to be stuck with them forever. The mind can be reprogrammed to see things in a different way and to accept situations as normal that would previously have been viewed as threatening.
Happily, hypnosis provides an extremely effective cure for these problems as it provides the opposite of anxiety – deep relaxation. At the same time, it teaches the mind a different way of responding to the feared object or situation. Hypnosis for phobias works by detaching the stimulus (trigger object) from the emotional response (fear) and ‘updating’ the brain with a new, more realistic response.