fearsEffective treatment for phobias with Ron van der Holt at Clevedon Hypnotherapy Centre.

How many of us have phobias? How many of us have morbid and irrational fears? The fears can be sudden and overwhelming and the fears are very real to the person experiencing them. Anticipating these fears or phobias can actually hinder and harm our lives, preventing us from living life to the full.

To state things in psychological terms, a phobia is an ‘external symbol of an internal anxiety’.

Phobias are symbols of our anxiety. The ‘fear of heights’ is a good example of how phobias are usually symbolic. I knew an person who could not even ascend a ladder a few feet to pick fruit from an apple tree so strong was the fear of heights. By ascending the ladder or leaving the ground this person felt a powerful sense of losing control. Regardless of the fact that the person was only a few feet above the ground they felt a panic about being out of control.

The human psyche ‘symbolises’, or represents and stands for something else, the fear of being out of control and projects this onto experiencing heights, or spiders or crowds or any number of other objects, conditions or situations.

Phobias develop as a direct result of many varied experiences, but not all people have phobias. Children, with their fully developed range of emotions but emerging intellect and rationality, may experience very unpleasant situations. The emotional reaction may be equally intense but without the compensatory intellect or rationality these emotions become blocked from consciousness or pent up and may develop a phobia or anxiety. This is a form of psychic defense warning a person not to get into that, or any similar, situation where there may be a loss of control.

There is a way to be rid your phobia. The cause of the phobia was emotional and only a treatment that deals with the original emotion stands any long term chance of ridding the person of the phobia. It’s not enough to focus on the fear because this is only addressing the symptom and not the cause. Therapies that talk you through the fear may offer short term relief but hypnotherapy will reach the emotional cause of the phobia. Hypnotherapy will allow you to safely confront the original emotion and in doing so, release and dissipate it.

There are perhaps a couple hundred known and named phobias. A tiny sample of some of the most well known includes:

Acrophobia – a fear of heights

Aviatophobia – a fear of flying

Agoraphobia – a fear of open spaces

Arachnophobia – a fear of spiders

Claustrophobia – a fear of enclosed spaces

Demophobia – a fear of crowds

Odontophobia – a fear of dentists

Glossophobia – a fear of public speaking

Hydrophobia – a fear of water