Don’t Let Your Phobia Call The Shots
Fear is a survival instinct we as a species have developed to protect ourselves from danger. Everybody experiences fear – it is natural and healthy. Phobias, however, are entirely different. Phobias produce such intense fear that they often lead to severe anxiety issues and even panic attacks. Some people have to make major life decisions to accommodate their phobia. It is easy to feel trapped in this situation. The good news is that phobias are often learned responses that exist in the subconscious mind. This means they are especially susceptible to hypnotherapy, which can help you unlearn the response and provide positive associations instead.
What Is A Phobia?
According to Harvard Health Publishing, a phobia is “a persistent, excessive, unrealistic fear of an object, person, animal, activity or situation.” They are generally divided into two broad categories: specific phobias and complex phobias.
Specific phobias are irrational fears of specific objects, animals, situations, or activities. These often develop in childhood and lessen as the person grows older. Examples of specific phobias include:
- animal phobias (spiders, snakes, dogs, etc.)
- environmental phobias (heights, germs, open water, etc.)
- situational phobias (flying, going to the dentist, etc.)
- bodily phobias (getting injections, vomit, blood, etc.)
Meanwhile, complex phobias tend to permeate everyday activities and can impact a person’s life much more than specific phobias. They develop in adulthood and often stem from deep-rooted anxiety about a situation or circumstance. The two most common examples of this are agoraphobia and social phobia.
- Agoraphobia – This is when someone feels anxious about being in a situation where it’s difficult for them to escape if they have a panic attack. This means they will avoid busy or crowded places, traveling on public transportation, or even being alone.
- Social phobia – This phobia involves social situations and interactions. Someone with a social phobia may avoid speaking in front of people. In some cases, this can stop people from socializing and carrying out everyday tasks.
If any of this is sounding familiar to you, don’t feel bad. Phobias are actually quite common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 7% of adult Americans are affected by social phobias, and about 9% have specific phobias. Additionally, only about 10% of reported phobias end up becoming life-long afflictions.
How Does Hypnotherapy Help?
Hypnosis is an naturally occurring state of altered awareness whereby the subconscious mind of a willing subject is open to accepting beneficial suggestions that have been given to it. Hypnotherapy can be used to address phobias in different ways.
- Hypnosis can be used to facilitate something called systematic desensitization. In this approach, the individual learns to gain a sense of internal control over the anxiety-producing trigger. This method, unlike behavioral desensitization, enhances visualization of the issue and gives the therapist the ability to offer suggestions post-hypnosis for addressing the response to the imagined issue.
- Mental rehearsal is another approach, in which an individual imagines successfully coping with stressful situations. A hypnotherapist can help people visualize themselves facing the feared circumstance without experiencing any anxiety. In this way, the hypnotherapist can help the person create new responses to the phobia.
- Sometimes a phobia can be rooted in cripplingly low self-esteem. When this is the case, ego-strengthening methods of hypnotherapy may be applied. Because hypnosis touches the intimate relationship between the mind and the body, it can help improve self-regulation and confidence.
Find Out How Hypnotherapy Can Help You
At Hypnotherapy of North Georgia, we want you to live to the fullest. If a phobia is controlling your life, consider hypnotherapy to unlock true freedom. Questions or concerns? Contact us or call us at 678-439-8236 to schedule your consultation today.