— Jane Mackenzie
Hypnotherapy for Phobias & Fears
What is a phobia?
A phobia is a looping of the normal fear response. The fear is often directed toward an object or situation that does not present a real danger. The sufferer consciously recognises that the fear is irrational, yet cannot help the reaction. Over time, the fear tends to worsen as the fear of fear response takes hold and long running anxiety replaces fleeting and infrequent moments of true fear.
Phobias were installed in you quickly, with you experiencing such a heightened state that your deeper mind swore to protect you from it, or anything like it, for evermore. Often you don’t know exactly how you first became so scared of this thing. Fear gives you energy with good intentions - to keep you safe, and protect you - but in its current, debilitating state, it is not actually serving you at all.
The phobia can be felt physically within you. It is irrational. But that's why it's so difficult to rationalise ourselves out of it. So don't feel bad. Your conscious mind knows this is not something that should send you into a state of fear, either frozen to the spot, running away screaming, or lashing out uncontrollably. Ready to get this fixed then? Read on!
How do I know if I have a phobia?
You experience full blown debilitating panic at something other people do not find scary at all. Your heart thumps, you breathe quickly and shallowly, you feel hot and agitated or cold and frozen to the spot. Your stomach churns and you don’t know what to do to stop this discomfort. Perhaps others have teased you for this reaction. You wish you could be okay with this and try and think where it came from, maybe you know, maybe you do not. Your day to day life may revolve around figuring out ways to avoid your phobia, which keeps you in a state of stress and hyper-vigilance. If any of this resonates with you, regardless of what your fear may be, we're here for you and we can most certainly help.
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❛❛I was terrified of lizards. Yes, lizards. The thing is, there are no lizards where I live in Jersey, so this was ridiculous! I don’t even know where it came from but Jennie said it didn’t matter - that fear is fear is fear. All I know is one minute I cannot even say the word, and the next I am trying to find a picture on the internet of the exact type that used to scare me. I don’t understand how this works but I am forever grateful. Thank you Jennie.❜❜
- Nancy, Jersey, Channel Islands
How does Hypnotherapy help?
Fear is a natural response to something scary. It is designed to give you the energy to run away quickly, stand your ground and fight, or more often nowadays, it causes you to freeze as you do not want to do either. So hypnotherapy acknowledges the unconscious reaction to protect you and speaks to the deeper mind to gain understanding and recognition of this protection mechanism, quickly relearning how to protect you in a more acceptable way, if protection is indeed now necessary.
Take back control.
It only takes an hour to make tomorrow better. Choose relaxation over frustration.
Quick Tips for You
1. Give your fear a number on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the worst.
Keep this number in mind for later.
2. Acknowledge how you are triggered and how you organise life to avoid this.
For example, does seeing pictures of the fear set you off, or only when it happens in real life? Is even talking about it too much? Find and recognise the boundaries, and note what you've been doing to avoid these situations. Are there things you've missed because you've avoided the potential fear? Let's put you in control of your phobia, rather than the other way round.
3. Create a gentle state of relaxation - do what you do to feel the most comfortable, safe and at ease.
Even thinking about the phobia may have put you on edge, but this is okay. Take this time now to breathe, get a drink, and focus on something that you know can distract you and make you feel brighter.
4. Begin to recognise when you ARE relaxed and feeling safe, and do something physical to remind your body of this state.
When you catch yourself in moments of happiness and calm, do something simple, perhaps like holding your own hand and giving it a squeeze, or clicking your fingers. We want to associate this simple action with returning to your happy place.
5. Practice using your new action.
When you have stacked up at least five instances of complete safety and relaxation, use a photograph or word that used to create the fear and breathe deeply as you repeat the physical action you created in stage 4. This is called creating an anchor. After using your action, note if your fear reaction has gone down on the 1 to 10 scale.
6. Remember that this too shall pass.
It is easy to see encountering a phobia as the end of the world. If your phobia has occurred once before, please recognise that you are still here today, now, and you are safe. You overcame the situation and we believe in you that you can overcome it again. We cannot always control the world around us, but we can begin to control our reaction to it. You are more powerful than you realise.
Fear and excitement are the same physiological response. Sometimes it is how we were initially exposed to something that taught the unconscious how to react - for example, if a parent snatched you away quickly from a spider or stamped on it, swearing and angry, or frightened and shaking, then we often pick up on this as small children.
It is important to get out of the blame frame of how it was ‘installed’ and realise we are all grown up now and ready to deal with this in a new way, with professional help. You are not as powerless as your unconscious has you believe, but it's also not wrong for wanting to protect you. When you're ready, let's update it with this new information on how to serve you better.