I’d like to start by explaining one very fundamental school of thinking that we have here at BLHC, and that is that there are two very different types of Fears and Phobias; there are Rational Fears & Phobias, and there are Irrational Fears & Phobias.
We’ll start with what I call Rational Phobias. I have clients that come to me and say these kind of things: “I’m scared of Flying”, “I’m scared of falling from great heights” or “the thought of drowning completely freaks me out!”. Have you got the point yet? Well if not, read them over and over again.
Let’s take the first example: “I’m scared of Flying”. When I hear this I always start by explaining that actually – being sealed in an enclosed metal tube at 30,000 feet with no control over where you’re going is going to be a little stressing to the best of us!” What I mean is that the Fear of Flying is actually quite a rational response for most of us. Just the same as Falling from a Great Height, or Drowning in Water. Therefore, we classify these ‘fears’ as Rational.
What we don’t do is class these in the same group as we would say a Fear of Spiders (Arachnophobia), or a Fear of Balloons (Globophobia), a Fear of Blood (Hemophobia), or a Fear of Moving House or Making Changes (Tropophobia). These fears would be classed as Irrational because there is no obvious reason or trigger mechanism that brings on the phobic episode.
If you suffer from a genuine Phobia, and not a rational Fear, then you may well have experienced any of the following symptoms:
Needless to say, the stress that any of these can have on the nervous system and on your reserves of strength and energy will be severe. And it’s for this reason that people who suffer with a phobia become incredibly adept at going out of their way not to confront the situation for fear that others might find out. What they are actually doing is confining themselves to a life of misery and anxiety.
Because we have said that these can fall into one of two groups, in order to remove the stress source we have to use two different types of therapy.
We address Rational Fears in much the same way as we do helping people to stop smoking with a technique called Suggestion Therapy. We also include in this, a technique called Neuro Associated Conditioning or NAC which is an NLP tool that is also extremely effective in Phobia Removal.
In order to explain how Irrational Phobias are formed it’s important to understand that the Subconscious Mind is an incredibly clever device which not only looks after all the things that we, as humans, cannot be trusted to look after such as your eyelids opening and closing, breathing, etc., but it also serves as a unique protection mechanism against psychological trauma or more to the point, protects us from re–experiencing specific trauma.
Let’s say that as a child, someone locked you in a cupboard and fed spiders through the keyhole until you became so traumatised that you began to hyperventilate and fainted. Under circumstances like these, the Subconscious Mind gives you a Protection Mechanism from ever coming into contact with the situation again, and hence gives you the morbid Fear of Spiders (Arachnophobia). The incident is hidden or locked away deep in the Subconscious and passes into what we call a Repression or a Repressed Memory.
Unfortunately for us, this repressed memory can become a 'ticking time bomb' and just like a bubble that rises to the surface of a pond, over time, the repression can surface and manifestitself as a physical sysmptom or phobia.
The removal of an Irrational Phobia (also known as an Unconscious Neurosis) is done using a process called Analysis (you've probably heard the term 'Psycho–Analysis), and when this is done employing Hypnosis, we refer to it as Hypno–Analysis.
Once the client is nicely in a light form of ‘conscious hypnosis’ a technique called Free Association is used by the therapist to guide the client back to the original incident that caused the memory to become repressed by the subconscious mind in an effort to protect them. On discovering the repressed memory, the client is likely to re–experience the incident, only this time; it is done with the intellect of an adult and not with the intellect of a child which is how the original incident was originally experienced.
On arriving at this point, the client will usually find that they are clear of the symptom (Phobia), for good.
Unlike Suggestion Therapy which is usually one or two sessions, Analysis usually takes between six to Eight sessions to achieve the Phobia removal – however, this will differ from client to client.