Fears and phobias

Fear is natural. It keeps us safe. We need to fear a car that is fast approaching towards us to stay alive.

Some fear, though, do not serve a life-saving purpose. Yes, they all serve a purpose, such as, making you feel better in short term. But, if continued, they can be life-limiting.

Imagine someone who cannot initiate a phone call, fearing that they will say something really stupid or not be able to say anything at all… In this case, not making any phone calls, serves the purpose of “avoiding embarrassment” in short-term, but to what cost? To the cost of reinforcing every negative belief that they hold about themselves and their abilities…so it is never only about the call!

Phobia, on the other hand, is a form of anxiety disorder, around an irrational and debilitating fear of certain objects, animals, feelings, places or situations, that is more prominent than a fear. Phobias can limit  the person’s daily activities, especially in case of complex phobias, such as social phobias and agoraphobia. Phobias affect about 11% of the population but only 5-10% of the affected seek help.

People with phobias often experience panic attacks, which can be highly distressing. The sufferer doesn’t even have to be facing their feared situation to have the symptoms of panic; the brain is able to create that reaction, just by thinking about it!

And here, the problem, becomes the solution. If the mind, can bring about a reaction, just by thinking about it, learning to think differently, can be the key, to prevent the reaction!

Phobias are learned behaviours. Although some social scientists suggest that fears such as darkness, snakes, spiders etc. are common to all cultures and societies and passed down genetically, if you observe a toddler’s first encounter with a spider, (s)he is not terrified unless they get bitten or their parent or carer screams and instils in them, a sense of grave danger related to the spider.

With hypnotherapy, I can help you:

  • identify the deep-seated negative belief that lead to the irrational fear you have developed,
  • see the same situation in a more objective way
  • reduce and gradually remove your undesired reaction

This process called “desensitisation” can be quicker in hypnotherapy, as we work with the subconscious mind; the host of all long-term memory and emotions. You may get surprised at how fast you can get rid of that fear that held you back for so long.

Nicola, below, went to her dentist and had her procedure done with ease, after just one session on her fear of dental procedures:

I came to see Muge for general anxiety in the first instance, and then specifically for upcoming dental work, for which I felt quite nervous. I had tried hypnotherapy before but Muge’s treatments took me to another level. I felt completely comfortable and therefore was able to totally relax and let Muge apply her therapy to great benefit. I left each session feeling lifted and my anxiety at bay. Muge is a compassionate, caring therapist, who explains how hypnotherapy works and put me at ease with the whole process. I would thoroughly recommend her!

Nicola M, 46, Yoga Instructor

top image © Tim Trad

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