Are you afraid of flying? Fearful of elevators, tunnels, or enclosed spaces?  Terrified of spiders or snakes or even dogs or cats?  Are you afraid of thunderstorms?  These issues are sometimes referred to as phobias.

In layman’s terms, the definition of a phobia according to Webster’s dictionary, is “an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation“. 

As a hypnotherapist, I disagree on one point and that is use of the word “inexplicable”.   Often the client has experienced that situation in their past, and the true fear is the fear that it could occur again or that they may lose control.  This creates a reaction of “fight or flight” to take oneself out of the situation and to safety.

An example would be someone who has a tremendous fear of dogs, who upon closer examination it is discovered that the client was attacked by a dog when they were a child and have held a fear of them since that time.  Or perhaps someone with a fear of enclosed spaces actually experienced being trapped in a small space at an earlier time in their life.

Fears and phobias such as this can bring about disruptive feelings of panic and anxiousness when faced with the possibility of the situation.  They can range from being uncomfortable to immobilizing.  They cause a person to limit themselves and experience the added stress of creating behaviors that “avoid” the potential situation, such as to drive a long distance for a business trip or vacation because they can’t bring themselves to board a plane which could get them there in a short period of time or walking up 20 flights of stairs to avoid taking an elevator.

Over time this diminishes the self-esteem, creates worry and feelings of not be safe.  It causes unnecessary obstacles in that person’s life and to others in their lives too.  A fun family vacation to an exiotic location can be a nightmare for someone who has a fear of flying. 

The good news is that most of these kinds of fears can easily be released thru hypnosis.  And you’ll be relieved to know that hypnosis doesn’t require that you be “tested” by having a live snake put in your face afterwards or that you stand on the edge of a cliff just to “test” yourself.  It does however provide relief for the millions of people who suffer from these kinds of concerns.