FEAR OR PHOBIA? WHATEVER THE ISSUE, HYPNOTHERAPY CAN HELP
There is a well-known link between anxiety and fear. The more anxious we are in general, the more likely we are to develop a fear of something in particular such as heights, flying etc. Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy is extremely good at helping with generalised background anxiety, enabling people to feel more relaxed and in control of their fears and uncertainties. As you learn to relax, your fears will gradually start to subside of their own accord. But we also have a powerful specialised technique that is very effective in helping with actual phobias.
So what is a the difference between a fear and a true phobia?
A fear is rooted in general background anxiety, whereas a true phobia is caused by a traumatic triggering event. The way we normally deal with negative events in our lives is during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. During REM we rerun these events and move them from the primitive brain to the intellectual brain, converting them from an emotional memory to an intellectual memory which we then have control over. In this way, over time, an upsetting memory will often no longer be intrusive, but only be recalled as an ordinary narrative memory about some unfortunate incident you once experienced.
However, some memories are so traumatic that they are not shifted by the usual processes and so do not fade in the same way. Instead they get stuck in the primitive brain, becoming deeply embedded as a 'survival template'. The primitive brain is the original fear-based brain that evolved as a means of self-protection. It is responsible for the fight or flight reactions, the typical responses of racing heart, increased breathing, sweating, churning stomach etc. that we experience in moments of threat or high anxiety.
And because the primitive brain is not an intellect it can't be innovative. It reacts to perceived threats by repeating past patterns of behaviour - if what we did previously helped us survive, we will be encouraged to do it again in an effort to protect ourselves. So in the case of a phobia, the fight or flight area of the primitive brain pattern-matches with the traumatic memory template and responds with those panic symptoms every time a similar situation is encountered or even thought about. Thus the problem becomes more severe and more entrenched every time - you can picture a big stack of counters, where every new negative incident or thought adds more to the stack – potentially leading to a life-long problem.
The particular technique I referred to earlier is a quick and effective way of processing the traumatic memory by removing the fear template that is stuck in the primitive brain and so eliminating the phobia. It's like removing a counter from the bottom of the stack, and the whole stack just comes crashing down!
The process takes place during deep relaxation and so does not involve reliving the unpleasant panic symptoms usually associated with the trigger. What is more, success can routinely be achieved in as few as 3 sessions.
If you are fed up with the limitations that your fear or phobia is imposing on your life, why not give Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy a try?