life controlled by fear and anxiety, where every movement is
scrutinized and even the smallest decision is agonized over.
Hours are spent examining daily tasks or situations that
most people endure easily. According to the National
Institute of Health, approximately 40 million adults in the
United States who suffer from anxiety disorders live this
kind of existence.
about 18 percent of Americans have some form of a panic
disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety
disorder or phobias, such as a social phobia, agoraphobia,
or a specific phobia, which embody common fears of things
like elevators, heights or germs.
among them? Many people aren't sure how to tell if their
natural concerns have morphed into a phobia. A phobia is
classified as an irrational fear or dread. When someone
encounters a phobia trigger, they may become panicked with
increased heart rate and respiration. Commonly, they may
begin to feel a choking sensation or their palms get clammy.
They might also hear ringing in their ears and find they are
unable to focus on their surroundings.
unpleasant sensation, people will go to great lengths to
avoid the experiences, things or settings that cause them.
If a person has a social phobia, they will evade people, or
if it is a common phobia, such as spiders or coffins, people
who have a phobia will seek to elude those triggers.
disorder phobia can be one of the most complicated to
solve because subsequent issues often result from the
anxiety phobia relationship, such as depression or substance
abuse. In fact, the majority of people who suffer from one
anxiety disorder often develop other anxiety disorders.
can be helpful to visit with a mental health professional to
diagnose your phobia and understand the cause of it, the
most important step is entering into treatment for the
anxiety and phobia. There are several therapies for
effectively easing a phobia, including drugs, talk therapy,
systematic desensitization, hypnotherapy, and
drugs for anxiety and phobia
treatment include sedatives, which actually worsen the
problem because they do not address the fundamental cause of
the phobia. Other mental health professionals prefer to use
talk therapy; however, for some people even just talking about
phobia can trigger a panic attack.
hypnosis—which is simply helping the subject attain a
deeply relaxed alpha state of mind and offering post-hypnotic
suggestions can be very effective if the
person is open to it. However, many people with phobias
find it hard to believe that they can feel peaceful and
when they are faced with the situation that causes their anxiety
and related phobia.
challenges and even setbacks of other types of treatment for
phobias, systematic desensitization can be an effective
treatment. It is a procedure that gradually desensitizes a
person to the trigger that causes the anxiety disorder
phobia and resulting panic attacks.
an example: A person wants to overcome a phobia of dogs,
she is asked to first sit and think about a dog until she is
comfortable with the image. Then, she is given a picture of
a dog to view. Perhaps she progresses to holding a stuffed
dog and so on until she is able to be in the presence of a
canine without the panic symptoms—possibly even pet it.
point is that, after each step, the client acknowledges that
nothing terrible occurred and she is absolutely okay. If at any time
she feels fear or panic, the therapist asks her to revert to
the previous step until she has regained a sense of
there is a way to make this process less painful and
frightening: Systematic desensitization can be performed
while the client is a relaxed state of hypnosis. While in a
relaxed hypnotic trance, the client mentally performs
the same actions, but she actually feels very
peaceful as she visualizes herself feeling relaxed and
comfortable in the anxiety provoking situation.
live systematic desensitization that occurs without the
benefit of hypnosis, if she experiences any anxiety
regarding her phobia, she is instructed to step back to the
previous step. The only drawback is that this method usually
requires a lot of time to trigger relief from a phobia.
fastest and most effective way to eliminate a phobia is a
Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique called a Visual /
Kinesthetic Disassociation. It often cures the client of a
long-term phobia in just one session. The technique actually
programs the client to disassociate, or mentally step
outside of themselves at the point that they would normally
begin their anxiety attack. The process literally separates
the subjective feelings from the mental images that cause
the panic attack in the first place.
While any phobia treatment that someone undertakes will
require work and commitment, systematic desensitization
coupled with hypnosis can offer an effective cure. But the
NLP Visual / Kinesthetic Disassociation can offer an answer
that almost seems magical by allowing the client to overcome
the phobia quickly with significantly less—perhaps even
no—discomfort or panic.
© 2007 By
Alan B. Densky, CH. This
document may NOT be re-printed. All Rights Reserved.