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Phobias - What They Are

And How To Get Rid Of Them

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By



hypnosis for phobia cdDEFINITION AND SYMPTOMS OF PHOBIAS

A phobia is defined as an irrational fear or dread. When a person has a phobic attack, they get panicky feelings; their respiration and heart rate increase; they may feel choked up like their heart is in their throat; their palms may get sweaty; they may hear a ringing in their ears; and they may find that they are unable to participate in an activity. These feelings motivate the individual to try to avoid the situations and environments that trigger them.

SOME EXAMPLES OF COMMON PHOBIAS

For instance, if a person has a driving phobia, they would exhibit these symptoms when they try to drive, or possibly even when they just think about driving. Or a panic attack could happen only when driving in certain places like over bridges. This phobia could make it difficult or even impossible for an individual to drive.

Stage freight is a fairly common phobia. The panicky feelings appear when the individual tries to talk in front of a person that they are intimidated by, or they may get up to talk in front of a group of people. The size of the group can vary. It could consist of only a few people, or it could be a larger group of people, depending upon the individual. This phobia can be triggered by fears of inadequacy, or a lack of self-confidence or self-esteem.

Those who suffer from social anxiety disorder (social phobia) can get extremely nervous just being around other people, even people they know. It's a fear of being criticized or evaluated by others. This type of irrational fear can be triggered in any kind of social interaction. A person could be waiting on line at a supermarket and get panicky feelings as they think about having to talk to the checker during checkout. Or they may be worrying about what other people in the line are thinking about them, or if another person in line might try to start a conversation with them.

The fear of taking tests (commonly known as test anxiety) is a very common phobia. Test anxiety is rooted in comparing yourself to other people, and is deeply rooted in a fear of failure.

People have experienced irrational fears to every kind of experience under the sun. For example: Snakes; bugs; relationships; flying; small enclosed places; animals; high places; death; and even the great outdoors.

Agoraphobia is generally thought to be a fear of open spaces, as the literal definition suggests. However, this definition is quite misleading because Agoraphobics are really afraid of having a panic attack, wherever they may happen to be. Agoraphobia develops when a person begins to avoid places or situations they have associated with anxiety. For example, they could have a panic attack at home, at church, or in a supermarket.

For many, once the panic attacks have started, the Agoraphobic begins to expect them to happen. And this expectation actually causes them to occur with increasing frequency. Other people experience fearful feelings on a continuous basis. These feelings cause an overall discomfort, rather than panic.

Many people remain in a state of anxious anticipation because of these fears. Some people become "housebound" while others function "normally" but with great difficulty, often attempting to hide their discomfort. Agoraphobia then, is a severe anxiety condition and a phobia, as well as a pattern of avoidant behavior.

AVAILABLE FORMS OF TREATMENT

DRUGS

Some doctors treat their patients with sedatives, which can make the condition worse over prolonged usage. Sedatives do not treat the underlying cause of a phobia; they only mask some of the symptoms.

TALK THERAPY

Some counselors use Talk Therapy. Talk therapy is simply talking about what is bothering you. Unfortunately, talking about or even thinking about the situation or environment that triggers a phobia can trigger a panic attack!

HYPNOSIS

Traditional hypnosis has been used to treat phobias, but with severely limited success. Most people of our generation were raised and trained to question everything. Traditional hypnosis is accomplished when the consulting hypnotist places the subject in a relaxed state of hypnosis and then gives the subject post-hypnotic commands or suggestions. Since most people question and resist direct suggestions, they also reject the notion that they will be more relaxed and at ease when they encounter the situation or environment that triggers their panic attacks.

SYSTEMATIC DESENSITIZATION

Systematic Desensitization is the process of gradually desensitizing a person to the situation or environment that causes a phobic attack. For instance, if a person wants to dive from a high board but fears it, she is asked to first dive from a height that she feels confident about. She dives in and realizes that nothing bad happened and that she is safe.

Next she is asked to dive in from the first step of the ladder going up to the high board. Again, she dives in and realizes that nothing bad happened and that she is safe.

Over a period of time the subject is asked to progressively dive in from higher and higher steps on the ladder. Each time she dives in and realizes that nothing bad happened and that she is safe, she is asked to move up to the next rung. If she experiences fear, then she is asked to move back down one rung on the ladder and dive from there until she feels complete comfort and security.

Eventually (at least in theory) she makes it to the top of the ladder and dives in from the high board. Thus, she is systematically desensitized to diving in from the high board.

SYSTEMATIC DESENSITIZATION WHILE IN THE STATE OF HYPNOSIS

Systematic Desensitization can be done virtually while in the state of hypnosis with as good as or better results. While in a relaxed hypnotized state, the woman would be asked to visualize herself diving in from each rung of the ladder. She would be told to see herself feeling relaxed and confident as she dove in. Since she is actually disassociated while seeing herself, she is not able to experience a panic attack.

Next she is asked to associate, or put the camera inside of her head so she would actually see what she would see through her eyes if she was actually diving in from each rung. She is told to imagine feeling safe and relaxed as she dives in.

Just as in live (in vivo) systematic desensitization, if she feels any anxiety she is told to go back to the previous lower rung on the ladder and imagine diving in from there.

She might be taught to create a kinesthetic "anchor" for feelings of security and safety. She could then trigger that anchor while imagining that she is diving, and the feelings of safety and security could be subjectively transferred to the act of diving.

Systematic Desensitization while in hypnosis can be very effective and successful, but is can also be slow and take a fair amount of time to bring about a cure.

NLP (NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING) V/K DISASSOCIATION

NLP is basically the study and practice of how we create our reality. The V/K Disassociation is an NLP technique that allows a trained NLP Practitioner to guide a subject through specific visual imagery that quickly, and in many cases instantly disconnects or disassociates the feelings of panic from the trigger or phobia that causes them. The V/K Disassociation is known as the "One session phobia cure" in NLP circles, and with good reason.

CONCLUSIONS

Phobias are very common in our society. They are fears that are not based in reality. There are many treatments for phobias, but thus far to my knowledge, the best treatments are Systematic Desensitization while in the state of hypnosis, and the NLP V/K Disassociation technique.  

phobia hypnosis cds

2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH.  This document may NOT be re-printed. All Rights Reserved. 

Alan B. Densky, CH is a trained consulting hypnotist and NLP Practitioner who has been in professional practice since 1978. He can be contacted through his Neuro-VISION Self Hypnosis ecommerce site where he offers hypnosis and NLP CDs for phobias. Visit his hypnosis research library, download a free MP3, or watch our Free hypnosis videos.