AND SYMPTOMS OF PHOBIAS
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.
EXAMPLES OF COMMON PHOBIAS
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
FORMS OF TREATMENT
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
(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
DESENSITIZATION WHILE IN THE STATE OF HYPNOSIS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING) V/K DISASSOCIATION
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.
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.
© 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
ecommerce site where he offers
and NLP CDs for phobias. Visit his hypnosis
research library, download a free MP3, or watch our Free