Member of The British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis
Tel: Haslemere (01428) 724 333
56 Chiltley Way
Tel: (01428) 724 333
No marketing calls please
My own experience includes treating people for a variety of phobias including fear of flying, spiders, snakes, wasps, heights, eating in public, shopping in crowded places, claustrophobia, agoraphobia and needle phobia.
Phobias are irrational fears of something and very often the sufferer will know perfectly well that their fear is unnecessary. We are all born with reflexes that protect us from danger. These are called fight and flight reflexes and they come into effect in the presence of real danger, for example, the approach of a dangerous wild beast. By quickening our heart and breathing rates and diverting our blood circulation to the brain and muscles, these reflexes enable us to make our escape.
The rapid heart rate, breathing rate and pallid skin, together with an overwhelming feeling of a need to escape, will all occur without us having to think about it. However, when this reaction occurs, for instance, in the presence of a harmless spider, or a relatively harmless wasp, or when entering a crowded shop, it is not appropriate. Although there is no real danger, the brain in the phobic individual has for some reason learnt otherwise.
Panic attacks are another example of inappropriate fight and flight reactions and although the trigger for a panic attack may not be immediately obvious, one can usually be found.
The state of hypnosis or trance, is essentially a state of deep relaxation that is almost universally found to be pleasant. Hypnotherapy allows the patient to experience his or her phobic problem in their imagination while they are in this relaxed and pleasant hypnotic state. The patient is then persuaded by suggestions from the hypnotherapist that their reaction to, for example, the spider is not appropriate and will be replaced, the next time they encounter a spider, by calmness and full control. During the hypnotic state, the patient imagines him or herself reacting this way in the future, in the way they really want to react, and the inappropriate reflexive behaviour is removed.
It is usual to use an 'anchor' in the control of phobias. Anchors have the effect of reinforcing the subconscious messages that have been used during the hypnotherapy session and they can be used at any specific time (see Hypnotherapy Explained for more about anchors).
The removal of a phobia can be achieved in the fully conscious state of course but in the hypnotic state of increased suggestibility, it is possible to change unwanted behaviour of this nature much more quickly.
The patient's phobia is discussed in detail at the initial treatment session. The patient is usually very aware of how they would prefer to behave and before any session of hypnosis begins, the patient and hypnotherapist determines between them, the exact words that need to be implanted in the subconscious. This discussion, together with a description of the hypnotic induction process, usually takes about 40 minutes. The hypnotic session then takes about 20 minutes. Thus, an initial session will usually last an hour. Phobic patients will nearly always require some follow-up sessions, depending on the nature of the problem and their response to treatment, and these sessions are usually about 30 minutes long.
If you have any queries, or you would like to make an appointment, please telephone Haslemere (01428) 724333, or send an email using the form on the contact page.