Phobias and Fears

Hypnotherapy for Phobias and Fears

Here at Hypnotherapy Plus in Lincoln and Louth we see phobias as a very common issue to resolve. Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two... of spiders, for example, or your annual dental checkup. For most people, these fears are minor. But when fears become so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with your normal life, they’re called phobias. No matter how overwhelming or out of control your phobia seems, though, it’s important to know that any irrational fear can be overcome. The following self-help strategies and therapeutic approaches can help you break free from your phobia and start living the life you want.


What is a phobia?

A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, you can develop phobias of virtually anything. While most phobias develop in childhood, they can also develop in later life.

If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is irrational, yet you still can’t control your feelings. Just thinking about the feared object or situation may make you anxious. And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror is automatic and overwhelming.


The experience is so nerve wracking that you may go to great lengths to avoid it inconveniencing yourself or even changing your lifestyle. If you have claustrophobia, for example, you might turn down a lucrative job offer if you have to ride the elevator to get to the office. If you have a fear of heights, you might drive an extra 20 miles in order to avoid a tall bridge. We would look to rationalise your phobia or fear and put it into context for you by using Hypnotherapy and perhaps CBT.

Understanding your phobia is the first step to overcoming it. It’s important to know that phobias are common. It also helps to know that phobias are highly treatable. You can overcome your anxiety and fear, no matter how out of control it feels right now.

There are four general types of phobias and fears:

  • Animal phobias such as the fear of snakes, spiders, rodents, and dogs.

  • Natural environment phobias such as a fear of heights, storms, water, and of the dark.

  • Situational phobias (fears triggered by a specific situation) including the fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), flying, driving, tunnels, and bridges.

  • Blood Injection Injury phobia, the fear of blood, injury, illness, needles, or other medical procedures.

Some phobias, however, don’t fall into one of the four common categories. These include fear of choking, fear of getting a disease such as cancer, and fear of clowns. Other common phobias that don’t fit neatly into any of the four categories include:

Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is fear of social situations where you may be embarrassed or judged. If you have social phobia, then you may be excessively self conscious and afraid of humiliating yourself in front of others. Your anxiety over how you will look and what others will think may lead you to avoid certain social situations you’d otherwise enjoy.

Fear of public speaking, an extremely common phobia, is a type of social phobia. Other fears associated with social phobia include fear of eating or drinking in public, talking to strangers, taking exams, mingling at a party, or being called on in class.

Agoraphobia was traditionally thought to involve a fear of public places and open spaces, but is now believed to develop as a complication of panic attacks.

If you’re afraid of having another panic attack, you become anxious about being in situations where escape would be difficult or embarrassing. For example, you're likely to avoid crowded places such as shopping malls and movie theaters. You may also avoid cars, airplanes, subways, and other forms of travel. In more severe cases, you might only feel safe at home.

Contact us at Hypnotherapy Plus in Lincoln because we could definitely help you with all of the above.


Signs and symptoms of phobias

The symptoms of a phobia can range from mild feelings of apprehension and anxiety to a full-blown panic attack. Typically, the closer you are to the thing you’re afraid of, the greater your fear will be. Your fear will also be higher if getting away is difficult.


Physical symptoms of a phobia include:

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Racing or pounding heart

  • Chest pain or tightness

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed

  • A churning stomach

  • Hot or cold flashes; tingling sensations

  • Sweating


Emotional symptoms of a phobia include:

  • Feeling overwhelming anxiety or panic

  • Feeling intense need to escape

  • Feeling "unreal" or detached from yourself

  • Fear of losing control or going crazy

  • Feeling like you're going to die or pass out

  • Knowing that you're overreacting, but feeling powerless to control fear

When to seek help for phobias and fears

Although phobias are common, they don’t always cause considerable distress or significantly disrupt your life. For example, if you have a snake phobia, it may cause no problems in your everyday activities if you live in a city where you're not likely to run into one. On the other hand, if you have a severe phobia of crowded spaces, living in a big city would pose a problem.

If your phobia doesn’t impact your life that much, it’s probably nothing to be concerned about. But if avoidance of the object, activity, or situation that triggers your phobia interferes with your normal functioning, or keeps you from doing things you would otherwise enjoy, it’s time to seek help.

Consider treatment for your phobia if:

  • It causes intense and disabling fear, anxiety, and panic

  • You recognize that your fear is excessive and unreasonable

  • You avoid certain situations and places because of your phobia

  • Your avoidance interferes with your normal routine or causes significant distress

  • You’ve had the phobia for at least six months


Treating a phobia

Self-help strategies and therapy can both be effective at treating a phobia. What’s best for you depends on factors such as the severity of your phobia, your access to professional therapy, and the amount of support you need.

As a general rule, self-help is always worth a try. The more you can do for yourself, the more in control you’ll feel, which goes a long way when it comes to phobias and fears. However, if your phobia is so severe that it triggers panic attacks or uncontrollable anxiety, you may want to seek additional support, such as hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy for phobias and fears has a great track record. Not only does it work extremely well, but you tend to see results very quickly, sometimes in as a little as one to four sessions. However, support doesn’t have to come in the guise of a professional therapist. Just having someone to hold your hand or stand by your side as you face your fears can be extremely helpful.