Whether you are scared of insects, heights or the dentist, phobias are extremely common. People often say to me “you are my last resort” or “I’ll try anything”, particularly when a phobia prevents a person from living their life normally.

A phobia is an irrational fear …quite literally a fear without good reason …or a fear of something that may not happen. People with phobias often experience unwanted responses to objects or situations which are difficult to accept as they often know their response is irrational. They will also find themselves avoiding certain situations which they believe might cause them to encounter their phobia.

Phobias usually begin when we are young, and develop as we grow up. Over time the phobia becomes reinforced by exposure to that fear which compounds it and makes it worse. Phobias occur for different reasons – they can run in families (although whether a learned behaviour or hereditary is unclear), they can occur following a traumatic experience, and even our brain chemicals can influence the development of a phobia.

Most people manage their fears on a day to day basis and only tend to seek help when they prevent them from doing something they want or need to do – or when they know a situation will force them to face it e.g. a presentation at work, going on holiday in an aeroplane, insects which come out at certain times of the year etc. People are also aware of the possibility of passing on their phobias to their children, who learn from their behaviour.

…This was what prompted me to deal with my phobia using hypnosis. Having suffered with arachnaphobia (fear of spiders) from a very young age, I knew my behaviour was completely irrational, but I had no control over it. I would completely freak out and sometimes even cry when confronted with my phobia and I knew I didn’t want to pass this on to my own child. Hypnosis deals with the root cause of the issue, and it allowed me to see my phobia was indeed a learned behaviour from a family member when I was just 2 years old.

In hypnosis you are able to see your phobia in a different context, allowing you to resolve it; gradually building up your confidence and your ability to stay calm whenever you encounter it in the future. Phobias are displaced fears and because they are not rational they can be dealt with – and hypnotherapy can be highly successful when it comes to treating them.

For more information please visit www.angelgoldhypnotherapy.co.uk/phobias/