Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the man who said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. The clinical term for such a malady is PHOBOPHOBIA!
There are lots of “phobias” out there, including Arachnophobia for fear of spiders, Trypanophobia as the fear of needles, and even Germaphobia which speaks for itself. But all of the “phobias” encompass any IRRATIONAL fear. The phobias can be officially diagnosed by a medical professional, or people already know if there is something they are afraid of that is keeping them from functioning calmly in normal circumstances.
Back to PHOBOPHOBIA, or the fear of fear itself: This can perpetuate panic attacks because it spirals into worsening thoughts that may result in physical symptoms like nausea, dizziness, shaking, hyperventilating, or even chest pain and tightness.
Phobias often arise from past unpleasant experiences or some phobias are learned. Science is even discovering that some phobias run in families.
Traditional western medicine typically recommends behavior therapy first. Exposure therapy is also used, gradually introducing the causative agent into a person’s presence, but this can be controversial and done with a trained professional for severe phobias. For extreme cases, a sedative may be prescribed
Hypnosis can help with phobias, and I have helped people with fear of sleep, fear of bears, fear of spiders, fear of driving, fear of flying, fear of needles, fear of the dentist, and fear of public speaking. My strategy with hypnosis treatment for phobias is a two-pronged approach:
First, from within a hypnotic state (trance), suggestions are provided to embed a sense of logic about some past experience. Even if a past experience was truly horrific, it is likely that future experiences will not have the same result, and there is no need to carry that “fear energy” into everyday encounters with the same scenario. The person is habituated to a state of relaxation and rationale about facing such a scenario. They visualize what it looks like and feels like to have a neutral or pleasant response to a previously fearful situation. In other words, their PERCEPTION of the situation is changed at a subconscious level.
Second, empowerment. In a situation where a person has, seemingly, no power in the moment facing something scary, I help that person reframe their perspective in that moment. Often times, an “anchor” (some physical behavior like twiddling a wedding ring) is used to “remind” the subconscious to kick in and provide the rationale that the person can choose to perceive the situation in a rationale manner that does not have danger in the picture. The person is empowered to take immediate action and make a choice about how to perceive and, effectively, feel about a scenario.
In summary, phobias can be debilitating and require medical attention. Hypnotherapy can provide long-lasting relief for a fear that is intruding on living life to the fullest.
It is true, that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. But when that becomes extreme and impacts your life negatively, Hypnotherapy may be able to help.