Cognitive Hypnotherapy For Phobias

"Phobia (noun) - An extreme or irrational fear of something" - Oxford English Dictionary (Compact version)

That's a pretty dry and rather vague definition of a widespread health problem that is estimated to affect up to 90% of people at some point in their lives (with 70% being mildly phobic about something and 20% having a full-on phobia).

A stimulus of some kind (such as being in a particular situation or perceiving something regarded by the observer as potentially threatening or dangerous) matches a previous "encounter" in our memory, which is accessed via our subconscious (which is always attempting to keep us safe).

This triggers our fight-or-flight response, which in turn causes a cascade of physical and mental symptoms - raised heart rate, increased metabolic rate, faster breathing, sharper / narrower focus, restricted thinking etc.  We are ready to fight the problem, or run away from it, even though in reality it may be harmless.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is cutting-edge therapy that can be used to help successfully treat many different types of phobia by using the wide variety of tools and technquies at our disposal.  Bear in mind that some phobias are straightforward to deal with (usually have simple and easily identifiable origins), whereas others have more complex roots in the subsconscious (perhaps connected to areas such as control, conflict etc) that can take a little longer to resolve.

Although people can become phobic towards almost anything, the most common phobias in the UK (and I have worked with patients presenting with all of these) are...

  • Fear of spiders (Arachnophobia)
  • Fear of flying (Pteromerhanophobia, Aviophobia)
  • Fear of heights (Acrophobia, sometimes linked to flying)
  • Fear of unusual open spaces such as leaving home (Agoraphobia)
  • Fear of dogs (Cynophobia)
  • Fear of thunder or lightning (Astraphobia, Brontophobia)
  • Fear of injections or taking blood (Trypanophobia)
  • Fear of social situations (Sociaphobia, often linked to social anxiety)
  • Fear of germs or dirt (Mysophobia, often linked to OCD)
  • Fear of dentists (Dentophobia, Odontophobia)
  • Fear of enclosed spaces (Claustrophobia)
  • Fear of vomit (Emetophobia)
  • Fear of cancer (Carcinophobia)
  • Fear of death or dead things (Necrophobia, Thanatophobia)
  • Fear of water (Aquaphobia)
  • Fear of public speaking (Glossophobia)
  • Fear of wasps or bees (Spheksophobia, Apiphobia)