Helping Fears and Phobias with Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy & Cognitive Therapy at 1066 Therapy
covering East Sussex, Battle, Hastings, Bexhill, Rye, Heathfield, Hailsham, Eastbourne, Crowborough, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Ashford and Kent.
I am often asked for help for all sorts of fears and phobias in my practice just outside of Battle, East Sussex. I have successfully helped many people with all types of these problems using appropriate therapy for the individual.
The two most common fears/phobias I am consulted for are social phobia/anxiety and emetophobia, the fear of sick but I am also consulted for many other fears including arachnophobia, fear of spiders; claustrophobia, fear of enclosed spaces; acrophobia, fear of heights; aerophobia, fear of flying, and many more besides.
What Causes Fears and Phobias?
Neuroscientific research over recent decades has found that strong fears or phobias have their origin in past events which have been distressing or traumatic – and therefore dysregulating to our nervous system – in some way for us. The events are often long-forgotten by the time a fear or phobia develops. Sometimes the distressing event(s) or trauma are directly connected to the object of our fear, and sometimes they are not. If they are not connected, then the fear or phobia is created as a ‘frame of reference’, a way of explaining and understanding, the inner sense of ‘something bad about to happen’ caused by our dysregulated nervous system. We often cannot remember how or why our particular fear or phobia started. And most of us will not be aware that we have any inner discomfort or dysregulation, because the way we feel inside is our ‘normal’.
The intense feelings of fear and panic associated with any phobia are caused by us being ‘triggered’ into our survival response – fight/flight/freeze response – when encountering, or thinking about, the object of our fear. It is fair to say that the vast majority of phobic objects or situations are not immediately life-threatening, so a survival response is not actually needed. However, the middle part of the brain which stores the unresolved emotional distress or trauma memory will still ‘sound the alarm’ AS IF we are in some sort of danger, until such time that the emotional distress or trauma is resolved.
A phobia may be specific where the fear is related to one object or situation, such as arachnophobia (fear of spiders) or aerophobia (fear of flying); or a phobia may be more generalised and relate to a range of situations, such as emetophobia (fear of vomiting) or claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) or sociophobia (which is broadly a fear of being judged/rejected).
The top ten fears and phobias are as follows:
- Arachnophobia ~ Fear of spiders
- Sociophobia ~ (broadly a..) Fear of being judged in many situations; social anxiety
- Aerophobia ~ Fear of flying
- Agoraphobia ~ Fear of open spaces
- Claustrophobia ~ Fear of enclosed spaces
- Acrophobia ~ Fear of heights
- Emetophobia ~ Fear of sick/vomit or being sick
- Carcinophobia ~ Fear of cancer
- Brontophobia ~ Fear of thunderstorms
- Necrophobia ~ Fear of death or the dead or dead things.
Over time, our fears and phobias may develop to the point where we start arranging our lives to fit around them, and ‘accommodate’ them as far as possible. We may gradually limit our lifestyle to try to avoid potential situations where our fear or phobia may be ‘triggered’. This is because phobias are basically ‘safety-seeking’ behaviours, arising because we feel unsafe internally (because of our dysregulated nervous system), and they will resolve once we have resolved the feelings / resolved the distressing event(s).
Some therapies, including Suggestion Hypnotherapy, fast phobia cures, CBT, NLP, EFT (tapping), can sometimes offer some relief by aiming for “symptom control”. This is usually achieved by the input of positive suggestions, or by re-conditioning typical reactions, and by teaching people coping mechanisms. A good example of this are the courses people can take to overcome their fear of flying. All of these approaches are good news if they prove successful. The difficulty is that, because these methods aren’t actually dealing with the underlying dysregulated nervous system and the emotional conflict, any success may be either temporary and the original phobia will return, or it may seem permanent but a different fear or phobia or anxiety-related problem can develop, usually within a matter of weeks. This is because the underlying emotional conflict has not been resolved.
However, it is possible to resolve the causes of fears and phobias permanently using appropriate therapy.
I offer different approaches to help resolve fears and phobias and the choice of which one (or more) to take depends on the individual, their circumstances, and their history – the decision is usually made during the initial consultation.
Please browse my site for information on the various therapies / approaches that I practise.
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Call me now on 07722783490 or 01424 772392 to book your free 30 minute initial consultation.