Helping Fears / 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 / 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. I am also consulted for many other fears / phobias. These include arachnophobia, fear of spiders; claustrophobia, fear of enclosed spaces; acrophobia, fear of heights; aerophobia, fear of flying, and many others.
What Causes Fears / Phobias?
Neuroscientific research over recent decades has found that strong fears / phobias have their origin in past events which have been distressing or traumatic. Thus these events dysregulate to our nervous system. The events are often long-forgotten by the time a fear or phobia develops. We often cannot remember how or why our fear or phobia started. Nevertheless, a part of our brain, called the limbic system, stores the emotional memory of the events. And our nervous system remains dysregulated until we resolve the difficult events.
Sometimes the distressing event(s) or trauma are directly connected to the object of our fear in some way. Sometimes they are not. When they are not connected, then we (subconsciously) create the fear / phobia as a ‘frame of reference’. A way of explaining and understanding, the inner discomfort – that sense of ‘something bad about to happen’ – caused by our dysregulated nervous system. Most of us are not aware that we have any inner discomfort because the way we feel inside is our ‘normal’.
What about panic?
Intense feelings of panic are caused when we are fully ‘triggered’ into our survival response. We go into a fight/flight/freeze response when faced with, or anticipating, the object of our fear. Triggers are usually ‘sensory experiences’ (i.e. a sight, sound, smell, taste, action, or bodily sensation) in the present, which somehow remind the limbic system of the past unresolved event(s). Triggers can be diverse, so it can be difficult to pinpoint them although we can work on this. It is fair to say that the vast majority of situations involving our phobias are not directly life-threatening. So we don’t really need a survival response. However once triggered, our limbic system will still ‘sound the alarm’ AS IF we are in danger now. We are vulnerable to all sorts of triggers until we properly resolve the emotional conflict or trauma .
A phobia may be specific where we fear a single object or situation, such as arachnophobia (fear of spiders) or aerophobia (fear of flying). Or a phobia may be more generalised. As a result, we may fear a range of situations, such as emetophobia (fear of vomiting) or claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces). Or perhaps sociophobia (which is broadly a fear of judgement/rejection).
Top Ten Fears / Phobias
The top ten fears and phobias are as follows:
- Arachnophobia ~ Fear of spiders
- Sociophobia ~ (broadly…) we fear judgement / rejection 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, we tend to start arranging our lives to fit around our fears / phobias. We try to ‘accommodate’ them as far as possible. We may gradually limit our lifestyle to try to avoid situations which may ‘trigger’ our fear or phobia. This is because fears / phobias are basically ‘safety-seeking’ behaviours. We develop them because we feel unsafe internally (because of our dysregulated nervous system). 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, these methods don’t usually work with the underlying emotional conflict. As a result, any apparent success may only be temporary. In which case, 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 we have not properly resolved the underlying emotional conflict.
However, it is possible to resolve the causes of fears and phobias permanently using appropriate therapy.
I offer different approaches to help resolve fears / phobias. The choice of which one (or more) to take depends on the individual, their circumstances, and their history. We usually make the decision together 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.