Overcoming Fear & Phobias with Hypnotherapy
By Brooke Lemke, Hypnotherapist at Genesis Health System
Fears have a known origin. Phobias do not have a known origin. To go a little deeper, fears have a logical threat--a cause and effect. The fear is real. Phobias have more anxiety attached to them and are typically associated with low-blood sugar. Low-blood sugar creates a pseudo fight/flight, which is why there’s no know origin attached to it.
Fear, Phobia, and the Subconscious
By now, if you’ve read the other blogs, you’re beginning to understand the role of the subconscious. The subconscious’ only goal is to keep you alive. Sometimes it does too good of a job, like preventing you from getting on an airplane, going back to playing sports, giving a speech, getting a shot, going to the dentist, etc.
When a fear or phobia is preventing someone from living a full, quality life, they tend to seek out hypnotherapy. Why? Because they know fears and phobias live in the subconscious, and hypnotherapy works with the subconscious!
Working with a Phobia
For phobias, we use desensitization. I’ll use an example of a fear of an MRI machine for claustrophobic reasons.
First, we would bring up the desired feeling. Let’s say the client wants to feel peaceful. In hypnosis, we bring up that feeling until it’s felt in the mind and body, and fully accepted by the subconscious.
Second, once the desired feeling is achieved, we walk through the procedure step-by-step. As long as the client is feeling the desired emotion of peace, we continue to the next step of the procedure. The moment the client loses that peace, we start back at the beginning and go through the steps however many times needed until the client can make it through. Basically, we bore the subconscious into accepting the new associations.
Working with Fear
Fears can be treated with the same method as phobias. However, since fears have a known origin, we can also use circle therapy.
In circle therapy, we are able to bring up the fear itself in hypnosis and pass it until it proves difficult to even bring up the fear. Once the fear itself is released, we challenge the subconscious to bring up the thought of the fear and its associated desire until it can no longer do so. Again, we do this until we bore the subconscious so it no longer feels the threat of the fear.
Creating an Anchor
For both fears and phobias, we also create an anchor. We are able to attach the desired feeling to an action with the hand. Maybe it’s pressing the thumb and index finger together. We create this association cognitively and reinforce it in hypnosis. The anchor is my favorite tool since it’s easy and, with practice, it gives the client control in less than desirable situations.
Like all hypnotherapy, the number of sessions varies from person-to-person. What matters most is that you’re committed and serious about taking control! You show up, do your homework, and I’ll do the rest! Together we can have success!
Request a free phone consult
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