Some phobias can be avoided – if you fear flying, don’t fly! And if you fear injections, don’t go to countries where you need vaccinations.
For Trypanophobia (the posh word for a fear of injections) that would have worked….until recently. But for many, it can now create insomnia, nausea and anguish.
However, phobias can be resolved, or at least reduced, relatively easily so that those acute feelings of anxiety are no longer triggered in the same way.
(PS: there is a video on this topic that you can watch here)
How is a phobia created?
There are two main ways phobias are created:
1. Trauma – a high level of emotion is attached to a memory and whenever that memory is triggered, the emotion is triggered too.
2. Learned behaviour – this is created typically from a young age where a child sees an adult respond in a certain way to a trigger (such as running from a spider) and their mind creates the association between the trigger and the response.
A phobia of needles is most commonly in the first camp, and often created from a traumatic event in early adolescence where vaccinations are conducted at school. The kids all line up and they may see a person faint, or even hear about it. They then fear that the same may happen to them – so in many cases the phobia is not about the injection itself, but the risk of embarrassment at fainting!
How do you treat a phobia?
In the work that I do with clients I use three very powerful techniques which, when combined, can dramatically reduce the phobic response.
1. The rewind or fast phobia method
This is a simple method of looking back at the memory from a number of perspectives and then rewinding and fast forwarding the memory. It has the impact of ‘wearing the memory out’ so that there is no more emotion attached to it.
2. The Swish pattern
I love this method as it is really playful. It is a technique to train the mind that when it is triggered, it replaces the old associations with new ones. The mind is very easily led and this is a technique in leading the mind into what you want to focus on rather than it giving you what it thinks is best. And it’s really fun!
3. Timeline therapy
This is a way of looking back on the memory but from the perspective of the adult you are now, bringing to it your mature knowledge and awareness. The young mind can often add 2 & 2 and create 5 – and it runs that programme because no-one ever tells it not to. However, by bringing in that new mature knowledge and saying 2+2=4, the brain clicks into this new equation and 4 is a different feeling to 5!
How quickly can it be done?
I normally have 2 sessions with people to resolve phobias. And those sessions can be as close together as you want. The impact can be immediate.
I worked with a lady once who had a fear of lifts. She left the session, drove to a local department store that had a lift and spent 5 minutes travelling up and down in it!
Another man had a fear of eating chicken. He went from the session straight to Waitrose and bought a roast chicken and sat in the car park and ate it.
(More phobia stories here)
The mind is a very powerful thing, all we do in the work together is teach you how to harness that power.
What phobias can be treated?
All of them! A phobia is an acute fear of something specific. It does not matter what the ‘something’ is as what we are working with is the fear.
I have worked with phobias of spiders, dogs, birds, lifts, flying, stairs, hills, eating cooked chicken, daddy longlegs, needles, blood, driving, being sick, answering the phone….and I would love to keep adding to that list.
So if you have a phobia here is my message to you:
If you would like to know more, please use the contact page to pop me a message and we can have a quick informal chat so I can tell you more.