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What is a Phobia?

A phobia is an extreme form of fear which is excessive in comparison to the level of threat posed by the situation or object which triggered it. It can be triggered by a wide variety of objects and situations – at Bon Accord Hypnotherapy I have helped people with phobias about flying, dentists, dogs, heights, even fish to name but a few. For those of you who like lists and names click here!

Those of us who have experienced a phobic reaction know only too well how different it is from simply being scared or disliking something. Many of us dislike spiders. We may even ask someone else to deal with one when it in our house. However for some one who experiences a phobia, the physical and emotional symptoms triggered can be utterly overwhelming. And if the subject of your phobia is commonly occurring, it is not unusual for people to organise their lives around avoiding it.

Symptoms may include:

  • Dizziness, even fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Panic
  • Crying and screaming
  • An overwhelming need to run away
  • Increased heart rate or palpitations
  • Shaking

My own experience

How do I know all of this? Because I’ve been there. You’ll notice there are no pictures on this page of things that people tend to be scared of. I understand how distressing they can be. I was once described by a Professor at the Glasgow Dental School as the worst dental phobic he had ever seen and he openly admitted that he didn’t know what to do with me. Even toothpaste adverts on the TV would trigger a response and the fact that I managed to sit through my sister’s graduation (yes, she is a dentist!) is still a source of amazement to me.

Despite 30 plus years of this however, I’m about to have extensive dental work done thanks to years of neglect and am actually looking forward to it! So how did I manage it? Solution Focused Hypnotherapy of course. Even my sister is impressed!

man covering his face in fear and sadness

How can Solution Focused Hypnotherapy help?

An important place to start is by demystifying the reaction and explaining why it happens and this is explained in the initial consultation. Conscious reasoning and rationalising is no use whatsoever in the majority of cases – no matter how much you tell yourself that sharks in the UK are highly unlikely to kill you, the instant terror when one pops up on an advert for the latest TV natural history programme doesn’t go away. Here at Bon Accord Hypnotherapy I use a combination of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) based techniques according to your needs to safely rewrite the phobic response template stored in your brain with a template for how you want to react. There is no need for aversion techniques – no pictures and absolutely no real objects, I promise.

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