Hypnosis for phobias
Why phobias don’t always make sense
People can be embarrassed by their phobias particularly if they feel they are unusual or silly. It’s almost as if there is a hierarchy of fear. It’s okay to be scared of sharks and tigers as they can potentially kill you. It’s natural to feel a bit uncomfortable walking into a room full of people if you don’t know them. A fear of snakes seems reasonable as there are some with venom which could do you some harm (although in the UK outside of the zoo the chances of even seeing one is remote). But a phobia of balloons or even buttons? That’s just plain weird isn’t it?
If you have a phobia of something innate like buttons and you feel embarrassed about it don’t. You’re not alone and it does make sense. To your unconscious mind a tiger and a balloon can be equally terrifying because the unconscious mind works on patterns. That’s how we humans learn so quickly and it’s served us well since Neolitihic times. We compare what we’re experiencing to what we already know and make a judgement. That tiger looks quite like a lion. I know lions are scary because one attacked my friend. Hence I’ll stay away from tigers too. If we had to try out all dangerous situations first hand in order to learn they are dangerous we wouldn’t have lasted very long.
This comparison is done at lightening speed on an unconscious level. The input arrives in your brain from your senses, your unconscious mind makes a judgement based on what it already knows and it reacts on your behalf before you’ve had time to think about it. On the whole this works really well and helps us to learn fast but when it goes wrong it can cause problems. For example when you know rationally that balloons can’t do you any harm but in that moment you feel terrified. It’s only afterwards that you feel embarrassed at your own behaviour. This isn’t your fault, in fact it’s a faulty pattern match in your unconscious.
Someone may have burst a balloon close to you when you were a small child and given you a fright or maybe you were carrying a balloon when you tripped and fell down a flight of stairs. Your unconscious identified the balloon as one of the factors present when you were highly distressed and now identifies it with danger. You may have no clue at all why you have this phobia and you don’t have to in order to get rid of it.
With hypnosis we can retrain your unconscious to realise this isn’t a dangerous situation, it doesn’t have to bring your attention to it and there’s no need to fire off the fight or flight response. Imagine both your unconscious and conscious being on the same page? Knowing it won’t do you any harm but more importantly feeling that way too.