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Fears and Phobias

Fear: A distressing emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or is a threat.

Phobia: An extreme and irrational 'conditioned response' or aversion to something.

It is believed that around 20% of people suffer from a phobia, which can cause intense feelings of anxiety and embarrassment.

An even higher percentage of the population are fearful of certain things but can generally function in their day-to-day life without the fear having too much of an impact on what they can or can't do.

Phobias often relate to specific things like enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), flying, heights, needles, dogs or spiders.

Some phobias stem from the fear of embarrassing yourself in front of others. This is known as a 'social' phobia. There are many different types of social phobia including a fear of giving presentations, some forms of agoraphobia in which you daren't even go out, a fear of going into pubs or to parties, and a fear of urinating in public toilets (paruresis).

Some phobias such as a fear of being sick (emetophobia) are masked by a different presenting fear. For example, someone who is scared of flying may in fact be fearful of being sick in public. This fear stops them from flying since they worry about being able to get to a cubicle in time, should they feel ill.

It is said that we are born with just two fears - the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. All others are learned. As we go through life we are continually learning unconsciously. We learn through experience and our responses to the different situations that present themselves. Fear is also learned in this way. A fear or phobia is learned very quickly. It is an automatic response that is often reinforced over time. Eventually someone can become fearful merely at the thought of their fear, or at the mention of a particular word.

The mind is very powerful. From just one experience, the feeling of fear can become attached to anything that relates to that fear. However much we may try to logically, consciously control and rationalise that fear, the unconscious always wins through and the fear or phobia remains.

Our unconscious is there to protect us. Once the unconscious believes that there is something to be frightened of, it will do everything it can to ensure we avoid situations or the things that cause us to be fearful. Since the fears are programmed responses in our mind, we need to deal with these responses at an unconscious level. For that reason, hypnotherapy, EMDR and NLP are effectively used for removing fears and phobias, leaving you feeling calm and in control.

Freedom from a phobia allows you to live a normal, happy and rewarding life with no unnecessary limitations...

For a list of some of the different fears and phobias that may successfully be treated, please click here.