Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, and Hypnotherapists

> Hypnosis and Phobias

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines a phobia as an irrational, excessive and persistent fear of some thing or situation.  Regardless of what the logical or conscious mind knows and says, these fears persist in the subconscious mind where they are lodged.  Since hypnosis is the most direct way into the subconscious, it stands to reason that it can become the instrument of disarming the irrational fear.

Most phobias can be traced to an initial sensitizing event (define or give examples) and an activating event (define or give examples).  These can be separate events or parts of the same event.  The objective of therapy is to discover the cause(s) and desensitize the client from the fear.

I recently worked with a woman who hadn’t flown in 10 years because flying made her physically ill.  After one session she flew to the Bahamas and actually enjoyed the trip!  She subsequently flies everywhere.

Simple phobias are those isolated single fears such as a fear of cats but not rabbits, a fear of flying, a fear of being in an enclosed space, etc.  These simple phobias can usually be effectively treated in very few sessions.

Complex phobias are multi-faceted.  While there may have been one single activating event, the phobia may not be the real problem at all but rather a symptom of some deeper unresolved issues.  Often there is a strong emotional component related to the phobia such as low self-esteem attached to a fear of urinating in a public restroom (Bashful Bladder Syndrome) coupled with an abusive parent, etc.

Usually the emotional issues must be resolved in order to completely clear the phobia.  While hypnotherapy may prove helpful, it must be done through psychological counseling, psychotherapy, pastoral counseling, or marriage counseling.

What is Hypnosis? | What is a Hypnotherapist? | Choosing a Hypnotherapist | Why does Hypnotherapy Work? | Pain Management through Hypnosis | Hypnosis and Phobias | Hypnosis and Human Memory | Hypnosis and Sports Psychology | Hypnosis and Stress Management


Referring to this article:
“Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, and Hypnotherapists” was written by G. Edward Riley, M.Div., CH, Certified Master Hypnotherapist, and C. J. Newton, MA, and published in the Find Counseling.com (formerly TherapistFinder.net) Mental Health Journal in April, 2001.

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