Fear is a healthy response to any situation that is likely to cause danger or put life at risk.  A phobia however is an irrational fear of something that is highly unlikely to cause danger if any at all, for example, arithmophobia (fear of numbers).

Phobias are extremely common and often created in childhood. They can relate to a specific incident or situation, passed on from one family member to another or sometimes the person may be completely unaware as to when or where the phobia was developed.  

Some of the most common phobias people suffer with can be split into two categories, they are;

Simple or specific phobias such as:
  • Animal phobias – such as dogs, spiders, snakes or rodents
  • Environmental phobias – such as heights, deep water and germs
  • Situational phobias – such as visiting the dentist or flying
  • Bodily phobias – such as blood, vomit or having injections
  • Sexual phobias – such as performance anxiety or the fear of getting a sexually transmitted infection

And complex phobias, such as:
  • Social phobia – social anxiety disorder; the dread of normal everyday activities
  • Agoraphobia – the fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or that help wouldn't be available if things were to go wrong.

When someone experiences a phobic response, the fight or flight mechanism in the subconscious part of the brain is triggered. This can leave the sufferer completely debilitated and they may experience a number of the following symptoms:

• Trembling
• Sweating
• Nausea
• Upset stomach
• Headaches
• Racing heart
• Blushing
• Palpitations
• Difficulty talking
• Dry mouth
• Feeling faint or dizzy
• Difficulty focusing
• Shallow, fast breathing
Because phobias are a subconscious reaction, they can often be dealt with easily and effectively through the use of hypnosis. The therapist works with the client using desensitisation techniques and by creating new associations allows the client to create a new way of responding. By creating a new response the client is empowered, feeling free to fully enjoy life more comfortably and confidently than they ever thought possible.