What to do about your own phobia?
A phobia is an irrational fear that is driven by our emotions, which is why will-power, facts and reassurance tend to have little impact. Of course, this doesn’t stop us trying to intellectually ‘understand it’ so we examine the past and try to remember or figure out how the phobia developed in the belief that a rational understanding will reduce its impact it rarely does, by the way.)
This search for an explanation is quite natural – especially when we don’t know any other way of tackling it.
Opinions about phobias
So first a few opinions – I’ve called them that rather than ‘facts’ because they are, of course, not universally accepted facts. They are accepted by most people in the world of NLP and they are supported by my own experience of working as a therapist for about 22 years. Yet many, including those therapists who believe that ‘curing’ a phobia should be a long and very expensive process, would disagree with them.
A phobia is an emotional fearful response which is rarely based on objective facts or reality.
A phobia can happen to anyone – it is not a reflection on one’s strength or character, intelligence, will-power, etc.
A phobia can develop at any age
A phobia can normally be ‘eradicated’ in a few hours, at most…
Self Help for phobias?
Although I am an enthusiastic believer in self help methods for most difficulties I believe self help methods are best used with phobias only as a last resort – when there is no other choice available.
Yes, you can eradicate most phobias on your own but it can be a long, slow process. The best self help method is the “NLP Fast Phobia Fix” but, without thorough NLP training and skill, it is not easy to use for yourself.
Next best is an old, tried and tested approach called Systematic Desensitisation. This works – but does tend to take a long time – and most people are not persistent with them. If you do decide to adopt a self help approach here are some tips:
Learn to relax
- Prepare a hierarchy of fears
- Use desensitisation to dissolve the items in your hierarchy
- Use other anxiety management methods to support your desensitisation. Breathing Methods and Self Talk management are especially helpful.
NLP help for phobias
I would recommend that, if it is at all possible, you seek a professional therapist who is experienced in phobia eradication using NLP. I no longer work as a therapist so I have no ulterior motive here nor am I attempting to sell my own services. NLP is quite simply the quickest and easiest route that I have come across. Find a therapist who has also trained in NLP to Master Practitioner level because, when properly and professionally used, NLP can generally eradicate any phobia in between 30 minutes and two or three hours. For example:
Most single issue phobias ( such as insects, animals, etc.) can be resolved in up to 30 minutes.
More complex phobias such as fear of flying or claustrophobia may require up to three hours.
Panic attacks and what is often called ‘social phobia’ tend to be symptoms of different forms of stress and are likely to need a more thorough approach – and longer time – than a phobia.
Hypnosis for phobias?
What about hypnosis? Yes, it can work for some people. But NLP has the advantage that it doesn’t matter whether or not you are a good ‘trance subject’. And, as you are conscious and playing a very active part throughout the process you may find the NLP approach more self-empowering.
How to find a therapist
If you live in the UK check out http://www.nlptca.com. This is not an organisation of “phobia specialists” but of NLP therapists and Member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy. They have an on-line listing of members on the website.
There is also a find-a-therapist site here: http://www.find-a-therapist.com