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Hypnotherapy for Phobias & Fears

Imagine a future without fear, no longer held back by your phobias
What would you be doing differently?

Hypnotherapy can help you overcome fears, reduce phobic responses and allow you to respond calmly to your triggers.

Whether your fear of flying is preventing you from taking your dream holiday or visiting family, whether you see spiders in every corner, or you fear passing on your irrational phobia to your children, just a few sessions of hypnotherapy can make a real difference, allowing you to take back control and live your life to the full.

How many sessions of hypnotherapy do I need to treat a phobia?

Every client is different, but for clients seeing me to help with a specific phobia, I typically expect to see positive change within 3 sessions.

How much does hypnotherapy for fear or phobia cost?

I offer a free, no obligation initial consultation and individual hypnotherapy sessions for phobias and fears cost £80 each.

Many of my phobia clients choose to book a pre-paid package of 3 hypnotherapy sessions at the discounted price of £220.

Can I get hypnotherapy for phobias on the NHS?

While some hypnotherapists are registered as NHS providers and your GP may suggest hypnotherapy to treat an irrational fear or phobia, you cannot usually get hypnotherapy for phobias on the NHS.

The NHS recommend seeking help only from trained hypnotherapists registered with an organisation recognised by the Professional Standards Authority, such as the Complimentary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Please do not hesitate to contact me or my professional organisations to check my qualifications or registrations.

Will my health insurance cover hypnotherapy for phobias?

Some private cash plans do cover clinical hypnotherapy but the criteria and level of cover varies. Please contact your medical insurance provider directly to check conditions and therapies covered.

How do I find a good hypnotherapist in my area?

I offer hypnotherapy in person to clients suffering from fear and phobias in Maidstone, Kent and the surrounding areas (Allington, Aylesford, Barming, Bearsted, Kings Hill, Rochester, Tonbridge, West Malling etc.) at the Cosmopolitan Medical Clinic in Maidstone.

I also offer convenient online sessions via Zoom with clients across the UK, including Northern Ireland.

To find solution focused hypnotherapists in your area who are also working in person, please check the AfSFH Directory.

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What is a phobia?

A phobia is defined as an irrational fear and is a form of anxiety. This may be a fear of something which poses no risk to you, or a response which is excessive or irrational to something which only poses minimal risk.

What does a phobic response feel like?

The physical response to a phobia trigger is called a 'stress response' and is characterised by a strong feeling of revulsion and the primitive brain response. When you are triggered by your phobia, you may experience:

  • A need to run away or escape the situation
  • Feeling frozen to the spot ('paralysed with fear')
  • Increased heart rate (a racing heart or palpitations)
  • Churning stomach or “butterflies”
  • Nausea, sickness or diarrhea
  • Tightness in your chest
  • Fast breathing or hyperventilation
  • Tense muscles
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Panic

What causes phobias?

‘Why am I scared of...flying? dogs? dentists?’

Aware that our response is irrational or excessive, we often feel silly for feeling scared, but cannot control it in the moment.

Phobias are a learned behaviour, created when the brain associates a particular trigger or pattern with a stressful experience. There may be an obvious cause for the phobia – turbulence on a flight, an encounter with an aggressive dog – but often, clients have no memory of any stressful incident prior to the phobia developing – as far as they are concerned, it’s something that has always been there and that they cannot easily reason away.

We can also ‘inherit’ phobias, perhaps from our parents – when a child sees their parent react with fear to a spider, for instance, they quickly learn that those particular creepy crawlies are scary, and to be avoided at all costs.

These learned fear patterns are stored in the hippocampus, part of our primitive brain, which allows us to react quickly and decisively to protect ourselves the next time we encounter our trigger.

The phobic physical response is a signal from our brain that we are in danger.

Phobia patterns are stored in the hippocampus, part of the primitive brain

Are we born with any phobias?

Humans are born with two innate fears – the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling, both primitive fears which have evolved to ensure our survival.

The majority of our fears and phobias are learned responses, influenced by our surroundings and culture. These environmentally influenced responses, while they may feel deeply ingrained and automatic, can also be unlearned. Hypnotherapy can gently and effectively retrain your brain and support the unlearning process.

What is the difference between a fear and a phobia?

Fear is a natural human emotion which serves to protect us, and which will usually subside once we have removed ourselves from imminent danger. Phobia is an anxiety response, which is either irrational in itself (a fear of something which cannot harm us), or disproportionate to the level of danger. Phobic reactions are often prolonged beyond the period of danger and, as our brains cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality, can be triggered just by thinking about it, or seeing a picture of our phobia trigger.

Where we are triggered by something we have to deal with regularly, we often change our behaviour to avoid the uncomfortable phobic response, affecting our day to day lives.

What are the most common phobias?

You can have a phobia of absolutely anything, but the most common phobias currently treated by hypnotherapists, according to the National Council for Hypnotherapy are:

Woman responding with fear
  • Fear of confined spaces
  • Fear of dentists
  • Fear of dogs
  • Fear of flying
  • Fear of heights
  • Fear of needles
  • Fear of pregnancy
  • Fear of sickness
  • Fear of spiders & other insects
  • Fear of water

Why can't I control my fear?

We store phobia patterns in our hippocampus, in the original, primitive part of our brain. When something triggers a match with these patterns, this primitive part of the brain takes over and we move into survival mode, with an automatic subconscious stress response of fight, flight or freeze.

While our rational intellectual mind does have the ability to override the automatic response, stress hormones can muffle the signal, leaving us caught in this irrational fear response.

Why is my phobia getting worse?

Clients often come to me with fears that seem to be getting worse for no apparent reason and are starting to affect their daily lives. This is usually down to stress in another area of their life, which is increasing anxiety levels and pushing them to spend more time in their primitive brain, so heightening their phobic responses.

Through hypnotherapy, we are able to help alleviate anxiety and reduce overwhelm, bringing their phobias back under control.

Can phobias be treated with hypnotherapy?

Yes. Hypnotherapy is quick and effective in helping people whose lives are affected by fears and phobias.

Which phobias can be successfully treated with hypnotherapy?

All phobias, no matter how unusual, can be treated effectively with hypnotherapy. Specific phobias, such as fear of flying or needle phobia can be treated in just three sessions. More complex phobias or clients requiring help with a number of overlapping issues usually benefit from some stress reduction sessions to get the most benefit from phobia treatment but would usually see positive change within 6 sessions.

Phobias I can help include: Claustrophobia, Dentists, Emetophobia, Flying, Germs, Heights, Insects, Needles, Snakes, Spiders, Trypophobia (Fear of holes) and many more.

"Melanie Brooks is a very professional and compassionate hypnotherapist who supported me to overcome a long-standing phobia of being a passenger in a car. The process took four sessions, conducted via Zoom, and despite my trepidation about addressing this issue, I need not have worried and it has been extremely effective. I am now able to be driven without anxiety."
County Down, Northern Ireland
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How does hypnotherapy for phobias work?

We use a combination of relaxing hypnosis and NLP techniques to process the instinctive emotional phobia response stored in your hippocampus and move it to a narrative memory which you have control of.

Once the subconscious pattern has been changed and the phobic response reduced, we work together in hypnosis to create new preferred patterns and responses, allowing you to change your behaviour and feelings.

Will I need to confront my fear?

Absolutely not. Many phobia treatments rely on ‘exposure therapy’, gradually increasing exposure to your trigger, encouraging phobic patients to face fears. When even mentioning your phobia sends shivers down your spine, this can be a significant barrier to treatment.

Solution focused hypnotherapy is a gentler but no less effective approach to phobia reduction - there is no need to come face to face with your fear at any time and clients are often surprised by the lack of fear they experience. We keep discussion of your triggers to an absolute minimum ensuring you remain calm and comfortable throughout your sessions.

What to expect from hypnotherapy for phobia

In your initial consultation, we will discuss what you want to achieve and the best treatment plan for you. A typical treatment plan to address a specific phobia would include:

  • Relaxing hypnosis Reducing general anxiety and get you in a positive, relaxed frame of mind
  • ’Rewind’ session - Moving the phobia from an emotional memory stored in your hippocampus to an intellectual memory which you have control of, reducing the phobic response.
  • ’Reframe’ session - Replacing your old negative pattern with a new positive response.

Each session will include relaxing hypnosis, allowing you time to process and absorb, reducing your levels of anxiety and ensuring you are in a positive state of mind.

I provide every client with a self-hypnosis relaxation mp3 to reinforce the positive change between sessions and once treatment is complete.

Book your FREE initial consultation