fears and phobias

Whatever your particular fear, or phobia I will explain how phobias are created, phobia symptoms and perhaps more importantly, how hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help with phobia treatment.

If you’re particular fear or phobia isn't mentioned, don't worry, simply contact me for further details or look at the phobias a-z or phobias list.

As well as the specific phobias, there are also the complex phobias of social phobia, social anxiety, or social anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces). These can also be very distressing and debilitating, in a wide range of situations.

Read more about social phobia

A phobia is an external representation of an internal anxiety’ See Phobia a-z list

Most phobias are irrational, in the sense that whatever is feared is thought to be dangerous by the subconscious mind, but in reality are not threatening our survival in any way and so most phobias are not directly related to the cause of the emotion, they are symbolic of it.

fear of snakes

The most obvious example is the fear of snakes - how many people do you know who have been harmed by a snake? None? It is an interesting fact that per capita there are just as many snake phobics in Ireland as in any country in the world. However there are no snakes native to Ireland - so in effect apart from zoos there are no snakes in Ireland! So where did all those people go to get frightened of snakes? Their fear doesn't have anything to do with snakes, they have a fear/strong emotional reaction to being out of control - which their mind symbolises and then projects onto snakes and associations to snakes!

When we are growing up as children we go through all kinds of experiences and sometimes those experiences are unpleasant and the emotions are intense. When these emotions are very strong our minds 'bottle them up' and manages to detach (or repress) the unpleasant emotions, from the situation that caused it.

This leaves the mind with a strong anxiety or fear, and nothing to attach it to. Because anxiety is extremely bad for your health, your mind will try to find a way to release this anxiety or fear and will therefore attach it symbolifear and panic in a lifecally to a real object or situation that it does know about, be it birds, an enclosed space, a lift, buttons ... whatever it may find.

Whenever the person now comes into contact with the object or situation (say, a lift), they feel the fear that the subconscious mind has associated with it, it becomes a phobia.

Sometimes, however, phobias can develop after experiencing something.  The initial trigger incident, may vary from a bad experience, witnessing something bad, seeing something terrible on TV, or even just hearing about something terrible.

Or, a child may model their behaviour on that of their role model who has a phobia in their own right, and as a result, this can cause the child to become phobic as well.  Children can quickly pick up on a parent’s fear, absorb it and create a learned behaviour pattern, and thus developed a conditioned phobic response.

There are as many phobias as there are objects and situations in this world – virtually anything can become symbolised as the object of a phobia.

shadows of fear and phobiaA fear is an unpleasant reaction we feel when confronted with real danger. It is an essential 'fight or flight' instinct, which makes us prepare to either run away from that danger, or stick around and fight it out.
A phobia on the other hand (while still a very strong and unpleasant reaction), is an irrational fear which has been 'symbolically attached' to an object, or situation, which causes little or no real danger.

There will usually be strong avoidance behaviour connected with the phobia, which will run alongside intense feelings of anxiety, loss of control and panic.

Sometimes, confrontation with the phobia, can even lead to fainting, but this is usually only associated with blood, injury, or needle-type phobias.

There are two types of phobias; specific phobias and complex phobias (social phobia , social anxiety, and social anxiety disorder)

Specific phobias can be categorised into five main types:

Fear of Animals:
rats,mice, spiders, insects, snakes, birds, dogs or cats
Fear of the Environment:
water, thunderstorms, heights, fire, and the dark
Physical Fears:
such as injections, the sight of blood, dentistry, surgical operations
Fears of Situations:
such as flying, lifts, driving, heights, tunnels, bridges, hospitals, enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), illness or germs and being sick or vomiting.

Phobias a-z and Phobias List

phobias a-z. some typical phobias are:

the fear of heights
fear of needles
the fear of spiders
the fear of flying
the fear of enclosed spaces
toilet phobia, fear of going to the toilet
the fear of being sick
fear of blood
the fear of water
fear of doctors or fear of going to the doctor
fear of hospitals
fear of dentists
the fear of disease
Shy Bladder / Shy Pee
a toilet phobia
fear of death or fear of dying
fear of injections
man in fear

The phobic person will carefully avoid any potential contact with their fear and the resulting feelings of fear and panic attacks. This leads to a limited life with all that goes with it; depending on the type of phobia it can sometimes result in it being difficult to work and loss of income, difficult or strained relationships or even a commitment phobia and all the other potential implications of living a life of avoidance.

Pure Hypnoanalysis, a special type of hypnotherapy, is one of the best therapies available for treating phobias. Some therapies try and provide a quick cure or just try and contain the symptoms.

Pure Hypnoanalysis doesn't try and treat the symptom of your phobia, but to tackle the root cause of it and by going through this quick process many, many clients have changed their lives for the better.

commitment phobia

uncommited relationship

Commitment phobia is the fear and avoidance of having to commit to anything, relationships in particular, but can include other areas of life such as career or home-ownership.

The term commitment phobia was coined in the popular self-help book Men Who Can't Love in 1987. Following criticism of the perceived sexist idea that only men were commitment phobic, the authors provided a more gender balanced model of commitment phobia in a later work, He's Scared, She's Scared.

People tend to think of Commitment Phobics as people who run away from relationships, in fact some Commitments Phobics do not run away, but rather settle for inappropriate partners. They can have been in a long-term relationship and suddenly the fear kicks in and they feel trapped.

It can also spill over into others areas of life such as career and home-ownership.

Commitment Phobia Symptoms.

The most typical symptoms of Commitment Phobia are:chain and ball relationship

  • Being overly critical of the other partner in the relationship
  • Hurting or annoying their partner
  • Rejecting others right from the go – scared of being noticed
  • Sabotaging the relationship in all kinds of ways
  • Being flirtatious and affectionate until the fear wins out
  • Having a series of relationships – considered promiscuous by friends
  • Deliberately choosing a person who can’t or won’t commit
  • Falling in love with someone they know isn’t interested in a long-term relationship
  • Genuinely want to meet Mr or Miss Right and get married but having unrealistic ideals regarding possible partners
  • Leaving a relationship only to return again later and then repeating it again – the yo-yo effect
  • Afraid of committing to anything whether it be a relationship, family relationships, friendships, having a baby, job, hobby, buying a house or even buying a pair of shoes .....

Commitment Phobia is far more common than you may think. I have seen many people over the years suffering from commitment phobia. I am often contacted by the partner’s of commitment phobics looking for information. Once you understand that you are suffering from commitment phobia then it is important to know that help is available.

It can responds really well to Hypnotherapy and in particular, Pure Hypnoanalysis. The aim is not to ‘control’ it but to resolve the underlying issues.

happy relationship

I always offer a free initial consultation in the first instance.
This is completely confidential and gives you a chance to meet me and be sure you feel comfortable working with me

book free initial consultation

women with a fear of being sick

Emetophobia is a phobia where the sufferer has a tremendous and overwhelming fear of being sick, being sick in public or watching someone else be sick or vomit. Although nobody likes to vomit, or to see others vomiting, those individuals with emetophobia have an extreme preoccupation with vomiting that can severely compromise everyday life. They feel symptoms akin to panic attacks. People that suffer from the fear of being sick are known as Emetophobics or Emetophobes.

Emetophobes tend to be on the lookout for anybody that is even slightly ill in case they come into contact with germs and illness, trying to make sure that there is no way that they can be sick. They can worry about what they eat. Emetophobia can often rule the person's life, dominating their thoughts each and every day. It can and often does turn into a major obsession.

It is interesting that emetophobes are rarely sick themselves. Some report not having been sick since childhood.

I have successfully treated many people with emetophobia, enabling them to lead normal and enjoyable lives, free from these symptoms. See help for emetophobia further down this page.

Some of the more common emetophobia symptoms include the fear of:

Certain jobs and careers
Emetophobes are unable to have a career in which vomiting may be experienced, for example nursing.
Being near children and babies
This fear can include any work or regular contact with young children and babies in nurseries, schools, play areas – or even having babies of one’s own.
due to the possibility of morning sickness
Eating out
Some emetophobes are anxious about eating in restaurants or having take-aways because of Poor hygiene in the preparation of food in the kitchen – and consequent food poisoning, involving vomiting.
Social Activities
Many emetophobes avoid places where there is the possibility of people being drunk. Even a crowded place may increase the risk of being near someone who may vomit.
Being near people who are ill
Anxiety levels can rise when a family member, child or friend is ill – especially if the illness may produce vomiting for any reason.
Some emetophobes avoid travelling on public transport and especially to foreign countries, where food may be unfamiliar. The travelling itself may raise fears of travel sickness.
Out of Date Food or certain foods
avoiding certain foods or worrying about expiry dates of food
particularly cleanliness in the kitchen and watching for any sign of illness in others

There are other symptoms which are related to Emetophobia which can be treated in exactly the same way:

  • Fear of gagging
  • Fear of choking
  • Fear of choking on food

Pure Hypnoanalysis, a special type of hypnotherapy, is one of the best therapies available for treating emetophobia. Some therapies try and provide a quick cure or just try and contain the symptoms.

Pure Hypnoanalysis doesn't try and treat the symptom of your phobia, but to tackle the root cause of it and by going through this quick process many, many clients have changed their lives for the better.

worried if pregnent

Tokophobia is the fear of childbirth and many women suffer in silence

There are two types of Tokophobia:

Primary Tokophobia
this is a morbid and profound fear of giving birth that leads to a complete avoidance of pregnancy, even if the sufferer would love to have children.
Secondary Tokophobia
this is often due to a previous traumatic giving birth experience or poor birth medical attention, post natal depression or other such upsetting events, which renders the sufferer emotionally unable or unwilling to have more children.

As with all phobias there are the symptoms of extreme panic when hearing about childbirth, reading about childbirth or indeed anything childbirth related. Even being around a pregnant woman can induce feelings of real panic or disgust. The thought of giving birth and/or the associated pain is terrifying.

This can result in:

  • Avoidance of pregnancy
  • Request for Caesarean birth where there is no medical need
  • Termination of Pregnancy

pregnancy "The truth is that the very thought of having something almost alien-like growing inside me is disgusting”

"It's not too strong to say that the very thought of childbirth disgusts me in a big way."

"It's much more than an anxiety - I am actually physically repulsed by pregnancy and childbirth."

"I even struggle to be around friends when they are pregnant and can't bear to watch or listen to anything about the process of having a baby”

I specialise in treating all types of anxiety and phobias, and in particular, Tokophobia through my work with hypnobirthing. The good news is that it can respond exceptionally well to pure Hypnoanalysis.

man afraid of driving

Many people suffer from a fear of driving – many more than you would think. It can be very frightening and very inconvenient.

Fear of Driving affects the way people live and work and, like other phobias, can develop at any point in your life. It can develop in first-time drivers who find it difficult to pass their test, through to very experienced drivers. The feelings of anxiety and panic can be extreme enough to stop them contemplating many journeys and making excuses not to drive – closing their world down.

A lot of the clients I have helped have had very similar driving anxieties. The following list shows the main ones, but there are others

Fear of:traffic jam

  • junctions
  • busy roads
  • certain roads/junctions
  • driving in heavy traffic or multiple lanes
  • losing control of the car
  • having an accident
  • overtaking others on motorways
  • joining motorways
  • motorway driving
  • overwhelming panic
  • driving in bad weather
  • even being a passenger

In some, it is just certain roads, junctions, roundabouts and they are fine at others. Many find they can drive in their local town but cannot drive any distance away from it.

As with fear of flying and other phobias, a fear of driving face, is linked to the fear of being out of control or losing control.

There is a very special type of hypnotherapy Pure Hypnoanalysis that can really help with driving phobia (the fear of driving).

Pure Hypnoanalysis doesn't try and treat the symptom of your phobia, but to tackle the root cause of it and by going through this quick process many, many clients have changed their lives for the better.

hand scratching windowUsing hypnotherapy to treat the fear of flying phobia (aerophobia / Aviophobia / Aviophobia / aviatophobia)

Many people suffer from a fear of flying – nearly 1 in 5 in fact!  Fear of flying can range from mild to severe. From feeling uncomfortable, to being absolutely terrified to the point of having panic attacks.

When it is more at the severe end of the scale it becomes difficult to even be able to get on the plane and some people are not even ALLOWED on by the crew or are REMOVED due to the state they are in.

Some people with this severe fear won't even contemplate flying at all. Some cannot even bear to look at aeroplanes or airports.

Whether mild or severe, it can have the devastating effect of dreading or ruining holidays, never being able to visit relatives who live a long way away, missing weddings or other important events, stopping career moves which involve business trips and much more.

As with a lot of phobias fear of flying is usually symbolic. Fear of flying is rarely a fear of flying itself, at a subconscious level it is a fear of being out of control. What you are experiencing is a primitive reaction to danger called the fight or flight instinct (no pun intended!).

The good news is that it is incredibly easy to lose this fear and be able to fly comfortably and even look forward to flying!  I have helped many people to overcome their fear of flying and fly all over the world when they previously would not even think about booking a holiday or flight.

For most phobias we suggest the use of Pure Hypnoanalysis, but if the fear of flying is not too severe, or it is not accompanied by other fears or phobias in a person’s life then clinical (suggestion) hypnotherapy can also help.

Either way, it is still an incredibly fast, easy method to overcome the help for fear of flying.