Written by:
Emma Naughton
Published on:
January 13, 2022

Hypnotherapy for Phobias

What is a Phobia?

Phobias are an extreme reaction to a situation, event or object. If you have a phobia it will significantly effect your ability to enjoy and participate in these situations. You will likely be hypervigilant (constantly looking thinking of and looking for the cause of your phobia) and unable to relax, you may panic and notice physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, stomach churning. You will either completely avoid or feel extremely uncomfortable in that situation and that feeling won't pass until you are sure that the thing or situation is no longer a threat.

Phobias are very often irrational responses, you may be aware that it is very unlikely to cause you harm but you cannot control your reaction.

Types of Phobias


These phobias are related to a very specific situation, event or object and the reaction will only occur when faced with it. For example, a fear of flying is specific, you only fear flying if you are thinking about travelling on a plane or when you are actually on a plane. You wouldn’t live your everyday life In fear as the situation isn’t present, and you are unlikely to be looking for planes or worried you might have to go on a plane tomorrow if there was no need.

Common phobias of this type include:

·     Spiders

·     Rats

·     Snakes

·     Needles

·     Flying

·     Dogs

·     Cats

·     Dentist

·     Holes (trypophobia)

These phobias will often develop when you have a traumatic experience with the object or situation and your anxiety levels are already very high. The phobia is transferred and stored in your memory. It can be learned from others if they have a phobia and they transfer that anxiety and association to you. 

General Phobias

These are still related to a situation or event but they are more general in that they might be inferred. For example, if you had a phobia of being sick it might manifest in a wider health anxiety, the fear of germs or getting ill in case you feel or are sick. You might fear other people being sick in case It makes you sick. It is the same of any phobia where there are exceptions for example heights, you might fear heights in general but be able to travel in a lift or be able to sit on the second floor of a double decker bus.


How can solution focused hypnotherapy support phobia?

Phobias are an irrational fear where we lose the intellectual ability to rationalise, this thought pattern is learned and then referred to next time, therefore reinforced. Solution focused hypnotherapy explains how this process happens and that information helps to regain control of the situation. Trance also allows us to relax and access the subconscious which helps to reduce our anxiety, when we feel less anxious we have more control over our thoughts and can assess the situation with clarity.

Phobia treatment with Solution Focused Hypnotherapy involves a consultation to discuss the goal - i.e. remove the fear you currently have and an explanation of why you have that phobia and what happens in your brain each time you are faced with that situation. Then a further 3 sessions, one where we just go over that information and use trance to relax you, help you remember the information and get you used to feeling completely relaxed. The next session involved rewinding the phobia which allows the brain to remove the negative association with the phobia in our memory, this is done in trance and is all visual no exposure or talking about the situations are every involved. Finally a reframe (describing and visualising your perfect day) allows us to create new positive thoughts to replace the existing negative ones, this allows us to learn new ways to think in that situation that are rational and controlled.

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