Did you know that in our country a significant percent of our population suffers from some type of phobia. While for some individuals it can be mildly disturbing but for others it can be completely debilitating.

Phobias, like fear of dogs, fear of water, fear of flying, etc are exceptionally common in society. There are roughly 11.5 million people in the US that suffer from a phobia. Phobia come from the Greek word “phobos”, meaning morbid fear. And you will find that's exactly what your clients will describe to you, an irrational, intense fear of something. Hypnosis has been demonstrated to be an effective tool to help individuals with phobias and irrational fears.

Your client's phobia may be triggered by a situation, a thing, or an activity. And your client will go to great lengths to avoid this fear. When they do tolerate it, it's only with extreme anxiety.

I once had a client who was seeing me for fear of dogs. During the initial interview the client almost suffered an anxiety attack just by describing her fear of dogs and how she felt when she suffered a panic attack when seeing a dog. I noticed as she was describing her feelings that she became flushed, short of breath and teary eyed. Welts appeared on her neck and chest. Her fear of dogs had ended up controlling her life.

When using hypnosis to resolve a fear we seek to regress the client back to the “ISE” – The Initial Sensitizing Event which was the first event that experienced that related to their fear of dogs.

It's interesting to note that the first event is usually not traumatic. However during your client life subsequent events compound on top of the initial event to the point where the client will experience intense fear or develop a phobia.

The hypnotherapists will seek to get the client into an extremely relaxed hypnotic state. The hypnotherapist typically uses age regression or a more advanced technique called “Affect Bridge” to find the initial sensitizing event (the ISE).

They will lead the client back to the time and place where the fear first occurred. Allows the client to review the old memory and better understand the event. The hypnotherapist will work with the client reframe the event. When this is achieved the fear will in most cases disappear.

This process is known as hypnotic regression. It can be very effective but it can also be problematic. There is controversy around this technique because if not done correctly or otherwise then false memories can be created.

It is definitely worth considering hypnosis if you suffer from an intense fear or phobia. While other methods can also be effective, hypnosis can help you overcome the phobia and in a lot of cases alleviate it altogether.

If you do decide to use hypnosis then be sure that you work with a certified hypnotherapist who has the appropriate training and experience. In addition make sure that you feel comfortable working with this person as trust is an essential element in any therapeutic relationship.

Females are more prone to irrational fears than males. Phobia statistics suggest that roughly twice as many women as men suffer from panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and specific phobia although about equal numbers of women and men have obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH)

• Approximately 6 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 2.7 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have panic disorder.

• Panic disorder typically develops in early adulthood (median age of onset is 24), but the age of onset extends through adulthood.

• About one in three people with panic disorder develops agoraphobia, a condition in which the individual becomes afraid of being in any place or situation where escape might be difficult or help unavailable in the event of a panic attack.