Hart Hypnotherapy

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Phobias in North Belfast

Do you have an overwhelming, intense fear of something? Do you avoid situations? Does your fear have a major impact on your daily life? Chances are you have a phobia. And even though you know your response to the situation or object is irrational, you can’t get over the fear in that particular moment.

There are two types of phobias – complex and specific.

Therapies-happy-ladyComplex phobias

Usually involve more than one anxiety. Examples include:

– agoraphobia – fear of open spaces, crowds.

– social phobia – fear of certain social situations. Research indicates social phobias are learned within the family environment.

– emetophobia – fear of vomiting or seeing other people being sick.


These phobias can be very debilitating as the situations that trigger them are difficult to avoid. People often organise their lives to avoid scenarios or control their responses.

Specific phobias

There are literally hundreds of phobias and five sub-types – animal, natural environment, blood-injection-injury, situational and other. Some of the most common specific phobias include:

  1. Spiders
  2. Snakes
  3. Heights
  4. Dogs
  5. Thunder and lightning
  6. Injections / needles
  7. Flying
  8. Germs / dirt
  9. Dentist
  10. The dark.

What causes phobias?

There is no single reason. However, there are a number of explanations for why phobias develop, including evolutionary and behavioural theories.

–  threats to early man’s survival still create fear today. Three large studies compared peoples’ reactions to pre-technological threats (snakes) versus modern threats (cars, weapons, electrical sockets). The results showed significantly greater phobic reactions to the pre-technological threats.

– If you experienced a traumatic event or were repeatedly exposed to a fearful experience – in one study 56% of specific phobia sufferers could recall an event they thought had caused the phobia.

– Through observation – for example social anxiety can be learned with the family environment. If one of your parents or siblings has a phobia of spiders, you might too.  In one study monkeys were immunized from developing a fear of snakes by watching other monkeys behaving non-fearfully with snakes.

– If you feel trapped and cannot escape a threatening situation. One study suggested if you could escape from the stimuli (whatever caused the fear) it was less likely to create phobic tendencies in future.

– If you’re already suffering high levels of anxiety you’re more vulnerable to developing a phobia.

The science bit

Many studies have compared the effective use of CBT and imaginal strategies (like those I use) with medication. One study reported these were a more effective treatment for social anxiety disorder than beta-blockers.

We’ll use an evidence-based therapy that’s been in clinical use in the field of psychology for over 50 years to help people overcome phobias and anxiety disorders.

Make it disappear – Evidence based hypnotherapy for you to succeed

You’ll learn to:

–       Dispute the irrational / negative thoughts that drive the feelings and behaviour

–       Stop the thoughts and manage the self-talk that drive the anticipation

–       Overcome your fears, by building up in stages to the most fear provoking images

–       Replace your anxiety with feelings of calm.

Success rates improve with repetition so you’ll receive audios (MP3s) to listen to.

You WILL NOT be exposed to the object of your phobia, for instance real spiders or snakes. This will be done by you, only when you are ready.

How many sessions?

I offer a free initial consultation during which we discuss a personalised treatment plan and the number of sessions required.

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