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Is it a Phobia?

Nestling in the corner of the bottom stair early the other morning, was the biggest spider that I have come across in a long time!

Not moving or scuttling along but just sitting there, its large furry legs splayed out so that we could see his full size and seemingly daring us to tread on 'his' stair! We were all a little fearful of this particular spider.

And so began the conversation about fears and phobias...and importantly what the difference between a fear and a phobia really is...

So, what is the difference between a fear and a phobia?

A fear is an emotional response to a real or a perceived threat. Fears are common and often normal - or at least innocuous - reactions to objects or events. Lots of people, so it seems, are fearful of spiders and experience a mild to moderate anxiety when they see one (including me!)

A phobia is similar but with one key difference: the anxiety is so strong that it interferes with a person's quality of life and/or their ability to function. People who have a spider phobia often spend considerable time worrying about spiders, spend an inordinate amount of time ensuring they do not come in contact with a spider, and will avoid places and activities in order to avoid spiders.

Phobias are extremely common, it is estimated that about 10 per cent of the population suffer from a phobic reaction to something or some situation.

Types of phobias

Phobias are often divided into two groups, specific phobias and social phobias.

Specific phobias are phobias such as a fear of spiders (Arachnophobia) or a fear of flying (Areophobia) or a fear of dentists (Dentophobia). They include some unusual phobias too, such as Omphalophobia, a fear of belly buttons.

Social Phobias are complex phobias which include a fear of social situations (Social phobia) and a fear of going out and about (Agoraphobia).

How can Hypnotherapy help?

Hypnotherapy works by dealing with the underlying cause of the phobia through bypassing the conscious mind and addressing the subconscious mind which controls the phobic sensations and responses. Hypnotherapy can also help with relaxation and visualisation techniques for desensitisation and forming new habits of being more calm and relaxed when faced with the phobic object or situation.

Many people continue to suffer unnecessarily , allowing their phobia to limit and control their lives for a long time before seeking help. Hypnotherapy is really very successful in dealing with phobias and relief can be obtained in only a small number of sessions.

You can contact me on 07887 241365 or at to discuss further.

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