Kirsty Louise Hypnotherapy

Fears and Phobias


What’s the difference between a fear and a phobia?

Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat. It’s a basic survival mechanism that happens in response to a specific stimulus, for example, pain or immediate danger.

A phobia is an intense and/or irrational response to something or some situation, even when there is no danger. It is an overwhelming and debilitating fear. Phobias can be divided into two main categories: Simple or specific phobias and complex phobias.

Simple or specific phobias centre around a certain object, animal, situation or activity. An example is animal phobias, such as dogs, snakes or spiders. These type of phobias tend to develop during childhood and they may lessen upon entering adulthood.

Complex phobias tend to develop later in life and have a more disruptive impact. The two most common complex phobias are agoraphobia and social phobia. Depending on the severity, this type of phobia can be debilitating and have a massive impact on everyday life.

The exact cause of the phobia may be unknown or it may be linked to a traumatic event or experience, or a learned behaviour from close relative or friend. They can lead to avoidance of the particular object or situation as a way of coping, and this can not only interfere daily life but it can also make the fear worse. Usually the sufferer knows that their response is irrational but they’re just not able to control it, and this can also lead to feelings of anxiety.

Common phobias:

  • Arachnophobia - The fear of spiders.

  • Ophidiophobia - The fear of snakes.

  • Acrophobia - The fear of heights.

  • Agoraphobia - The fear of being alone in a situation or place where escape may be difficult.

  • Cynophobia - The fear of dogs.

  • Astraphobia - The fear of thunder and lightening.

  • Trypanophobia - The fear of injections.

  • Social Phobias - The fear of social situations.

  • Pteromerhanophobia - The fear of flying.

  • Mysophobia - The fear of germs or dirt.

How can hypnotherapy help?

Hypnotherapy can help by enabling you to discover the root cause(s) behind the phobia and making positive changes. We’ll use a range of techniques to help desensitise you so that you respond differently in the future, and in a more relaxed and controlled way.

You will also be taught self-hypnosis and other relaxation techniques to reinforce the positive changes you’ve made and to strengthen those feelings of being in control.