This article will tell you what phobias are, how they are created, and most importantly, how to get rid of them. The REWIND Technique (see blow) is my favoured method for helping people overcome their phobia quickly, calmly and safely.

Phobias – a quick definition …

Phobias are excessive, intense or irrational fears that cause people to avoid certain objects, creatures, situations or activities.  

Two types of phobia – Specific or Non-specific

About one in ten people have a specific phobia. A specific phobia is an intense fear (or panic attack) triggered by a particular object or situation. This can be literally anything – from spiders to water. A non-specific phobia is a more generalised fear such as agoraphobia (fear of open spaces). They work in a similar way to specific phobias, in that the fear appears to be ‘attached’ to something less discrete.

Surely that’s irrational?

Since phobias often cause people to be scared of non-threatening objects, they are often seen as irrational. And, in a way, that’s right. A phobia has nothing to do with the thinking, rational part of the brain. A phobic response is simply a survival mechanism ‘gone wrong’. The phobic is otherwise perfectly normal and can often see the irrationality of their phobic reaction. This, however, rarely helps the sufferer. Well meaning attempts to talk someone out of a phobia nearly always end in failure.

How do phobias happen?

Unconscious or emotional learning takes place to keep us safe. In primitive conditions when coming into contact with something dangerous, the mind/body would create the optimum state for survival – a panic attack.

This type of learning is not of the intellectual, or rational type. If you had to think, “Yes, I think this would be a good time to have a panic attack” our species would have died out long ago. This type of learning takes place at an emotional level so that the response can bypass the ‘thinking brain’ In the past, an immediate phobic response to a predatory or poisonous animal would have been exceedingly useful.

We therefore evolved with the ability to become phobic. In today’s complex world however, this learning mechanism often works in an inappropriate way such as a phobia to escalators or heights.

To become phobic, all you need is a high anxiety state paired with an object. The object does not have to be causing the anxiety. A person could, for example, have a phobia of a particualr scent, because the person who mugged them was wearing aftershave when he/she committed the attack.

You can also generate a phobia through the misuse of the imagination. Children often get phobias this way, or by seeing a parent react in fear to something.

Non-specific phobias can come about either through a ‘spreading-out’ of panic attacks, or through a person’s levels of general anxiety becoming so high that panic is easily triggered whenever stress levels are raised even slightly.

The Impact

For the phobic person the intensity of  the fear can be overwhelming, disabling and terrifying. An individual may feel that their world has fallen apart. They may become isolated, because phobias place limitations on people’s lifestyles.  Many people are bewildered by their emotions when confronted with their phobias but feel powerless to control them.

The good news is that phobias are simple to understand and usually easy and quick to treat.

How to remove a phobia

In order to cure a phobia (which is usually surprisingly easy and painless) we need to change the experience on an unconscious level. Simply put, the person needs to be able to treat the phobic object in the same way as they would any other everyday object. The best way to do this is to keep the person relaxed whilst they imagine the phobic object. This process is called ‘de-conditioning’, and it simply changes the association a person has with the phobic stimulus.

When dealing with non-specific phobias, the person often needs a combination of de-conditioning, cognitive anxiety management techniques, ongoing relaxation and gradual exposure to the problem situation, such as going out of the house.

The REWIND Technique

The REWIND Technique is my favoured method for helping people overcome their phobia. As a certified REWIND practitioner I’ve used the technique to help dozens of people recover from phobias and to get back to leading full and fulfilling lives without their own brain terrorising them. It’s such a joy to see the change that the REWIND Technique can bring to people.

The Rewind Technique is my preferred method for removing phobias, because not only is it effective, it’s:

  • totally safe and painless. No harm can come to people by using this technique.
  • non voyeuristic. I do not need to hear or know any of the details of the experience that created the phobia in order to guide an individual through the process.
  • fast. Relief can be experienced after just one REWIND session.

What Next?

If you’d like to find out more, or if you’d like to schedule your phobia session, contact me on 021 056 8389, email me at tony@tycoaching.nz or use the Book Now button below.