Fears Phobias Anxiety
and Panic attacks

Fast, comfortable and effective

Most people don’t realise just how quickly fears, phobias, anxiety and panic attacks can be completely got rid of. They also don’t know that they can be got rid of in completely comfortable, respectful and easy ways.

Despite the usual media portrayal, there is no more need for techniques such as ‘Systematic Desensitisation’ or ‘Exposure Therapy’ where the person is made to face more and more of what they are afraid of. And ‘Flooding’ where the person is forced to face their fear full on, with the expectation that it will somehow convince the person that they were safe anyway, only seems to traumatise people more. These techniques rarely seem to work, but instead tend to make the person afraid of their therapist and of having treatment.

I never even suggest that anyone go anywhere near the situation they were afraid of, until they are already completely comfortable about it and actually keen to find out how they feel about it. Of course, at this present stage, you may not be able to imagine yourself being keen to encounter what you have been afraid of, though you may be quite surprised at how comfortable or even keen people feel about it once they have worked with me. You might laugh, but one young boy who had a severe dog phobia, went and got a puppy, just two weeks after seeing me.

A bit about phobias

A phobia is a safety mechanism used by your brain. It is a perfectly natural and healthy way to protect you from things that have at some time seemed very dangerous. Rather than having to think about it, the phobia automatically keeps you away from the perceived danger. So for instance, if you touch a hot stove, you will instantly learn not to touch it again. We call it ‘One shot learning’ as you only need one experience for the fear to be fully formed and if anyone tried to get you to touch a hot stove, you would do anything in your power to avoid it. This is fine while the danger is real, but obviously distressing and restricting when there is no real danger or what danger there is can be handled safely.

One of the annoying side effects of a phobia is that very few people understand that you have no control over it. They often think you are just being silly. It is fine for them to explain that something is safe- and you may even agree with them, but as soon as you have to face the situation, something clicks in automatically and gets you to do anything in your power to avoid the situation. This is because the phobia patterns protect themselves from being talked out of protecting you. If there were a real danger, such as from touching a hot stove, you would be glad of this. What is needed is a way for the parts of your mind, that do the phobia patterns, to be able to re-check the situation and see that it is actually safe enough after all and to turn the phobia off. This can only be done at a time when you feel completely safe, which is why you will never be asked to face your fears in order to get over them. Instead, I will do everything I possibly can for you to be able to relax and feel comfortable and safe.

As I said, Phobias are learned very quickly. Fortunately, because they are learned so quickly, they can also be unlearned just as quickly and usually permanently, just so long as the right techniques are used.

So what do I do?

Well I use a number of very quick, comfortable techniques as shown on TV by Paul McKenna on his Sky series ‘I can change your life’. Most of them come from NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming of which Paul is one of the World’s leading master trainers.

The main NLP technique I use is a version of what is known as the ‘Fast Phobia Cure’. This is a technique which enables the deeper part of your mind to review the situations it was trying to protect you from. As mentioned, you need to feel completely safe and comfortable while this happens and in fact some people have even found themselves smiling or laughing at what they had been afraid of. It is as if your mind can look at the situation from a good safe distance and see whether the situation was actually dangerous in the first place or not, and if there is actually any danger, how it can still keep you safe, and yet in a more effective and calm way.

Others techniques come from so called ‘Tapping techniques’ where much to our surprise, by tapping on acupressure points, you can disperse stuck emotions, including fear. This has been seen quite often on TV recently and despite the fact that we just do not know how or why it works, it is often very effective.

Another technique is based on a visualisation technique used by martial artists, to keep themselves centred and strong… I am certainly not going to do martial arts on you… However, this technique helps you feel confident and has other surprising positive side effects which you can use in every area of your life.

I can also use hypnosis, though it is not usually the quickest most effective way to work with phobias. All the techniques above can be done with your eyes open, fully alert and completely comfortably. However, hypnosis is still very effective for some situations.

Therefore I have many ways of working, so that if any one technique is not suitable for a person, there are still plenty of others to use effectively. This means that if anyone can help you, I probably can.

How long does it take?

Most people are perfectly comfortable with what they were afraid of within a couple of hours or less. Neutralising the phobia itself usually takes less than 20 minutes, but we need to prepare for that stage and we need to get you comfortable, relaxed and in a good mood before we do the main work. Then we need to make sure that you really are completely comfortable about what you had been afraid of after the main work.

Sometimes it takes longer. Panic attacks and emetophobia- the fear of being sick or of others being sick, take longer than standard phobias. They need extra techniques and need to be handled even more gently than usual. However, along with dealing with other phobias in the same session (panic attacks usually develop on the back of other phobias) I can still usually deal with these things within three hours to five hours in a couple of sessions. With one lady, I dealt with some underlying problems, agoraphobia and panic attacks in three hours in a single session. With another, I dealt with emetophobia, some other situations and panic attacks, in about five hours in a couple of sessions.

Some people who come to me have several phobias which have developed through time, one on top of the other. I have dealt successfully with four phobias within two hours in a single session. Sometimes there are other issues that also need to be dealt with and therefore this also takes longer. General anxiety for instance, is usually the result of long term background situations rather than the sudden one time learning. Sometimes it is as a result of the person not being sure they can trust their judgement if they have got stuck in a difficult situation, so they need to be able to learn how to trust themselves.

Even when I take longer, whereas the American Psychological Association claim you would “have noticeable improvement within about 10 to 20 weekly sessions” (See page 8 at http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/panic-disorder.aspx ) presumably for just a single phobia, I can usually clear up the phobias completely within about two or three hours and the rest within about five hours. Very rarely do I have to work for as much as ten hours with a client and if I do, we achieve a great deal in that time.

My absolute record for a standard phobia is about three minutes! However this was during a break when I was assisting at one of Paul McKenna’s training seminars. This person had already learned the techniques, but just not applied them to this phobia. He had a phobia of public speaking, one of the most common phobias. I got him to do a very simple, fast technique which is suitable if it is then possible to face the previous fear immediately. I then checked how he felt about speaking, to which he said he felt fine, so I suggested he go up on stage and address the people still sitting in the audience (about 50 people.) He got up on stage, welcomed the audience and got their attention like a professional, introduced himself, announced what had just happened and shared his enthusiasm for the techniques that were being taught. He was completely relaxed and confident and won himself a round of applause!

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Lists of phobias

The most common phobias that I deal with

Agoraphobia- Fear of open spaces

More usually a fear of leaving ones house or of going beyond a certain distance from it. Sometimes this comes from a trauma, though as with phobias, these are surprisingly easy and comfortable to deal with using the right techniques. Sometimes I have to help someone build their self confidence, which again, is actually a lot easier than it might sound.

Fear of cats, dogs, horses or other animals

Many of these fears have occurred as a result of having been attacked or frightened in childhood. I myself got bitten by a large dog when I was about ten years old… Normally a bit late for developing a phobia and my father handled my resulting fears very skilfully. I do know what it is like though. I have also taken a few falls from horses. I can not only get you over these fears, but also train you how to give the right confidence signals to animals.

Arachnophobia- the fear of spiders

Although we might have a natural built in caution about spiders, actual phobias are usually picked up from someone else who had a phobia, or sometimes from people who thought it was fun to try to frighten us. Despite how strong they often are, spider phobias are surprisingly easy to cure.

Claustrophobia- A fear of being in confined spaces

Often from having been shut in a confined space as a child. This might have been an isolated incident or part of an ongoing situation, in which case this will also need to be resolved. Despite this and although this phobia can be very severe and restricting, it is actually relatively quick and easy to deal with.

Exams, interviews and tests

Similar to the fear of public speaking, mentioned below, we are sometimes afraid of being judged negatively or nervous when we are afraid of missing an opportunity. There are ways to dissolve old memories of failure and rejection, ways to dispel nerves and boost confidence and special ways to think about exams, interviews and tests.

Driving tests, driving and travel phobias

There are differences between how confident and nervous drivers think. By easily discovering and learning these positive patterns, the deeper part of your mind will take them on automatically (it always wants to use the best way of doing something for you) and you will find yourself being more relaxed, driving more safely and being more confident about a driving test.

Unlike the fear of flying (below) Travel fears and phobias usually come from direct experience, which paradoxically makes them a little easier to deal with. And if you have been through a traumatic travel incident in the past, this can be comfortably resolved.

Fear of flying

Not usually a true phobia, as it is usually learned gradually by association (usually by watching the news…) rather than by direct experience. Seeing as flying is one of the safest forms of transport, I have to carefully reconnect the protective parts of your mind to the actual facts. I also have to put the emotionally charged, unbalanced reporting in context: These things only make the news because they are rare- thousands more preventable deaths go completely unreported. I still use the various phobia techniques, but in a slightly different way. I can also help you get over any fear of airsickness, which often in itself, helps to ease it and avoid it.

Acrophobia- Fear of heights or being in high places and fear of going in lifts

I have dealt with many of these. There is an unusual thing that a person’s mind does in some of these situations and I need to make sure that it does something different. Otherwise these phobias usually resolve themselves surprisingly easily using the usual techniques.

Fear of needles and injections & Dental phobia

Many people have developed a fear of going to the dentist or of having injections during their childhood. I need to get the person very calm and relaxed to work with these, but they are still quite quick, comfortable and easy to deal with using the right techniques. I can usually get you confident enough to be comfortable to go for these by yourself and I give you a number of techniques you can use in the situation. I can also be available to accompany you when you go or to give you a quick booster just before you go.

Panic attacks

These are different from ordinary phobias in two ways. One: the person is afraid of the thing itself, therefore a panic attack sometimes starts just from the fear of having one. Two: the person is often afraid of having a heart attack or dying and they do not realise that the symptoms of the attack are actually a sign that their system is working very well and healthily. It takes special techniques to get this realisation to the deepest part of the person’s mind, but when it gets there, it will start to relax you about the whole situation. Panic attacks need care and patience to resolve, but people are often really surprised at how quickly they can be dealt with and how different they feel when the fear goes away.

Fear of public speaking, stage fright and fear of being ridiculed

This is often caused by being humiliated by a teacher in front of a class and is one of the most common phobias in the Western world. It can persist for decades, even with the most accomplished and otherwise confident people. Fortunately, it is easy and quick to resolve using the right techniques. I can also work with stuttering and the fear of stuttering (which is what keeps it going.) I can also help with Confidence, Assertiveness, Self esteem and Communication skills.

Fear of being sick or of others vomiting (Emetophobia)

I deal with a surprising number of people suffering from this. It needs careful and gentle handling in a similar way to panic attacks, but people are often surprised at how comfortable it is to resolve and it usually goes away in a single session. I can also help you get over the fear of seasickness and airsickness, which often in itself, helps to ease it and avoid it. I have also helped people who have had difficulties with other people being sick.

Fear of wasps, bees, other insects and being stung

I usually get people wanting to deal with wasp phobias in the early Summer, though it is usually the late summer when they are most nuisance. Bees normally seem more placid, but some people have had problems with them. Some people were made afraid of moths, earwigs, beetles, cockroaches and other insects when we were young. With any insects, as with animals, I can get you over the phobia and also teach you how to act so they tend to leave you alone.

I worked with a 16 year old girl a little while ago who had a severe wasp phobia and I was not sure it had been effective. According to her Grandparents, a year later she went out to the far east and encountered far more wasps than she had been used to… without any worry. Then disaster struck and she was stung by a hornet! Yes it hurt a lot and yes it came up in a very large painful swelling, but she simply took it in her stride!

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Other phobias I can deal with

Fear of animals in general and wild animals

Fear of birds
Fear of bees
Fear of cats
Phobia of dogs
Fear of frogs and toads
Fear of horses and riding horses
Phobia of insects bugs and cockroaches
Fear of mice
Fear of moths
Phobia of rats
Fear of reptiles
Fear of snakes
Fear of spiders
Phobia of being stung
Fear of wasps

Medical phobias

Fear of airsickness
Fear of getting Alzheimer’s disease
Fear of blood
Fear of getting or having cancer
Fear of childbirth
Fear of dentists and dental phobia
Being afraid of dirt or dust for fear of infections or allergies
Fear of Doctors
Fear of fainting
Being afraid of germs, bacteria, microbes, viruses and infections
Fear of having a heart attack
Phobia of hospitals
Hypochondria: Fear or belief that you have a disease or might get one
Fear of insanity or of going insane
Fear of losing your memory or of amnesia
Fear of needles and injections
Fear of growing old
Fear of pain
Fear of radiation
Fear of seasickness
Phobia of being sick or vomiting
Fear of surgery

Relationship

(See the page on Relationships and also Confidence, Assertiveness, Self esteem and Communication skills)
Fear of commitment
Homophobia- Fear of homosexuals or that you may be homosexual
Fear of intimacy
Fear of marriage
Fear of men
Fear of attractive men
Performance anxiety, leading to impotence
Paraphobia: Fear of perversions or that your desires may be unnatural or perverted
Fear of being raped and
Fear of sexual abuse. See also the page on Traumas and Abuse
Fear of coitus, sex or sexual love
Fear of women
Fear of attractive women
Fear of your partner being unfaithful

Social situations

(See also Confidence, Assertiveness, Self esteem, Relationships and Communication skills)
Agoraphobia: fear of being out in the open or away from a safe place
Fear of being alone
Fear of anger or of becoming angry (See also the page on anger and anger management)
Fear of blushing
Body dismorphia: being afraid you are not attractive
Fear of commitment
Fear of crowds
Interview nerves
Fear of intimacy
Fear of mirrors or of seeing oneself in a mirror
Fear of being ridiculed
Social phobia: Fear of people or society in general
Stage fright and public speaking
Fear of stuttering
Xenophobia: Fear of strangers or foreigners

Other situations

Fear of buttons: Koumpounophobia
Claustrophobia
: Fear of enclosed places
Fear of the dark or of the night
Fear of death
Fear of dreams
Nervous driving
Fear of, or nervous during driving tests
Exam nerves and fear of tests
Fear of failure
Fear of certain foods and of swallowing or gagging
Fear of heights and high places
Fear of going in lifts
Fear of loud noises
Fear of sleep, sleeping, dreams and dreaming
Fear of success
Fear of terrorism
Fear of thunder and lightning
Fear of trains
Fear of war or nuclear war
Afraid of water, the sea or drowning

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Fuller list of phobias

The medical profession likes to give fancy Latin or Greek names to conditions, rather than naming them in plain English. Their excuse is that these are so called international languages, though I suspect most non English speaking Medics know their English better than their Latin or Greek. Often this just makes things sound a lot worse and more difficult to deal with, than they really are. Some phobias we already know by their medical names, such as Agoraphobia or Arachnophobia. Others are more obscure, such as Koumpounophobia, the fear of buttons, which has only very recently been made up! See this discussion in stackexchange.com. In case you were looking for a phobia by its technical name, here is a list of some of the terms and what they really mean.

A

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B

C

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D

E

F – G

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H

I – K

L

M

  • Mastigophobia: Fear of punishment
  • Mechanophobia: Fear of machines
  • Megalophobia: Fear of large things
  • Melissophobia: Fear of bees
  • Melanophobia: Fear of the color black
  • Melophobia: Fear or hatred of music
  • Microbiophobia or Bacillophobia: Fear of microbes
  • Microphobia: Fear of small things
  • Misophobia or Mysophobia: Fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs
  • Mnemophobia: Fear of memories
  • Molysmophobia or Molysomophobia: Fear of dirt or contamination
  • Motorphobia: Fear of automobiles
  • Mottephobia: Fear of moths
  • Musophobia or Muriphobia: Fear of mice
  • Mycrophobia: Fear of small things
  • Myrmecophobia: Fear of ants

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N

  • Nebulaphobia: Fear of fog. (Homichlophobia)
  • Necrophobia: Fear of death or dead things
  • Neophobia: Fear of anything new: change, new ideas and ways of thinking, new customs or cultures, technology etc (See also page on Confidence)
  • Noctiphobia: Fear of the night
  • Numerophobia: Fear of numbers

O

  • Odontophobia: Fear of teeth or dental surgery
  • Olfactophobia: Fear of smells
  • Ombrophobia: Fear of rain or of being rained on
  • Oneirophobia: Fear of dreams
  • Ophidiophobia or Snakephobia: Fear of snakes
  • Ornithophobia: Fear of birds

P – Q

  • Panthophobia: Fear of suffering and disease
  • Panophobia or Pantophobia: Fear of everything
  • Paraphobia: Fear of sexual perversion
  • Parasitophobia: Fear of parasites
  • Paraskavedekatriaphobia: Fear of Friday the 13th
  • Pathophobia: Fear of disease
  • Parturiphobia: Fear of childbirth
  • Photophobia: Fear of light
  • Pluviophobia: Fear of rain or of being rained on
  • Pnigophobia or Pnigerophobia: Fear of choking or being smothered
  • Polyphobia: Fear of many things
  • Potamophobia: Fear of rivers or running water
  • Psellismophobia: Fear of stuttering
  • Psychophobia: Fear of mental ability, mental illness or of people who have been diagnosed with mental illness
  • Pyrexiophobia: Fear of Fever
  • Pyrophobia or Arsonphobia: Fear of fire

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R – S

  • Radiophobia: Fear of radiation or x-rays
  • Rupophobia: Fear of dirt
  • Selenophobia: Fear of the moon and
    Siderophobia: Fear of stars
  • Snakephobia or Ophidiophobia: Fear of snakes
  • Social Phobia: Fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations or
    Sociophobia: Fear of society or people in general
  • Somniphobia: Fear of sleep
  • Suriphobia or Musophobia: Fear of mice

T

V – Z

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