One of the most common reasons people visit a hypnotist is to overcome fears or phobias.
Fears are a natural part of life. Everyone fears something such as being robbed, or being hurt in an accident. This type of fear is not necessarily bad; as it may prompt someone to take precautions, such as locking doors or wearing safety belts. Most fears develop during childhood, but fears can develop during adulthood. Some fears that develop in adulthood are caused by chemical imbalances such as a hypoglycemic reaction; but many are the results of repressed memories.
One indication of whether a fear is physical or psychological is the duration of the reaction. Psychological reactions are usually triggered by anticipation, and become less intense once the anticipated event begins. Physical reactions tend to become more intense once the event begins. If a person experiences a fear strongly and/or frequently, they may begin to fear losing control. They can become afraid to feel the fear; and go out of their way to avoid anything that might trigger it. When this happens, the fear has become a phobia. (A fear may also be considered a phobia an individual can feel the sensation of being afraid without recognizing what triggered the feeling.) Whenever a fear or phobia gets in someone's way, interfering with their life-style, or causing them to avoid something they would like to do, then it should be treated.
In mild cases, where a person recognizes the triggers but would like help controlling their reaction, post-hypnotic suggestions can help them control their breathing, slow their heart, and achieve a relaxed state of mind. This permits them to deal with the problem in a calm and rational manner. More severe cases are often the result of a traumatic childhood event. Most of the time the event can no longer be recalled by the conscious mind, but is still retained in the subconscious. In these cases, the hypnotherapist will often employ age regression. Age regression is one of the most powerful tools available to the hypnotherapist. With it, s/he can guide the person back in time, and help them reexamine the event that initially triggered the fear from an objective point of view. Once the cause is revealed, the fear of losing control is eliminated. Control is soon established. Once a sense of control established, repeatedly confronting the fear through hypnotherapy quickly reduces, and soon eliminates the fear.
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