Updated: Aug 15, 2019
A Better Way to Eliminate your Phobias: In as little as one session!
Imagine this: you have had this phobia since you can remember. It has interrupted your life in various ways and you have tried everything to make your life better! And by everything, I mean you have paid thousands of dollars on talk therapy, taken pills to calm you down and get you through it, tried many and various ways to get over it by applying the “mind over matter” technique. But still, your emotions are on edge during the time leading up to the next panic attack and even during it, only to end up exhausted and feeling trapped, feeling so frustrated that this phobia will just not ever go away.
People have phobias for lots of different things and for many it is actually an emotional response/solution to prevent your self from being harmed in the future. Makes sense, right? We have to keep surviving somehow, and a phobia is one solution we employ to keep ourselves safe. Some better known phobias are fear of flying, spiders, needles at the hospital, crowds… but there are hundreds! Of phobias out there that have their own name in the dictionary and people have them for a very good reason.
Now why is this? Why are there so many phobias out there and why do people rarely, if ever, seem to get over them? And I mean to eliminate them, not just mask it with a pill and some alcohol, or even avoid any possible instance where they might encounter a possible phobia attack, where your life is a small semblance of what you would call “normal”? You are on the defensive and it just plain sucks.
What many people do when they finally have the opportunity to find relief is they go to a therapist (psychiatrist or psychologist) and talk about their phobias until they are blue in the face. I know of a client who spent thousands of dollars on various therapists to get over her fear of chickens. Said therapists thusly employed the use of talk therapy, pills and even immersion therapy (where she went into the cages with chickens to try to flood her system into finally accepting that she was not going to die.) But all that time, all that effort, and all that money spent was all for naught. Her phobia was still in full force. Lo and behold, ONE NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) session cured her of her phobia. Seriously, you ask? YES! How? That’s a very good question and why we are here. Keep reading.
Here is why traditional talk therapies don’t work: They don’t get to the root of the problem where surprise! both the problem and solution reside. We create phobias as a survivable solution in the future in response to an experience in the past. If we notice an experience for someone else or even ourselves that was unpleasant, overwhelming, scary, we don’t want to experience it again, right? Of course not! So, what do we do? We file that experience away, make beliefs and meaning of that experience for future reference, all in order for best possible survival.For example, if your dad says spiders are dangerous and could kill you, and he creates a gory story that chills you to the bone. You then make meaning of all of this (how could you not!) and then think in less than a nanosecond, “Ok, dad is right (he keeps me safe and alive, and I depend on him, so I can’t even imagine challenging that idea that he’s not!) and to keep him acknowledged and me safe from death. Got it.” and you file it away in just the right ways for later use. And if it wasn’t clear what spider family he was talking about, just to be sure, you make sure ALL spiders are on your watch list. You know, for good measure because you are an A+ student in this game called life. Those beliefs that were just handed down to you just became hard “facts” by which to live. Thus that phobia is born.
Our phobias stem not just from what we are told about by others, but from what we witness. If we see someone emotionally close to us such as in our immediate family, experience a great fear through a huge dynamic behavior or experience, then for sure we are going to take notice. With all those emotional connections and experiences with that person, we are invested in their livelihood. And what happens to them happens to us. We are thusly really good at putting two and two together when something “big” happens. What if an injury (maybe, from an evil chicken…) prevented one of your parents from working and your family didn’t end up having enough money to eat enough that month? An experience like that would be a good reason to seriously fear that chicken. And not just the one that probably ended up on the plate that night, but ALL chickens, because you just never know where that danger will lurk around the corner.
What can we do now?
Remember that we are hard-wired to survive through both skills and instincts of many generations embedded in your cellular memory and also through the skills acquired in this lifetime through your own personal experiences you have accumulated. We are always doing the best we can with what we have in the moment we are in. But as we get older and learn new ways of doing things, those original solutions and meanings installed can become outdated. What we experience now is a phobia, but what was then the best thing we could come up with at the time to make sense of it all.
All that is needed is to go back and gently shift the connections that made the imprint so powerful and offer some new information by acknowledging our feelings experiences and then seemingly perfect solutions. Once those stuck beliefs and meanings are teased apart with some greater awareness that you already have, we can truly leave the past behind and in a more balanced perspective. We can the go on and live more peaceful, productive and awesome lives. And, by the way? Give yourself a big pat on the back! Be proud of your body, mind and spirit, who are all working together on your behalf to keep you alive, safe and loved. And know that, almost anything is updatable to have fewer phobias in your pocket and be able to create a better experience for our future.