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Can Hypnosis Help with Fears and Phobias?


By Columnist Ernest McLeod – Certified Hypnotherapist:

22296119874_a59404c99b_bPhoto credit: matriarch via photopin (license) –

Fear, described as an unpleasant emotion caused by a thought that something may be a threat of danger, pain, or harm. This thought may not be even a real situation, only an imagined situation and often completely irrational. Yet it is so powerful that it changes the heart rate, causes sweating and heaving breathing and can escalate into a panic attack or a person literally freezing up.

And yet fear is not a response to something real. It’s a thought about something that hasn’t even happened. People can literally become physically challenged by fear; not doing things purely because of a thought.

A phobia is an extreme level of fear of something, often described as irrational fear. How often have you heard about someone having a phobia which is stopping the person suffering from participating in activities?

Fear is the thought triggering our ‘fight or flight’ response and happens at a deep subconscious level.

Hypnosis can be extremely successful in overcoming fear and phobias. There are plenty of reports about people overcoming, for example, fear of flying or a phobia of spiders or mice. This change can, in many cases, be achieved in a single session.

A common approach is to create a new memory of the person being in the situation they were afraid of, but having a completely neutral or even pleasant emotional response. Take for example one of the most common fears, public speaking. Studies say that over 80% of the population has this fear. While hypnotised, the hypnotist will take the speaker through the experience of an upcoming speech and focus on tuning the emotional responses to be positive. Going through all the steps including preparation on the day, walking to the front, standing in front of the audience, delivering the speech all the way through to a successful completion.

In some cases, the hypnotist will take the person through this experience several times before them performing their public speech. As our brain does not distinguish between a “real” external experience or an imagined experience, the brain is building memories of a positive experience under hypnosis which neutralises the ‘fear’ originally held.

About Our Hypnotherapy News and Review Columnist Ernest McLeod
Ernest McLeod Headshot 1Ernest McLeod is the owner of The Hypno Coach, established in 2012, and has been practicing Hypnotherapy in Adelaide since 2011. Ernest is a certified hypnotherapist and studies include Hypnotherapy through ASA and ICHP Australia as well as Psychotherapy. He also holds Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Certified Practitioner of Time Line Therapy with the American Board of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Ernest’s wealth of life experience includes growing up in Austria, close to Vienna. Moving to Adelaide in 1991 with his parents. His mum being South Australian. With his father working for the United Nations in Vienna, Ernest was privileged to grow-up exposed to many cultures. After graduating from college Ernest began a career as Software Developer which spanned nearly 20-years. Having also established himself as a internationally awarded fashion photographer, Ernest moved into hypnotherapy. Something that had fascinated Ernest since early childhood.

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Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

2 thoughts on “Can Hypnosis Help with Fears and Phobias?”

  1. I’ve tried hypnosis for a number of issues, and it really works. You think differently after a session. It clears the mind and allows you to gain perspective on life.

  2. I came across your website at WordPress.com and wanted to let you know that we have decided to bookmark your site. Yep, it’s that good. Plus, I love, love love anything to do with hypnosis 🙂

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