Should phobias in children be addressed early?
A phobia is an irrational fear of specific events, or animals, or objects. Somebody that suffers from a phobic anxiety experiences extreme fear when they are exposed to particular objects, creatures or environments.
These feelings can lead a person to isolation, depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I don’t think many of us particularly love creatures of the 8 legged variety, but someone with arachnophobia (fear of spiders) has an increased and debilitating fear whilst confronting a spider. They will want to run away as fast as possible and will often get tearful and upset.
Phobias can appear at a young age and persist for a lifetime. A daunting event or trauma at an early age is generally the cause of a phobia, although it can be a learned behaviour from a mother or father, or other close family member.
Virtually all children will be afraid of something at some point in their life – being afraid of strangers, separation anxiety, or imaginary monsters. These fears will usually disappear and possibly even be replaced by another; which is a completely normal part of our development.
Should these worries and anxieties develop into something more, parents need to keep a close eye and try to recognise the signs and symptoms so as to reduce any detrimental effect for the child.
If childhood phobias are left untreated, the symptoms can go from mild to extreme anxiousness and panic attacks. If for example, the phobia is severe it can have a negative impact on the child’s social progress and well-being.
There is a wide variety of childhood phobias; from being scared of beetles, to not being able to tolerate going out. Another way of trying to reduce the symptoms of the phobia is by having the child face it head on instead of planning to avoid it.
This approach can be beneficial but runs the risk of actually intensifying the symptoms and the child wishing to avoid the situation even more.
Avoidance can be extremely appealing but it can lead to these habits becoming behaviour forming. It is recommended to resolve these habits rather than avoid them, to lessen the possibility of carrying these anxieties onto the adult years.
Hypnotherapy for childhood phobias..
These phobias can be addressed early using hypnotherapy in a very simple and positive way. Hypnosis is extremely successful in treating children and adolescents as they often have a far more active imagination at their young age.
Children usually enjoy imagining and making use of their creativity to formulate the tools and strategies to beat their fears.
Sometimes, just 1 or 2 session of hypnotherapy can be beneficial enough to tackle these phobic disorders and anxieties.
Kristian Lees-Bell, a professional Clinical hypnotherapist, who works with children, from Natural Mind Hypotherapy based in Dorset, states:
“I really enjoy working with children to overcome phobias. It is a very quick process and stops the child’s world becoming smaller”.
Clinical Hypnotherapy online and in Bournemouth, Poole, and Dorset; Specialising in confidence, anxiety, stress, insomnia, weight control, phobias, and smoking cessation. Fully qualified & insured, 11 years experience working with over 1,500 clients.