Hypnotherapy for claustrophobia can open up the enclosed spaces….
Claustrophobia is experienced on various levels and individuals may feel the phobia in different ways. A number of us are not comfortable in confined or small places and some people experience anxiety and panic even just thinking about a scenario which could make them feel anxious.
Claustrophobia is quite a common fear or phobia (it’s the eighth most common phobia) and it can have a dramatic affect on someone’s way of life. When it comes to the various common situations that might trigger claustrophobia, you start to discover just how small a chance the affected person has got to avoid the panic.
Some people even have a problem with congested traffic or tunnels, along with the more common avoidance of flying, the tube and rail travel.
At my clinic in Bournemouth, Dorset, I once treated a lady who had spent years trying to avoid tunnels after a bad experience on the tube. Her fear had started to transfer to buses and planes, the latter of which she used to love. You can just imagine how this one, irrational but stubborn fear can prevent someone enjoying their life.
Each time an unpleasant experience takes place inside an enclosed space, we will not usually recognise that it has bothered us until we are in a very similar scenario once again and discover ourselves becoming frightened. When you experience a negative or threatening situation like this, the unconscious mind can remember the emotions and sensations at a deep level, and whenever we find ourselves in a very similar scenario, those feelings are generally repeated.
I’m Going to Die….
There is one other issue related to nearly every phobia and that is the fear of the fear. When you are conscious of specific situations that lead to fear, you worry about experiencing this again beforehand. As a result, your brain gets caught up in a horrible negative loop of anxiety – one which is very difficult to break using willpower alone!
Although we may consciously attempt to prevent the behaviour, the behaviours are subconsciously ingrained. Because the subconscious works on a deep emotional level, it often repeats unwanted patterns regardless of our best attempts to consciously deal with them.
So why all this fear?
Very simply, at some point in the past, your brain decided that a particular situation or confined space was dangerous or even life threatening. Because of this, it responded by creating what we call the Fight Or Flight response, whereby the hypothalamus triggers a release of hormones which cause you to feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Trouble concentrating on small tasks – you now just see the big picture of being in danger!
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Muscles tense up due to adrenaline and glucose
- Non-essential systems like digestion or the immune system shut down temporarily.
- Less blood to the skin to keep it warm. It has travelled to the muscles instead.
The overriding purpose for this natural response is to keep you alive. In some ways, your brain and its habits don’t care much for your happiness or comfort levels. The subconscious mind wants to keep you safe at all costs so if it thinks that planes or buses or tunnels are a potential danger, it will produce this powerful fear response to prepare you or make sure you avoid it in future!
Relaxing your monkey brain..
My aim as a hypnotherapist is to help the client first relax this fear response by providing the brain with enough evidence (in the form of past pleasant memories or the clients strong motivations) that the current fear is unnecessary.
I help that person change the pictures and thoughts in her imagination and if done well, a fear which has lasted for years can be often be overcome in just a few weeks. It is not magic, but to the sufferer, it certainly feels that way!
Hypnotherapy and Claustrophobia
Most claustrophobia treatment by hypnotherapists is a mix of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and hypnotherapy. The combination of subconscious (hypnotherapy) and conscious (NLP) therapies enhance one another and develop a two pronged process of dealing with the anxiety.
When you experience hypnotherapy, the deep focus and enhanced imagination can help you find the source of your fear and create new positive beliefs and associations to overcome it. In most cases this means you can be totally free of claustrophobia.
A hypnotherapist isn’t going to accomplish this for a person on their own. There is no magic wand so to speak and no talk of mind control like on the show ‘You’re Back In The Room’!
I simply use modern and evidence based therapy techniques to help clients easily discover the solutions themselves.
For more information about how my tried and tested 3 step process of therapy can help you overcome claustrophobia and a range of other anxiety disorders, give me a phone on 0798 444 1710 or simply click the link on the website:)