A phobia is a strong, persistent fear of situations, objects, activities, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject.
Specific phobias include
- Animal Types (spiders, birds, dogs, insects etc)
- Environmental (heights, storms, water etc)
- Blood-injection-injury (needles, invasive medical procedures)
- Situational (airplanes, elevators, enclosed spaces, loud sounds)
- Objects (balloons, masks, feathers etc)
It is not uncommon for individuals to have multiple specific phobias.
Animal, environmental, and situational phobias involve the fight or flight mechanism whereas blood-injection-injury type phobias often involve fainting or near-fainting.
- Specific phobias can develop quickly following a traumatic event or develop more slowly in the case of inherited (transmitted) situations.
It is important to note that it is not necessary to know the origin of your specific phobia in order to treat it successfully.
In the mental health field there is a whole classification system for phobias from A to Z. In other words, it is possible to have a phobia of anything.
All phobias have a stimulus and a physical/emotional reaction. The reaction is usually out of proportion to the danger that the object or situation poses. Essentially it is your Subconsious Mind that reacts to the particular stimulus and creates the physical/emotional response. It is this response that is the problem – so in essence a phobia is really a fear of a fear. You are afraid of the way you feel in response to the stimulus. This creates the additional problem of avoidant behaviours which fuel the phobia even more.
The Rewind Technique
When a phobia gets encoded in the brains emotional centre (the amygdala) it is stored as a crude pattern that can be activated by anything that resembles the phobic stimulus. The rewind technique works by allowing the phobic individual, whilst in a safe relaxed state, to reprocess the phobic pattern so that it becomes stored as an ‘ordinary’, albeit unpleasant, and non- threatening one rather than one that continually activates a terror response. This is achieved by enabling the memory that set up the phobia to be shifted in the brain from the amygdala to the neocortex. This is based on an original NLP technique devised by Richard Bandler and further refined and improved by Human Givens Psychology.