How hypnotherapy can help you overcome needle phobia
More and more people are being contacted to book their vaccination against coronavirus and most of us are excited and hopeful at the prospect. It signals light at the end of the tunnel, an end to lockdowns and an eventual return to normality.
For some however, there’s another emotion sitting alongside these… fear. Those with a needle phobia may be panicking, knowing getting the vaccine is necessary but also battling with worry around how they’ll get through it.
Needle phobia is a fear of medical procedures that involve any type of needles or injections and is thought to affect at least one in every 10 people. There are lots of reasons someone may develop this phobia including bad memories of needles from earlier in life or seeing a parent or loved one being afraid of needles.
Causing people to feel faint, anxious and experience panic attacks, phobias can have debilitating symptoms however they are formed. Some people may avoid seeking treatment because they’re embarrassed or simply because it doesn’t come up that often in life.
As a nation, however, right now we’re being asked to have an injection to protect ourselves from a global pandemic. So what can those with a phobia do? There are different treatments available for phobias, but we want to take a close look at hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy for needle phobia
“Phobias of all kinds are one of the most common reasons why the expertise of a hypnotherapist is sought. Additionally, the hypnosis sessions will leave you with more confidence in general and increased self-esteem.”
Can you explain how hypnotherapy can help those with a needle phobia?
One of the major benefits of hypnotherapy is the ability to disassociate the person from the overwhelming fear. This means that effectively hypnotherapy can help you detach from the emotion of fear in situations where it is not necessary. For example, having an injection administered by a medical professional, fear is not required in that situation. This can have a significant effect on your behaviour and in the case of a needle phobia, it can help you to be much calmer and feel more in control when you need to have blood taken or a vaccination.
Roughly how long before an appointment to get an injection should someone with a needle phobia start hypnotherapy?
The best time to address it is whenever the client feels ready and motivated to get rid of the phobia. After all, a phobia is an irrational fear-based response. The main thing is to test the work once complete and if they cannot generate the same amount of fear then normally it will be fine and the phobia will be resolved.
Once a phobia is worked through and successfully resolved then the length of time becomes less relevant. For some clients, they feel better addressing it the week before or a few days before but this is just really for their own comfort.
Many people are affected by the thought of the event or needle for example. So it means that once the overbearing fear is resolved and they feel safe, then they should continue to feel safe in any other similar situation involving needles and not just a single event.
Can self-hypnosis be helpful?
Yes, self-hypnosis can be extremely helpful after the initial work is done. I teach my clients self-hypnosis so they can reinforce the work by themselves.
What can someone expect from a hypnotherapy session on phobias?
On initial contact, I would normally chat with the client to make sure I can assist them and answer any questions. This could be by telephone, email or online. At the beginning of the session, I would ask you to define not only the specifics of the problem you are facing, but also discuss what would be your desired outcome to resolve the issue.
Once the issue is well defined and I know the desired outcome I will start to move you from the problem towards the solution.
This might have various steps in between. For example, using hypnotherapy to begin the process of using the resources you have to create the steps for transformation. It is important to understand that hypnosis is actually a natural state we experience every day. It is an altered state of consciousness which is really just a trance state.
Examples of this are when you are driving and you arrive at your destination but cannot remember the journey, still being at a set of traffic lights when they have changed to green or engrossed in a film or book and so on.
I will explain that you are in control at all times and your unconscious mind will only accept positive suggestions that are beneficial to you. Most people experience hypnosis as a relaxed state.
Normally you’ll be asked to close your eyes, as this helps to block out 80% of unnecessary sensory stimulation. I’ll guide you into a state of relaxation whilst explaining the challenge you’re facing is not serving you any purpose, and help guide you to resolve it.
At this point, you may feel deeply relaxed and in a trance-like state. I will suggest better, alternative solutions that perhaps we had both discussed beforehand and that would serve you better, and then I will reinforce these suggestions several times to recalibrate your thoughts. Effectively detaching the emotion from previous memories or all future memories where it is not required.
By creating a pool of positive resources, the transformation will start taking place right away. When the session ends, you will retain that feeling of relaxation whilst also feeling refreshed and alert. Once the work is tested and I am satisfied, you will be given some simple techniques like self-hypnosis or hypnosis audios to follow at home to use at specific times, depending on what the issue was.
It is important to realise that this is just one way of conducting a session and your experience may vary depending on the therapist. There are also many situations where other types of therapies will be combined to solve your issue and to realise that any therapy should not be restricted to one or a handful of techniques.
Some issues can be addressed with one session whilst others may take several more. Your therapist will be able to gauge whether follow up sessions are required and how often you should attend.
Remember, however, you’re feeling right now – you’re not alone in this. You might find it helpful to tell the person administering the injection that you have a phobia, so they can support you in staying calm. And if you want to try hypnotherapy, use our search tool to find a hypnotherapist – many now work online so you can get your treatment safely.
Looking for some immediate support to ease into relaxation? Give this session by hypnotherapist Natasha Crow a listen:
You can also watch our full webinar with Natasha on YouTube.