Stop clowning around!
Hypnotherapy can benefit many people for a great number of issues from weight reduction to smoking cessation to pain management. One of the most popular reasons someone seeks a hypnotherapists assistance is for a phobia.
There are lots of people out there who appear normal. Rational human beings who go about their daily business just fine until the cause of their phobia raises its ugly head, then pandemonium breaks out. Within seconds they become blubbering wrecks, unable to function normally or carry on with the task at hand. This could be because a spider has appeared and they suffer from arachnophobia or they suddenly find themselves in an enclosed space (claustrophobia). The list of fears is endless. Along with the most common ones such as the above mentioned, there are also less known ones where most people come across the root cause everyday without giving it a second thought. These everyday experiences or objects can fill their fellow human beings with abject terror and have an enormous impact on their quality of life, never knowing when they might again come across this obstacle.
One such phobia which, although is considered less common than other phobias is, in fact, becoming a more mainstream problem. It's called coulrophobia - a fear of clowns.
This was once classed as a relatively rare phobia but has become more common in recent years for several reasons. For many years, clowns were depicted mainly in circuses as a silly act with (mostly) men dressed in bright garish clothes with painted smiley faces falling about doing slapstick comedy with the aim of making their audience laugh. However, film makers such as Stephen King produced films like 'It' about an evil clown with a horrible, menacing painted face whose sole aim was to terrorise and kill its prey. Other films followed suit such as the Joker in Batman menacing everyone or films with bank robbers wearing chillingly scary clown masks bringing terror to their victims.
Clowns originated hundreds of years ago from traditional court jesters. In their colourful clothes and painted faces, their job was to make the King and his companions laugh. However, this often came at a high price to the jester. The stress of continuously having to portray a happy, go lucky fellow and coming up with innovative ways to amuse their audience often could not be upheld and the painted face helped hide the sorrow behind the act. Their wit often had a double meaning revealing their true thoughts and feelings and if this was found out or they displeased their master, they were either killed or cruelly had the muscles around their mouth cut as punishment so it looked as though they had a perpetual smile behind the garish paint.
In the 1960's McDonald's introduced Ronald McDonald as their figurehead - a friendly smiley clown to entice their young customers into their restaurants. However, there are some people who cannot comprehend why a grown man would hide his true face behind a painted mask as a way of making mainly children laugh.
Clowns as entertainment at the circus or at birthday parties may be on the decline however, they are still popular via social media so if you have a phobia of them it can cause a problem. One of the best and most successful methods of dealing with this or any other phobia is hypnotherapy. The therapist will guide you into a state of relaxation then communicate with your unconscious mind to help you understand where this fear has originated from. You may or may not remember, however it doesn't matter as your unconscious mind will have the reason stored somewhere in your memory bank. Perhaps you were scared of this stranger with a garishly painted face at a birthday party when you were young. Or maybe you did indeed watch a horror movie where a sinister clown terrorised his victims and when you see a clown you still immediately associate those negative feelings with him.
Whatever the cause, the therapist can help you to rationalise the fear so that you become desensitised and can view the experience as a more pleasant one. The hypnotherapist will enable you to understand and make sense of your behaviours, allowing you to put the reasons for your fear into perspective. By helping you understand the emotions attached to the phobia, he can help you change from within, turning those negative feelings associated with the fear into more positive ones.
A phobia of any kind when experienced usually goes hand in hand with physiological discomforts to the body such as sweaty hands, palpitations, light headedness and shaking and yet these manifest solely from the mind. A phobic can experience these symptoms by simply thinking of the fear even when the subject of their phobia is not present or even by seeing a picture of it. As the therapist is used to treating the mind, hypnosis is a very successful way of getting rid of phobias and the accompanying physiological symptoms.
Hypnosis can enable you to view a clown as he is intended to be – a happy experience with the sole intention of making you laugh as he ‘clowns’ around bringing out your inner child enjoying some innocent fun.
“I remain just one thing and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.” Charlie Chaplain.
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About Biodun Ogunyemi
Biodun Ogunyemi is the founder of Optimind, one of the leading hypnotherapy practices within the UK. He has practiced on Harley Street and is an experienced hypnotherapist, trained to the highest level in Advanced Hypnotherapy and NLP and is the author of over 180 hypnosis products.