Whose phobia do you have?

Spiders - Using analytical Hypnotherapy to uncover the initial problem.

When I was a child my Dad caught a spider in a matchbox. It was one of those match boxes with a ship on it. I remember the matchbox as well as, if not better, than the spider. The spider was almost too big to be in the box. To a child of 10 that was big.

He caught it because he was scared of spiders and because opening the box in my small hand and watching me get the the fright of my life was funny - to him - and it probably made him feel better about his own fear. My lesson, as it was, was to learn that spiders are to be feared by even the toughest men.

When the opportunity presented itself to teach my own children about spiders I reached out and let the 'thing' crawl onto my outstretched hand, whist doing my best to control what I thought was going to be an inevitable heart attack. That was 20 years ago. Today, faced with teaching my youngest daughters about spiders, I was given the opportunity of a decent sized 'creeper' that was making its way up the kitchen wall.

"Evie! Look there's Incy Wincy climbing up the wall!" ... The spider crawled onto the back of my hand easily enough and then started crawling up my wrist and forearm just as easily. My heart never so much as skipped a beat and I casually passed the spider over to Evie (aged four and a half) who just as calmly allowed the spider the freedom to roam over her hand and arm. Just before putting Incy out the back door for some fresh air, Alba, who is almost 21 months old shouts "My want this". And so she had her first glimpse and feel of a healthy experience with an otherwise creepy crawly thing.

As children, we cope with anxieties by projecting them into the form of phobias, or repressing memories or dissociating with them entirely. After childhood these defences persist when no longer really necessary. The adult reacts in the same manner as to the original traumatic event, as if still too weak and vulnerable to deal with it. All this happens underneath the logical conscious thinking mind, which is why phobias can be so perplexing to us.

In hypnosis we can revisit that original event as both the adult and child simultaneously. The adult gives comfort and empathy to the child casting new light and strength on the incident, while the child's innocence brings out such compassion in the adult that the new emotional awareness of the once 'scary event' provides a balanced positive perspective.

When you next think about your fears, take an extra moment to check if they are really yours and not someone else's. 

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