There are over 500 phobias and to date I have treated 13 different ones (apologies to anyone with triskaidekaphobia – a morbid fear of the number 13!). Sociophobia (which includes fear of Public speaking as well as strangers and social situations) is the most common one people come to see me about, with fear of needles and fear of flying sharing second place. What continues to sadden me is that so many people who have a phobia either don’t do anything about it, or have tried to confront it unsuccessfully. Either way, people fall into the trap of mistakenly believing it is something they are just stuck with for life.
Phobias of course can be installed in different ways…through frightening moments, close shaves or maybe ‘inherited’ (i.e. learned from parents, siblings close school friends etc) or may have just have developed over time with no known source. Most phobias are formed before the age of 7 and once installed the coping strategy employed by someone with a phobia is usually avoidance. For example running away when a dog comes into view, driving many miles out of the way to avoid going over a bridge, not entering a room where spiders may be lurking and so on. So people put up with a lifetime of suffering when in fact it is needless. It may seem hard to believe but it takes me just one or two sessions to cure someone of their phobia – just ask my clients who are now phobia free. So if you, or someone you know, no longer wants to have that extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something, do give me a call.