Eliminate Phobias with Hypnosis in Portland, Oregon

Phobias are fearful reactions which are involuntary and typically perceived as being hypersensitive — over-reactions to a stimulus due to an initial sensitizing event which programmed us to react in a certain way.

As an example: a young child has a large and apparently vicious dog jump on her and knock her down and bark angrily in her face. Whether or not the child is actually injured, the power and the immediacy of the event is significant enough for her that it causes a very fearful reaction to be installed at a very deep level of her consciousness.

In some cases, stimuli which are much more general may trigger similar reactions of fear even though they seem inappropriate at the conscious level. For example, as an adult, the same person may be afraid even of dogs which are much smaller and less threatening — the knowing at a conscious level that this is not really a necessary or appropriate reaction is not enough to defuse it.

Typically, we are not so easily influenced by singular events which is usually a good thing, however it is a natural protective mechanism of the mind that allows this to occur. Let us look at another example which looks at this process in a different light. When a child starts to dart out into traffic or reach for a pot of boiling water on the stove and a watchful parent yells at the child with panic in his or her voice, the reaction of the parent so startles the child that it bypasses the normal filters of the conscious mind which may normally allow the child to ignore the parent or not react strongly enough to avoid harm. This is an example of natural hypnosis.

A phobia is simply a case where the “installed programming” caused by a naturally induced hypnotic incident is undesirable as it is no longer needed or it is too strong or too general.

Fortunately, the mind is flexible and malleable enough that it is capable of changing and hypnosis is the natural tool to assist the mind in making the change. Using a process of systematic desensitization, the hypnotherapist may gradually provoke the phobic reaction in the client at very low levels initially and assist the client in utilizing their existing resources to reframe their reactions to the stimulus so that there is no longer an over-reaction.

As the client becomes comfortable with being exposed to low levels of the stimulus (such as simply by thinking about it or imagining situations at a fairly low threshold of what would typically trigger the phobic reaction), the hypnotherapist can gradually assist the client in becoming comfortable with higher and higher levels of the stimulus (such as eventually being able to be around a large barking dog without unreasonable fear). This can often be accomplished quite quickly, sometimes even in a single hypnotherapy session.