I have helped clients with phobias of water, speaking, leaving the house, swimming, playing an instrument in front of other people, musical performance (musician), bumping into an ex-partner, spiders, wasps, hights, public speaking...
One example is a client who had a fear of water for over 20 years and in her second session we had her in the swimming pool. A month later I received a short video a few weeks later of my client (who I am really proud of) swimming in a lovely pool on holiday.
Another example is carer who had a fear of lifts/elevators. As a carer it was affecting her job and wellbeing, in her job as a carer she was refusing clients or walking up 13 flights of stairs to avoid getting in a lift, which was starting to affect her knees in a bad way too. After the first session, I could see a major shift in her thinking and on the second session she was in the lift, at first looking a little cautious, but the end of the session, getting in and out of busy and empty lifts on her own, without my help. Now, she gets in and out of lifts without fear and is able to move on with other areas of her life.
You and I were not born with phobias of any kind… When we are born we don’t have fears of things life spiders, heights, mice, dogs, public speaking, going out the house [insert your own phobia]… we learn this stuff, and sometimes we have no idea where it came from.
When we first come into this world we had it inbuilt to be scared of loud noise and failing… this is all about survival… but another thing we do as time goes on (again for survival) is to use experiences and thoughts to avoid pain or any kind… our thoughts and feelings then play tricks on us… all of a sudden we are scared of some animal, object or activity to the point that we do not act rationally when that event is in play (or even if we think about it)
Fear of flying for example: we never knew how to be scared of flying when we were born… unless you count the poor screaming babies with ear ache as the plane starts to descend for landing… There has been some memory or event that, creates thoughts about the event, which creates feelings and leads to the actions… I can help you get access to the way we process these thoughts and neutralise the feelings around it.
I recently heard a lady say that she 'has a fear of bridges' to the point that she will not drive near a bridge and plans her route to avoid bridges, even if it takes hours more to get to where she needs to go. This is a perfect example of a phobia that is routed purely in thought. When asked a little more detail, nothing had actually happened to her in relation to bridges, it was all imagined, ideas and thoughts that had repeated over time to embed negative feelings and inner dialogue as well as vivid images in her mind of what might/will go wrong if she goes near a bridge. The interesting thing about phobias and fears is that sometimes we invest and attach ourselves to the phobia, saying things like, 'I hate bridges' or 'I have always been scared of them'... this language tells a story about how we are constructing our thoughts and helps me as the coach to take an approach to help the client get over the fear, and to no longer have the phobia attached to who they are.
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