Are All Types of Phobias Learned Behavior?
Updated: May 2, 2019
You are not born with a fear of water, heights, sharks, spiders, snakes, dogs outdoors or tall rooms, logically it's very unlikely you could be. Here doing Hypnotherapy in Exeter and the work we have done throughout the length and breadth of the UK we have helped many people free themselves from all different types of phobias.
It does seem that phobias are learnt behavior and so are pretty easily treated with Hypnosis with just a few sessions sometimes just one.
The little 9 year old girl who had a terrible fear of sharks, but who lived in the landlocked Cotswold’s or the lady with terrible fear of heights who had to crawl along a footpath she had no chance of falling off, even if she wanted, the lady who would faint as soon as she saw the tiniest spider. Hysteria at the sight of a snake even on TV, the person who couldn’t cross a bridge without getting dizzy, confined spaces, fear of flying, dentists or even electric windows in cars, the list could go on and there have been many more
All of the above turned out to be learnt behaviours
Phobias are a visible demonstration of the power of a persons subconscious mind, that has been imprinted, that has accepted an idea and then begins to carry out the instruction of the feeling or idea that has been absorbed. Its powerful stuff, creation right there.
The potent creative mind
The strength of the response to these ideas always brings my attention to just how potent and creative our minds really are. Ideas are usually imprinted by a powerful emotion, the initial emotion is the thing that blows open the doors to the subconscious and imprints the idea strongly.
Deposits of new experience
As time goes on with more and more uncomfortable experiences the original incident is usually forgotten by our conscious mind as the layers of new experience are deposited over top and lays there buried and forgotten, but still very active, under the accumulation of years of experience: rather like an ancient Roman villa. Looking in the right place in the right light can be very illuminating
Imagine if we began to consciously use this power for our advantage, for our health, to improve the quality of our lives and the world around us.
Phobias are learned
If you accept that all phobias are learned and ride that train of thought, the destination could be incredible, what we could achieve by putting the truth into our minds and to practice these thoughts, that we are amazing creative beings and let these healthy ideas begin to run the show. It would be incredible and it really could be so matter of fact.
Help is right here
I’d like to tell the story that illustrates the point, of the sweet lovely man who came to see us at a festival. He was a nervous wreck when he approached us with the usual mistrust of Hypnosis, but he’d needed help and the need thankfully overrode his initial mistrust
Memories and reminders
It turned out he had a fear of tall rooms which had got worse over the years and morphed into a fear open spaces and tall buildings in the streets of the city where he lived. It had made his life a misery; he’d walk into areas and places and just pass out. The city became a minefield of traumatic experiences, and of painful memories and reminders
On the surface of things there didn’t seem to be anything in the family to suggest where these feelings had begun. Mum and Dad had been loving kind and honest and had brought him and his brother up to always tell the truth.
Then during regression he relieved a moment as a little boy where he’d gone into the bathroom to brush his teeth he’d absentmindedly pulled away a strip of wallpaper as kids are likely to do and it wouldn’t stick back down no matter what he tried and he felt bad.
When a little while later the parents came upstairs to tuck him and his brother up in bed, they’d asked who had peeled the wallpaper away. He’d felt guilty, he loved them very much and didn’t want to be the one to have upset them. So with his child’s mind he’d told his parents it had been his brother in the other bed. His brother was told off; No big deal on the surface, and that should have been that.
The family legend
But when they’d gone downstairs he’d lain there feeling very bad, his heart racing. He’d been brought up to never tell a lie. He’d lain there in his bed, chest pounding, feeling so bad staring up at the high ceiling of their bedroom.
Under Hypnosis he’d said “It feels like my heart is going to burst out of my chest and hit the ceiling”
The power of the emotion
This emotion had powerfully imprinted on his subconscious mind and from then on when ever he went into a big room his heart would race and he’d become anxious; the guilty feeling about the lie he’d told was activated over and over again. Over time he’d completely forgotten the original incident, and each new anxiety attack became increasingly stronger and exaggerated, he seemingly powerless due to the actual memory of the initial incident being out or reach as it became buried deeper and deeper with each new incident, a vicious anxious spiral.
Release is near
As soon as he realized the cause, it lost its grip and he was released and reclaimed his life. He was very surprised by what it all boiled down too, I still hear from him now and what he’s doing with his newfound freedom.
We all have different personalities of course, different talents flavour’s moods and inclinations but truly the powerhouse to our lives, the quality of our lives what we are able to achieve with the our particular gifts we came into this life with is in the subconscious mind
The 11 year old girl who was afraid of shark’s had as a little child clicked on a DVD player that had Jurassic Park loaded in and paused right at the moment a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex leapt out of the screen. It had deeply shocked her. As time went on after watching a few wildlife programs on TV with the help of her friends screams she’d associated and become afraid of sharks and eventually even water in the swimming pool.
The emotional incidents in the conscious mind over layering the initial event giving it more power and so becoming ever more disabling.
The lady who fainted at spiders had as a little girl seen her mother repeatedly scream or cringe whenever she saw one on TV then her older sister had come up behind her quietly one day while she was putting her coat on grabbed her and Shouted “spider on your back” For a split second she’d imagined a huge spider the sister’s arms giant legs, from then on the phobia grew to enormous proportions.
A bad joke
We have a healthy respect for snakes right, but uncontrolled terror is mostly learned from people around us. A ladies fear of snakes had started when she was a little girl when her brother had poured worms over her head, a few had gone down her back and he’d held her down while they wriggled, she remembered the cold wriggling sensation, which as time went on grew into an irrational fear of snakes
Fear of flying phobia is usually is due to some sensational story or film or absorbed from another persons terror story or has also been associated with enclosed spaces. Dentists too due to some bad experience when the person was young which has grown out of all proportion.
My own brother had a terrible fear of the dentist due to having a rubber gas mask forced on him when we he was little, I remember him kicking the dentist, in later life his teeth became blackened and awful but he refused point blank to go back, he was a hard man, but would break out in a sweat if the dentist was even mentioned.
Live your potential
This learned behaviour can usually be dealt in a few sessions and many times just one. Isn’t the mind incredible, wouldn’t you like to be putting good information in there. It isn’t just about phobias either. Helping people through Hypnotherapy In Exeter and as H.O.W throughout the UK are about freeing the mind and understanding deeply the power we all have and what we can do with it. To live up to our potential to live fuller better more creative lives consciously everyday.
Dealing with all types of phobias is not so much about overcoming the specific “fear”, it is rather discovering that there was nothing fear to begin with.
Watch and listen to the Guided Self Help Hypnosis "overcoming your fear of spiders" Meditation with Mick Crudge Stuart Newman and Hollie Kamel from Entrance