Fears and Phobias

When a fear starts to disrupt your daily life, it’s possible you may be suffering from a phobia. Some fears are important for us to learn, helping us to avoid what is dangerous, but so many others are seemingly irrational yet fill us with dread. Hypnosis Dublin can help you leave your fear behind.

People with phobias will often try to avoid the situation or object that starts or triggers their phobia. How their life is affected depends on the nature and severity of the phobia.

Someone who is scared of spiders may simply not be able to touch or hold one. Others may not be able to be in the same room as a spider they can see. Someone else might not be able to see even a picture of a spider and could even boycott television or films which may include spiders. These effects can be powerful.


A fear is an unpleasant reaction we feel when confronted with real danger. it is an essential ‘fight or flight’ instinct, which makes us prepare to either run away from that danger, or stick around and fight it out.


A phobia on the other hand (while still a very strong and unpleasant reaction), is an irrational fear which has been ‘symbolically attached’ to an object, or situation, which causes little or no real danger.

There will usually be strong avoidance behaviour connected with the phobia, which will run alongside intense feelings of anxiety, loss of control and panic.

Sometimes, confrontation with the phobia, can even lead to fainting, but this is usually only associated with blood, injury, or needle-type phobias.


Specific phobias

Specific phobias can be categorised into five main types:

Animal: such as rats/mice, spiders, insects, snakes, flying creatures, dogs, cats and reptiles.

Natural Environment: such as water, thunderstorms, heights, fire, and the dark.

Blood / Injury /Needles: such as injections, the sight of blood, dentistry, surgical operations, or other invasive medical procedures.

Situational: such as flying, lifts, driving, tunnels, bridges, enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), or being sick.

These fears relate to a fear of being trapped and unable to get away.Other: such as illness, germs, choking, vomiting.

Complex phobias

As well as the specific phobias, there are also the complex phobias of social phobia / social anxiety, and agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces). These can also be very distressing and debilitating, in a wide range of situations.

What causes phobias?

Phobias are often caused in childhood, where the child experiences a real fear, but the mind manages to detach (or repress) the feeling of terror, from the situation that caused it.

This leaves the mind with a strong fear, and nothing to attach it to. The mind doesn’t like it this way, and will therefore, symbolically attach this fear, to a real object or situation that it does know about, be it a spider, an enclosed space, a lift… whatever it may find.

Whenever the person now comes into contact with the object or situation (say, a spider), they feel the fear that the subconscious mind has associated with it. and they have a ‘phobia’.

Sometimes, however, phobias can develop after experiencing something.

The initial sensitising event, or triggering incident, may vary from witnessing, for example, an accident, visiting the dentist’s office, or even just hearing about terrible disasters.

Or, a child may model their behaviour on that of their role model who has a phobia in their own right, and as a result, this can cause the child to become phobic as well.

An example of this, would be a child who became terrified of thunderstorms, simply because the mother was frightened of them and acted in a terrified manner, or hid herself away, whenever a storm raged overhead.

The child would quickly have picked up on the mother’s fear, absorbed and formed a learned behaviour pattern, and thus developed a conditioned response.

Hypnosis can be effective in desensitising and eliminating the phobia and showing the client how best to relax and remove any anxieties while providing methods of relaxation should confrontation of the fear occur in the future.