A phobia is an unreasonable fear, often incapacitating. It may have its roots in a previous experience of which you are reminded because of similarities to the present situation. It may be caused by a movie, TV program, a stern warning from your parents (heights) or something you heard or read. It is purely Pavlovian (Psychology 101). In common language, you are replaying an old tape. You are pulling up from the subconscious the emotions of a previous experience, warning, threat or whatever that at one time elicited an emotional response from you.
Of all the mental maladies, the phobia is the easiest thing to cure, EXCEPT agoraphobia, which is more complicated.
Phobias vary in their severity. Most are quite easy to fix. Some, like agoraphobia, can be more difficult. Phobias serve a purpose---protection from harm or embarrassment--at least from the viewpoint of the child-like subconscious mind.
Basically what happens when a phobia takes over is the child or younger person within you takes charge. The actual memory from which the emotions arise usually does not appear, but the emotions surely do. If you were to consciously know the cause you could reevaluate (sometimes) using your now more mature intellect and lose most of the fear.
Take women's fear of a mouse, for example. How many times have you heard of an adult being killed or injured by a house mouse. Yet the fear of a mouse is one of the most popular phobias of modern times.
So you have this phobia. What to do? Get rid of it. I'll tell you how. Let's start with stage fright. Easy to understand and easy to fix. Usually has 1 to 3 causes and we can try to take them all out at once.
For now you must take the concept Iím about to present as something to try to see if it works. Your rational mind won't accept it--it seems too ridiculous. But it works most of the time.
When I treat stage fright I have the person close his eyes and imagine he's on the stage, the bright lights are shining on him and he imagines a sea of faces looking straight at him. I then ask him, "How do you feel?, Invariably the response is "Very nervous."Ē Then I do as described above. After Iíve finished (5 seconds) I ask him to imagine again heís on the stage in the same situation and I ask him how he feels. The usual answer is "OK" or "Much better." If all the fear isnít gone, do it again. Each time you do it you take out more residual fear.
Neither patient nor therapist needs to believe it will work, because nobody does. It doesn't stand to reason. But the subconscious is not a reasoning mind like the conscious. The emotions come out of the subconscious, and the subconscious responds to healing commands or suggestions from an outsider far better than it does from you yourself.
Why does this work? I haven't the slightest idea. Iíve used it on radio, television, telephone and in person for over 20 years. This much is for sure. If you don't try, youíll get nothing. If you and a friend do EXACTLY as I say the chances of getting a positive result are very high. Nothing goes "SNAP!". It's just that now when you imagine yourself in the anxiety-provoking situation you donít feel the fear. You may need a repeat down the road or it may be permanent, especially if you prove to yourself soon that you're cured.
Here's a booster shot. Have the person say to you (from behind you or your eyes to the floor or your lap), "When I clap my hands and say INSTALL it will install a program into your mind that will make you feel perfectly comfortable whenever you are in front of an audience" (or whatever it is you're working on). Then do the clap and INSTALL!
Here is the key to making suggestion work. You define a TRIGGER. (When I clap my hands and say "whatever"). Then you give the suggestion: (It will take away the cause of all the fear you're feeling now.)
I give the suggestion 2 or 3 times and in different ways so the subject's subconscious knows exactly what is to happen. The subconscious is always listening except when you are asleep.
You can use a different trigger. You could say "When I give you a hug" (kids), when I squeeze your shoulder, slap your knee, blow my noseĒ or whatever as long as you define it. It works better if you can produce a slight startle.
Of course you can use the same method for a lot of other phobias--like test anxiety, fear of flying, fear of heights, being rejected, spiders, headaches, thunder and lightning, allergies, depression, nervousness, sex problems. These things will enjoy various degrees of success depending on the causes, how severe they are, and how clearly the suggestion and trigger are defined. You just make up a suggestion appropriate to the situation if possible.
If you can't get the subject to imagine the situation and feel emotion he/she probably doesn't have the problem. Whenever a person is reaping some benefit from a condition, you're unlikely to have success. (want sympathy, want attention, canít work, getting disability payment, etc.)
My automated therapy is designed to help you control or eliminate your phobia. You don't have to be specific about a phobia. Just have in mind what it is and my suggestion will be to disconnect you from the cause of the fear you have in mind. Can you afford a buck or two for a phone call if it might make your phobia less severe?
The telephone message is about 4 minutes long. The number to call (USA) is 503 848-8827. At my invitation press 42 and press the two numbers, one after the other. Be sure you are relaxed and freely salivating! From then on you just listen. I will have you imagine you are in the phobia producing situation to the extent you can feel the fear. That makes the connection with the subconscious, which is where the emotions come from. Then I will give the command to your subconscious to disconnect the cause of your fear.
If you are on a drug that is a tranquilizer, it probably won't work. Please let me know the result, success or failure or partial success.
As for treatment, try my simple cost-free method first. It may do the job. In the case of social phobias there are likely several things to be done and I may have to work with you on the phone or send you a personal voicemail by e-mail. Still free. You have nothing to lose but your phobia. Also try my anxiety page at http://www.psychresearch.com/anxiety.html.
Note: The author of this page is not a state or medically-licensed professional.
Psychological Research Foundation, Inc.
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