Hypnotherapy treatment for phobias (Chiswick Practice)
This case study has been written with express permission from the client
PS came to my Chiswick practice in the summer of 2014 looking for hypnotherapy to help her with a fear of enclosed spaces, particularly around elevators, tube trains and aeroplanes. The prospect of entering any space that she could not simply walk away from filled her with anxiety and dread. Her family had for many years wanted to go abroad on holiday and this year had finally decided to book their vacation in Italy. PS faced the prospect of either not joining them or enduring a flight which would last for several hours.
During her hypnotherapy consultation, we explored the origins of this fear, however there appeared to be no obvious cause. Apart from a fear of heights and fear of loud noises, all phobias are learnt behaviours, either directly from an experience or from seeing others reaction in similar circumstances. The origin of PS’s phobia appeared to be from a very young age or the memories may have been so traumatic that they had been repressed. Either way, I knew it was essential to tread carefully in hypnosis just in case anything deeply upsetting came up for her.
We booked four hypnotherapy sessions at our Chiswick practice over the following month, followed by another two sessions just before her holiday. I asked her to think about the top five most fearful situations she could be in and rank them from 1 to 5. During the first hypnosis session, I focussed on increasing her feelings of safety, security and relaxation, an essential element when dealing with any fearful or phobic situations. I also installed anchoring techniques to help her access these feelings in the waking world whenever she needed them. I then began targeting those things she ranked lower on her list, such as buses and taxi journeys.
As the hypnosis sessions progressed, I targeted the items she ranked higher on her fear scale, such as tube trains and elevators, whilst at the same time continuing to reinforce feelings of relaxation, calmness and security. PS made excellent progress, feeling able to comfortably use an elevator and the tube by herself after just three sessions. During the fourth hypnotherapy session, I focussed on the plane flight, walking her through an entire flight experience from arriving at the airport in England to leaving the airport in Italy. PS left the fourth session feeling very optimistic, promising to keep using elevators and tube trains as much as possible to reinforce her new found behaviours.
We had a space of about a month before PS was due to return for her pre-holiday sessions. During this time there were several high profile plane accidents, resulting in a significant loss of life. These incidents understandably concerned PS and raised her levels of anxiety over her pending flight. We focussed our final two hypnotherapy sessions on the joys of flying, how relaxing it can be, and the amazing places a flight can take you to. Several more walk through were included so by the time PS left the final session, she was looking forward to her flight almost as much as the holiday.
She contacted me upon her return to thank me again for all of my help and commented that she was looking forward to next year when they were planning on flying to America! She believed the hypnotherapy treatment had been instrumental in curing her of her phobia.
If you have any questions, or would like to enquire about a session, please contact us. West London Counselling, Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy Services have practices in Acton, Chiswick, South Ealing, Ealing Broadway, Fulham and Harley Street and have a catchment area of Barnes, Brentford, Chelsea, Greenford, Grove Park, Gunnersbury, Hammersmith, Hanwell, Hounslow, Isleworth, Kew, Mortlake, Park Royal, Perivale, Putney, Richmond, Shepherds Bush, Southall, Turnham Green, Twickenham, White City and any other area in West London