Treating Phobias

Treating phobias: fear of public speaking

What is Phobia?

The key to treating phobias is understanding fully what causes a phobia in the first place. Phobia is an intense kinaesthetic state. When we are in that state, we are learning through feeling such as a sense of body position, muscle movement, and weight as we feel them through nerve endings.

An external event (or stimulus) creates this trauma, which takes place in the amygdala, a part of our brain which controls our emotions.

A phobia produces a fear response to objects and situations that are not inherently threatening.

This happens, for example, with the fear of public speaking.

For some people, public speaking is just a part of their job. Conversely, just the thought of public speaking terrifies some of us. In this case, they consider public speaking as a threatening event.

A Phobia is binary: this means that we either have it or not. Therefore, some people are either afraid of public speaking or they are not.

How can we become phobic?

There are four requirements that, together, set our brain to encode a trauma:

  1. Event
  2. Meaning
  3. A landscape of the brain
  4. Perceived inescapability.

1. First of all, an Event must happen.

Using the example of fear of public speaking, a possible event could be one morning, when during a class at school, the teacher asked you a question that you didn’t know the answer to and the whole class laughed at you.

Another plausible event could be a presentation that you gave, which generated a negative response from the audience. Also, even a job interview that went terribly bad could be a trigger event.

2. Secondly, the event has to have a Meaning for us to generate an emotional response (the intense kinaesthetic state).

This Meaning can be;

  1. learnt
  2. or innate.

We consider somebody’s fear of public speaking as learnt when for example the presentation did not go well or when the whole class laughed at you.

Instead, someone’s fear of heights is innate if their general sense of insecurity could be the cause of it.

3. The third requirement for our brain to encode a trauma is the landscape of the brain.

Our brain is an electrochemical ‘machine’. We call the Landscape of the brain its electrochemical state at the time when the Event happens. This state is the sum of many factors, like

  • our inherent temperament,
  • our sensibility to stressors
  • previous and current experiences, etc.

For instance, when the teacher unexpectedly had asked you the question, that could have been a stressful moment. Alternatively, if you are introverted by nature, just to be the center of the attention can be stressful for you!

4. The last requirement is the perceived inescapability.

We perceive as inescapable a situation in which we find ourselves in that intense kinaesthetic state, which can be perhaps an extremely stressful and even embarrassing situation, and we somehow believe that there is nowhere to run, we cannot escape it.

Anyone of us can become phobic at any age, anytime and anywhere!

If the four requirements (Event, Meaning, Landscape of the Brain and Perceived Inescapability) are present, we can become phobic. It can happen during a holiday, at work, at home and even right now! Equally we can cure it by effectively treating phobias with hypnotherapy.

What happens in our brain when we have a Phobia?

As already stated above, Phobia is based in our brain’s amygdala, which controls our emotions.

Its receptors are dormant under non-phobic circumstances. Conversely, every time the phobic trigger is present, our brain potentiates (activates) them.

So, for instance, when you know you have to do a presentation, or even when you remember the traumatic event that had caused the encoding of the phobia, the receptors of the amygdala become potentiated (activated). This triggers our intense kinaesthetic state.

 

How can Hypnotherapy help to get rid of a Phobia?

Hypnosis or Trance Induction is a form of deep relaxation.

Deep relaxation stimulates the brain to produce Delta Waves (Slow Waves) and Calcineurin. When we combine them together, they de-potentiate (deactivate) the receptors of the amygdala.

Once they de-potentiate them, the phobia disappears because we have neutralised the emotions linked to the event.

Managing expectations is crucial when the phobia is gone.

It is normal for us to become attached to a problem, like a phobia, especially if we have had it for some time.

When the phobia is gone, it leaves an empty space inside, that we strangely ‘miss‘.

Since as Nature abhors a vacuum, we need to replace the Phobic State for a Resourceful State such as

  • Joy,
  • Contentment,
  • Freedom,
  • Satisfaction,
  • Happiness.. or anything else, which is resourceful.

Also, when the phobia is gone, we may even fear that we will become a completely different person, unrecognisable, a stranger to ourselves. That is absolutely not the case.

We will FEEL how we used to feel before the phobia. Then, we will BEHAVE how we used to behave before the phobia. On top of that, we will BE how we used to be before the phobia.

Treating Phobias; fear of public speaking

Treating phobias is my speciality, including the fear of …

Blood

Spiders

Flying

Public speaking

Confined spaces…

Cure your phobia today with Regina.

The purpose of this 30-minute Free Consultation is for me …

  1. to explain how we can find the root cause of the Phobic Event (the first event),
  2. identify the emotions relating to the root cause,
  3. and finally how we can de-potentiate (deactivate) the receptors of the amygdala.

Also, during this free consultation you will have the opportunity to ask me any questions or bring up any doubts you may have. The Free Consultation will be either over the phone or on Skype.

Having no idea what to expect I went in with an open mind-set, the hypnotherapy itself was so clever I didn’t even realise what effect it was having until after and the problem itself did not seem one at all! Having had a severe phobia of blood causing me to faint and have to leave rooms for over 10 years it has put a great amount of stress on my life, unsure what movies to watch or having to avoid certain conversation topics and fainting during school this is literally life changing!
I learnt techniques to help me cope with a situation if I felt any stress or anxiety towards the topic coming on, however since the therapy itself I’ve felt no need to use them. I’ve been able to openly speak about the phobia and watch gruesome television without a problem.
I found the whole treating phobias process fascinating.

LS, London 2019

Treating Phobias: Fear of public speaking