Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Driving Phobia

Driving phobia is one of the most common phobias. people are surprised to hear that though as it's one of the 'hidden' phobias. This is because sufferers are too embarrassed to admit to having it and thus go to great lengths to conceal it. Like other hidden or silent phobias driving phobia is well known to phobia specialists and the avoidance patterns, symptoms and responses are very similar to other silent phobias.

Driving phobia is an irrational fear of driving or being out of control whilst driving and can cause dread, panic and avoidance. It rarely has any relation to how good a driver the sufferer is. Many of them are good competent drivers and normal, well balanced people who once drove quite happily but are now anxious or panicky when they drive or don't drive at all. A driving phobia can happen to lots of people and it can happen to anyone making driving very difficult or even impossible. The conscious, rational thinking part of the sufferer knows that they are a good driver and so it can be very frustrating. Sometimes though, when in certain driving situations or on certain roads, the irrational, unconscious part of them can push out rational thought and fear will rapidly take its place. It has been shown that it is the more creative, imaginative and artistic people that develop phobias such as driving phobia. Developing a phobia can have a lot do with misuse of the imagination so anyone can develop a phobia of driving, no matter what their level of competence.

Driving phobia can be caused by an upsetting or traumatic event, such as an accident, or something apparently insignificant like being stuck in a traffic jam, overtaking or going over a very high bridge. Things such as tiredness, stress or worry can cause the irrational mind to blow these events out of all proportion and a mild panic attack may be experienced. This can create a pattern where similar events in the future may be experienced in the same way and thus a phobia is created. Sufferers may use various strategies to control their panic and embarrassment. They may only drive at certain quiet times, avoid certain routes and places and make excuses so as to avoid giving lifts to friends and colleagues. Over time these 'solutions' can restrict and interfere with the sufferers quality of life and become a part of the problem. Eventually the sufferer must admit that they cannot change the situation themselves and seek professional help.

Like most phobias driving phobia can be treated with hypnotherapy, the NLP fast phobia cure, EFT and cognitive therapy.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Rare Phobia

I read an item in the newspaper the other day about a young lady who was suffering from a rare phobia - a phobia of knees. This goes to show how you can be phobic of just about anything, even something such as knees which most people would feel are totally harmless. It seems this young lady's phobia started when she was a child of 11 and saw her Father fall and dislocate his knee.

The phobia is spoiling her quality of life. She said that it was worse in summer and that she didn't feel she could go to the beach or the pub. She thought she would freak out if she saw someone in a bathing costume or a short skirt and quivers in fear if someone tries to touch her knees or accidently bumps them. She is fine with her family and friends but strangers knees still hold a lot of fear for her. She is getting married next May and hopes to be free of the phobia by then.

She has tried several therapies including Hypnotherapy but nothing has worked for her. She should try my book "Stress Free Dentistry. The easy way to overcome your fear of going to the dentist". It is available at and the techniques can easily be adapted to overcome any phobia. The phobia of knees is called Genuphobia. I put this into Google and came up with a site that talked about a therapist who was having an 85% success rate in treating this and other phobias. He says it is caused by an energy imbalance and recommends Energy Psychotherapy. It doesn't explain but he may be using something like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) of Thought Field Therapy (TFT). The site is It clicks through to a site from where you can buy DVD's, audio CD's and books to help yourself.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Seven Success Tips.

I said in a previous post that I would be publishing some articles on personal development/self-help. As promised, here is the first of them.

Every day it seems that life can get that little bit tougher. The faster pace of modern life with its increasing reliance on more and more technology can be difficault to keep up with. Sadly some people fall by the wayside and end up using excess alcohol or drugs in order to cope or end up with a stress related illness. The field of self-help is now massive with hundreds of books, magazines, CD's and DVD's available. The reason for this is that it works! There will always be people who knock the field of self-help but the old adage is true, "If you want a job done right do it yourself!" Whilst there are plenty of people out there who are trained to help you such as counsellors, psychotherapists and life coaches it all has to start with you. You are the one who has to take action and read the book, listen to the CD or make the appointment with the life coach or therapist. It is also you who has to do most of the work in order to truly succeed. Here are seven tips to help you along your way:

1. Have faith in yourself. This is very important You must have faith and belief in yourself that you have the ability to achieve your goals and your dreams. When you have faith and believe in yourself you release the strength to overcome the obstacles in life.

2. Recognize and develop your strengths. We are all totally unique individuals with our own strengths and abilities. Work on those strenths and develop them. Don't dwell on anything that you feel you lack in yourself. Work on your strengths, use them to the upmost and who knows where they might take you.

3. Judge yourself by your own opinions. People are often put down or depressed by a negative remark about them from someone else. Be proud of all your good qualities and judge yourself based on what you know about yourself. As long as you are good person being good to others as best you can then that's all that matters. Who are they to judge anyway? Nobody is perfect we are all doing the best we can with what we have.

4. Do the things you love to do. Spend as much time as possible doing the the things that you really enjoy. By this I mean preferably constructive things that increase your self-esteem and self-development. This kind of self-help will make you feel better and bring you closer to success.

5. Select your friends carefully. It really matters who you spend time with because people are either building you up or tearing you down so make sure you spend your time with good, positive people who encourage you in the good things you want to do and genuinely want you to be successful. Make sure you giving them back the same encouragement. As Brian Tracy says:
"If you want to soar with the Eagles, don't scratch around in the barnyard with the Turkeys!"

6. Have a mastermind group. It was Napoleon Hill, the Father of the field of personal development, who originated the idea of a mastermind group. Basically a mastermind group is a group of people/friends who come together on a regular basis to help each other achieve their goals. If you're in business this might include your accountant, solicitor, life coach and other business people with similar ambitions. All these people would work together to help each other succeed.

7. Think positively. Positive thoughts bring positive results. This is because the law of attraction says that like attracts like. Think positively about your goals and focus on them to bring your dreams into reality.

Whether you are a success in life will be mostly due to your own efforts. Life is too short to waste time. Take action NOW to achieve the life you dream of and good luck.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Treatments for Phobias

For someone with a phobia life can be very difficult, depending on the phobia they have and its severity. They may spend hours of their day anxiously worrying about being in a situation that causes them so much fear. Someone with a phobia of birds may fear leaving their house and when they are outside they may have to plan their route to avoid places where birds, such as pigeons, congregate. If they do come close to birds the encounter may trigger a full blown panic attack. So people with phobias are genuinely suffering and about 10% of the population has one.

Their are many treatments available and some are more effective than others. If you go to your doctor you may be given drugs which just mask the symptoms but don't cure the problem. You may also be offered some form of counselling or talking therapy. This can can be helpful to a degree as can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I have, in a previous post, discussed how really effective Hypnotherapy can be. I cured myself of my own phobia of going to the dentist by using self-hypnosis suggestion therapy.

Eye Movement De-sensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is another effective therapy. It works by scrambling the programme that runs the phobia and replacing it with another, more positive one. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is another very effective therapy and one of my favourites.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is perhaps the most effective therapy and has a specific technique, the Fast Phobia Cure, for treating phobias. Other NLP techniques can be effective

In my book "Stress Free Dentistry. The easy way to overcome your fear of going to the dentist" I explain the NLP Fast Phobia Cure as well as hypnosis suggestion therapy, the technique I used to treat myself. For a copy go to and put "Stress Free Dentistry" into search. the techniques can easily be adapted to treat any phobia.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Names of Phobias.

The word Phobia comes from the Greek Phobos which means fear or great fear. In my researches I have found lists of the names of dozens and dozens of phobias and it appears you can be phobic of just about anything.

Some of the more familiar names of phobias are: Agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces), Arachnophobia (the fear of spiders), Acrophobia (the fear of heights), Ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes) and Claustrophobia (the fear of confined spaces).

Some of the more unusual include: Asymmetriphobia (the fear of asymmetrical things), Pediophobia (the fear of dolls), Anglophobia (the fear of Englishness), Barophobia (the fear of Gravity), Acarophobia (the fear of itching), Geliophobia (the fear of laughter), Politicophobia (the fear of politicians) on second thoughts perhaps that ones not so unusual, Dextrophobia (the fear of things on the right side of the body), Kathisophobia (the fear of sitting down), Phronemophobia the fear of thinking), and even Phobophobia (the fear of phobias).

Apropriately enough the longest name for any phobia that I have found so far is Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia - the fear of long words! It certainly scares the hell out of me !

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Arachnophobia - Watch the spiders don't get you!

I have read that the number one most common phobia is the phobia of spiders. Many, many people have a fear of spiders but it varies in intensity from person to person. Some just have a mild dislike whilst at the other extreme others will only have to see a photograph of a spider to have an extreme reaction. Some people may have panic attacks or do anything to avoid spiders such as having another person check a room for spiders before they enter it themselves. Accidents have been caused by a person seeing a spider in their car and it has been known for people to try and jump out of a moving car to get away from one. The condition can be so severe that it can lead to Agoraphobia with the person not even wanting to leave their house in case they encounter a spider.

Some of the things that people particularly dislike about spiders are:

1/ Their size
2/ Black colouration
3/ Their big bottoms
4/ The length of their legs
5/ The way they move.

Fortunately, the condition can be helped very effectively with therapies such as Hypnotherapy, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).

In South America tribes such as the Piaroa Indians actually catch cook and eat large bird eating spiders. There is also a history of spiders being eaten in Europe. The French author Reaumur new a certain young lady who would eat all the spiders she could find. For some unknown reason it seems that spiders are mostly eaten by women. W.S.Bristowe, author of The World of Spiders, reported that he had eaten cooked Tarantulas but was amazed by a lady called Miss Jennifer Walker who insisted that common British spiders were delicious when eaten raw. One particular afternoon they each sampled 5 different species. I don't recommend trying this yourself.

It seems, therefore, that spiders have far more to fear from us than we have from them. My sense of humour being what it is I can imagine a young spider running to his mother shouting, "Mum! Mum! Come quick! There's a Human in the bath. I have this vision of a big spider and a little spider peering over the side of a bath at a tiny Human sat by the plug hole!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Hypnotherapy for phobias.

I am a qualified Hypnotherapist and was priviledged to do training with two of the finest trainers in Hypnotherapy at that time, Wilf Proudfoot and Stephen Brooks.

Hypnotherapy is very powerful and can be very effective in the treatment of phobias. Hypnosis, or what may be termed a trance, is a perfectly natural state that we go in and out of many times a day every day. A hypnotherapist is a facilitator of hypnosis and when in a 'trance' you are always in control and can usually remember everything that happens. Here are just three of the benefits of hypnosis:

1) It is very relaxing and has been proven to lower your blood pressure and release any tension in the muscles.

2) Hypnosis can reduce the amount of hormones produced by stress.

3) It can be used to treat many ailments and conditions in addition to phobias.

We often talk about the conscious and unconscious minds. Our conscious mind is the mind we use in our everyday awareness of the things we are 'conscious' of. If I ask you to become aware of how your right foot feels you can do that but previously you were not consciously aware of it because your conscious mind was reading this article. You unconscious mind keeps your body working so you don't consciously have to bother. It controls things such as your heart rate, breathing and hunger. It is also a storehouse of everything that has ever happened to you.

The conscious mind rationalises and considers whether something is true or not. The conscious mind cannot rationalise and will eventually accept as true anything it is told often enough. I remember many years ago I visited someone who had not seen for a few years this lady had been very intelligent, confident and had a good job but in our conversation on that occasion she told me several times how useless she was. I was totally shocked at the difference in her. By frequently telling her she was useless someone had programmed her to think she was useless. Unfortunately this may have been her husband or his mother. This is what we mean by the power of suggestion and is why we must be so careful about the thoughts we think and change any negative thoughts for positive ones. We must also, as this case shows, be very careful about what we allow others to tell us or suggest to us and thus programme us with.

The conscious mind is like a guardian for the subconscious mind protecting it from negativity but as the above case shows it can be bypassed eventually. In hypnosis it can be bypassed easily as it is relaxed or distracted so the hypnotherapist can use suggestions to programme the subconscious mind in positive way to overcome a phobia or many other conditions. Such is the power of hypnotherapy that after treatment you may even laugh at how silly you were to have, for example, a phobia of spiders.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Social Phobia

People with Social Phobia have a chronic fear of being out in public or in situations where they have to mix with other people. They feel that people may be watching them and judging them and that they may be embarassed or humiliated. This phobia can interfere with normal life and prevent people from enjoying the happy and varied life that they deserve. It may even lead to Agoraphobia.

Social phobia can be limited to just one type of situation, such as public speaking or eating in front of others, or it may be more severe where people may experience symptoms in any situation where they are around other people.

Some of the physical symptoms associated with social phobia include: Blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea and other stomach discomfort. These physical symptoms can worsen the fear of disapproval and fear of the symptoms can create a viscious circle. People worry about experiencing the symptoms and thus increase their chances of developing the symptoms. Social phobia can often run in families and may be accompanied by alcohol dependence and depression.

In the United States 3.7 percent of the population, about 5.3 million people, aged between 18 to 54 has social phobia in any given year. It occurs in women twice as often as it occurs in men but men are more likely to seek help for the disorder.

There is continuing research into the causes of social phobia. Some of these investigations implicate an area of the brain called the amygdala as being the site that controls fear responses. Studies with animals have found that in some cases social phobia can be inherited and is therefore genetic. Some scientists are exploring the concept that a heightened sensitivity to disapproval may be physiologically or hormonally based. Others are investigating environmental influences on developing social phobia in that people may acquire their fear from observing the behaviour and consequences of others. This is a process called observational learning or social modelling.

So what treatments are available? Well as a qualified Hypnotherapist and practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) I would naturally recommend both of those therapies. They are very effective and can be used separately or NLP techniques can be combined with hypnosis. Other techniques include the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Again this is something I have trained in and highly recommend. You can also try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), group therapy and family therapy. There are also drug treatments available for which you should consult your own doctor. Whatever happens seek help and advice. There is no need to suffer unnecessarily.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Get the book - Lose the phobia!

Here they are as promised, details of how to get my book that will help you overcome your phobia. The book is called "Stress Free Dentistry. The easy way to overcome your fear of going to the dentist". Although it is obviously aimed at those with a phobia of the dentist by using the techniques described in the book you should be able to overcome any phobia. The first part of the book is about my own phobia of going to the dentist and how, having broken a front tooth, I had no choice but to overcome it.

The book then goes on to detail how I did it and gives step-by-step instructions for how you can overcome your own phobia. To purchase a copy of the book, either in hard copy or as a download, just go to and put "Stress Free Dentistry" into search.

Remember, I am a qualified and experienced therapist so the techniques I describe are very powerful and effective. So go on, get the book and lose the phobia. Good luck!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Welcome to my blog

This is the first post for my new blog Phobia Coach! As someone who has suffered from a phobia myself I hope future posts will inspire others to take charge of their lives and overcome their own phobias, no matter what they may be.

As a trained Life Coach and Personal Development enthusiast I will also, from time to time, publish posts on subjects other than phobias which I hope will educate, motivate and inspire you.
I am living proof that phobias can be overcome and that you don't have to suffer forever. My own phobia was of going to the dentist. It was so bad that I could't even look at the outside of a dental surgery building, look at pictures of dental surgeries in newspapers and magazines or watch news items or programmes about them on the television. It was so bad that it was almost painful.

Fortunately I had trained in Hypnotherapy and used Self-Hypnosis after breaking a front tooth which meant that I had no choice but to go to the dentist. That was after nearly thirty years of avoiding the dentist.

Cheer up! You can overcome your phobia too. I wrote a book about how I did it and will talk more about this in my next post. I will also tell you how you can get a copy.