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Articles by David
Fast Phobia Cure

 

  • Accidents and injuries
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By dissociation from the memory of the past event and dissolving the synaesthesia you are able to see the event in a new way and thereby not be bothered by the event any more. This is not denial, you are not trying to denying the event ever happened, but you are now able to deal with the problem in real time disconnect the undesired association and get on with your life without the fear

This was one of the first actual NLP techniques developed using the art and science of the discipline known as NLP. The actual steps and the technique will be detailed later.

First we need to understand exactly what is a phobia and more importantly how is it created.

What is a Phobia?                                                                                                                                              

A phobia is an irrational fear of a person, thing or situation that the majority of people have no or little reaction to.  A person with a phobia will avoid the phobic situation wherever possible sometimes going to extraordinary lengths to achieve this. People can be afraid of absolutely ANYTHING! Some of these fears seem totally unreal to other people. All these fears create a  phobia (phobic response), this response is an intense irrational fear, a strong  emotional reaction or response to something. The “fight or flight” response as it is so commonly nicknamed.

These intense emotional feelings of fear associated with what is called a “phobic response”, are equated with feelings of terror, freight, and even death. So severe are the responses, that the sufferer would do almost anything to avoid the situation and/or object or place at all costs.

Note: Although these are irrational fears (with nothing obviously in their environment that is real threat), the sufferer experiences and feels them as if they were real  and therefore reacts accordingly.

Phobias generally fall into five main areas:

  • AGORAPHOBIA - fear of being away from one's own ‘safe circle' (this can be a small as one room, or as large as one's home town or even country.
  • SOCIAL PHOBIA - fear of any kind of social situation which involves other people e.g. walking down the street; standing in a queue; visiting a restaurant; attending meetings.
  • CLAUSTROPHOBIA - fear of enclosed spaces such as lifts, buses, trains, cinemas, theatres.
  • BLOOD/INJURY PHOBIA - fear of the sight of blood; injections; blood pressure measurement; surgery; fear of the doctor or dentist.
  • SIMPLE PHOBIA - fear of animals; birds; insects; particular objects such as buttons, telephones, bridges. This is not an exhaustive list! Other well-known phobias include fear of vomiting; of something about one's body looking or smelling wrong - probably an extreme form of social phobia; fear of heights; fear of flying.

Some people experience more than one of the above phobias, for example a social phobic may become agoraphobic because of their fear of meeting people. Someone with a fear of flying may be claustrophobic and not be able to use the train or the bus.

Symptoms of Phobias

Phobic symptoms can occur through re-exposure to the fear object or situation. The very thought that the situation is about to happen or sometimes simply thinking about the feared object or situation can lead to a response. Common symptoms associated with phobias include:

  • Dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • A sense of unreality
  • Fear of dying

In some cases, these symptoms can escalate into a full-scale anxiety attack. As a consequence of these symptoms, some individuals begin to isolate themselves, leading to severe difficulties in daily life. In other cases, the individual may seek out medical care due to a constant concern with imagined illnesses or imminent death.

The difference between a fear and a phobia

The distinction generally made is to say that a fear is rational and when fear becomes irrational it is a phobia.

In reality the difference is mainly one of degree and the handiest way to distinguish them is by saying that a phobia is different from a fear by being more irrational. Because, having being fuelled by our imagination, every fear will have a degree of irrationality to it

Why you are phobic is irrelevant!

Most people who are phobic tend to be fixated on discovering why they have the condition. This is great news for the psycho-analytical therapists and doctors since it can take many, many expensive sessions of analysis to get to the bottom of it.

But then what? You still feel phobic - but you know that it's to do with some childhood incident!

But you still feel phobic... Because understanding the causes does little to alleviate the gut-response. It's a bit like getting a thorn in your finger while gardening. You could spend a lot of time figuring out which rose bush causes it, and which branch and at precisely which moment.

But it makes a lot more sense to first get the thorn out of your finger so it stops hurting you - then, if you're really that interested you can analyse how it occurred.

A phobia is created by the individual, it is not caught, inherited or otherwise come about. It is simply created by the mind at a time of stress. It was probably created so long ago that the person has no idea at all when or how this took place.

The creation of a phobia takes only a few moments of your time and yet lasts for a lifetime. Of all the abilities of the human mind the creation of phobias must without doubt be one of the most triumphant.

A phobia is typically created by a situation where there has been a confusion of the senses and more specifically a connection between your feelings (kinaesthetic) and a visual or auditory stimuli whilst under stress. There are as many ways of creating an individual phobia than there are known phobias and the list of medically accepted phobias is very long and increasing daily.

The NLP fast phobia cure is best done to you by a qualified NLP practitioner but as long as the steps are carried out in the order shown below there is no reason why an untrained person could not assist another in carrying out this procedure. If it is successful great that is NLP if it is unsuccessful for you seek out a qualified practitioner to help you. In all events the cure is effected by you and you alone.

Here's the standard NLP Fast Phobia Cure, step for step:

Preliminaries: As with all NLP techniques good quality ‘Rapport’ must be obtained and maintained. The situation for doing this technique must be real and serious. NLP techniques are not to be played with. If the steps below are followed in a studious manner than you should have a desirable result. The steps are written for a client/practitioner situation

STEP ONE: Calibrate to phobic response. You need the client to be able to have a phobic response there and then. There is no point doing the Fast Phobia Cure on an experience which doesn't make the client phobic. Ask what is required to get the client to have a phobic response. Normally just thinking about the problem is enough sometimes you need to encourage the client to become fully associated into the response.

STEP TWO: Have the client relax and imagine that they are in a picture house or cinema. Have them sitting in a middle row looking at a blank screen. Get client to see a black & white image of themselves  on the screen in front of them JUST BEFORE having a phobic response.

You need to pay a lot of attention to the client at this point. If they demonstrate a moderately phobic response at this step, change to a different picture. Perhaps to a picture of them doing something not directly associated with the phobia and then pace and lead them to a point before the phobic response. A change of picture from moving to still or from clear to defused may be required to stop the phobic response at the time.

Technically the amygdala's  (part of the brain responsible for phobic response)response will depend upon input from at least one visual association areas including those associated with visual sub-modalities including colour processing, movement etc.

In most cases, seeing a black & white image of themselves PREVENTS the phobic response being triggered in the client. Neurologically speaking, the amygdala requires a 'colour' input from various visual cortices in order to be "phobic".

The client is poised to freak out anyway…

Thanks to television, black & white vs. colour is one of those sub modalities we usually experience as a digital either-or. It's difficult to start adding colour to that monochrome image. You can do the same with Still vs. Moving. If there is a phobic response at this point, I interrupt them and then tell them that the slightly shaky image has a paused symbol in one corner - and hand them the remote control.

Traditionally, this is done in an imagined theatre - a context where people's imaginations are already primed.

STEP TWO: Get the client to imagine stepping out of themselves and going to a nearby safe place. Usually this is the projection booth in the theatre. Allow them to watch black & white movie of the original phobic problem (or as close to the original problem as they can remember)

The client has a choice of watching themselves onscreen in black & white, or watching themselves watching themselves. That means watching themselves sitting in the chair watching the film. Either way they do actually ‘see’ the film

Therefore, they have now developed  a choice in how they perceive/represent a situation where they are phobic. The client is also at this time double disassociated from the actual event

As we have used a critical sub modality in STEP ONE (usually colour). When we lead the client through the representation with the colour input missing, rather than freaking out, the client may even be probably be slightly disappointed at how 'un-scary' this step is.

STEP THREE: Step back into self at the end of movie, re-add critical sub modality (colour) and run the whole movie backwards reinforce this backward running of the movies and ask the client to run it backwards as fast as possible.

What physiology does the client step into? Full-blown panic? I doubt it. This subconsciously associates the worst part of the experience with a flat emotional response.

The critical sub modality is re-added (usually colour) and you then lead the client through seeing/hearing/feeling everything in reverse.

You may need to repeat this process a few times before complete reprogramming of the brain is complete. When the processed is finished you can instantly test the client by asking them to try and invoke the phobic response or maybe by exposing them to the item or situation that caused the response in the first place.

Here is a slightly different variation to the technique. This method is taught in different schools of NLP

Fast Phobia Cure - The Technique

 

1.   Have the subject find their greatest fear in life.

2.  Have them walk into an “imaginary movie theatre” of their mind and sit down in the center of the front row. 

3.  Have them float up out of their body and gently settle in a comfortable seat in the balcony, so they can watch themselves watching the screen. 

4.  Have them put the very beginning of their greatest fear on the screen in the form of a colored slide. Have them run the movie of their greatest fear all the way to end, as they remain in the balcony watching sitting in the front row watching themselves on the screen. 

5.  At the end of the movie, freeze the frame into a slide. Change the picture to black and white and then re-associate fully into the picture on the screen (“walk into the movie). Run the associated movie backwards at triple speed or faster, with circus or cartoon music playing, and have them freeze - frame the image when they get to the beginning of the movie. 

6.  Have them walk out of the still picture and sit back down in the center of the front row of the theater, then have them white out the entire screen.

7.  Repeat steps 3-6 as necessary. Test for the phobic response after each time through. All throughout the process use plenty of presuppositions and Milton model language patterns to reinforce your change work.

In both methods the critical point is the dissociation from the actual event and in fact both use the double disassociation technique. When association is eventually imposed, it is so bizarre that the brain re-writes the memory and unlearns the phobia as quickly as it learnt it.

Technically this is a brain re-imprinting exercise and this is best explained in a little story.

Imagine you are walking down a road and come to a dead end. In front of you is a large cornfield with corn grown to shoulder height. You can not see the sides of this field nor can you see the other side. The corn is grown right up to the fence so it is not possible to walk round the field so you decide to walk straight across the field. It takes quite some endeavour to trample your way across the field but with time and effort you succeed to getting to the other side – job done.

Next day you arrive at the end of the same road and have the same task in front of you (to get to the other side) this time it is much easier as all you have to do is follow your tracks from yesterday. This pattern is then repeated day after day.

So we see from this example that the first time you do something you carve new neural pathways in your brain and this takes some energy to do. When subjected to the same or similar situation again you will have the tendency to go down the same (neural) pathway. This tendency is reinforced time after time until it becomes a habit or phobic response.

Therefore to break the habit or phobic response you need to carve a new neural pathway(s) or go down a different path. The NLP fast phobia cure does just that  - it helps you to create a new pathway a pathway that does not include an unsuitable response to a given situation i.e. a phobia.

There are of course many other techniques that can help to eliminate a phobia and all have there place. I do not intend to knock any other techniques as they may well be brilliant for some people. In fact if a technique works and really works we call it an NLP technique.

If you require any further information about NLP or phobia cures please feel free to contact the writer at psychologist@therapist.net

 

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David Neuro Linguistic Programming

Chief Advisor NLP (India) Dr. David Lincoln. Over 40 years experiance in psychology and over 20 years with NLP

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