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  • Writer's picturegaelle Chatenet

Getting Rid of Phobias With Sophrology and NLP

Phobias are extreme and/or irrational fears to something. Whether it is spiders, getting on an airplane or being in an enclosed space, they have a way of making the lives of those who suffer from them very complicated.

Phobias are also a very good example of how quickly the human brain can learn one thing and remember it forever. They are usually born from a one-off experience and where the subject got scared by something and, from then on, whenever a similar situation arises, the fear will return.

This is the result of a very useful brain function. Fear is a mechanism that is designed to keep us safe. It is a very good thing to be scared to jump off a bridge or touch a venomous snake. However, stressing out for weeks before a public speech or a plane ride, or having to climb up 10 stories to avoid getting into the elevator can quickly become a problem.

Sophrology Therapy and NLP techniques have been shown to lessen or even completely remove phobias.

Working on a phobia will follow several steps:

1. Finding out the way the scary object/situation is perceived and changing that perception

2. Looking at the first experience with the scary thing/Situation and how it is perceived and changing that perception

3. Creating a future where the phobia is no longer present

I recently worked with a woman who was terrified to take a plane. She loves to travel but knowing that she would have to get on a plane would make her nervus weeks ahead of the trip.

She was so anxious that even sitting in the regular sophrologic position (back straight, hands on the knees) made her nervous as it reminded her of being on a plane. This really illustrate the mind/body connection that Sophrology Therapy focuses on. Her brain associated the position with being on a plane and just sitting this way would start the process of becoming nervous. We started our sessions with her lying down on a yoga mat instead!

She had to travel recently and this was her feedback:

‘The flight was incredible. There were many turbulences, at least as strong as the ones on the flight during which I panicked. I did the breathing exercises and focused on my positive image and thoughts. I could keep my fear in check the whole time. My husband was looking at me and could not believe his eyes. Since I could remain focused and aware of my own sensations, I realized that it is better if I stand during mild turbulences, if I don’t sit by the window and if no one talks to me/asks me how I am’

Because she was able to focus on something else than her fear, she was able to listen to and understand her own reactions and emotions and find solutions for herself. This empowered her and she stopped being victim of her phobia. She got back in control. From now on each flight will be one more success to add to her collection.

Living with a phobia is not an irreparable curse. Sophrology Therapy and NLP can help resolve them.

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