During the 1890’s Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov established the theory of classical conditioning, where we learnt the brain builds memories by association and clarified the process of implanting a conditioned response. Pavlov noticed that when he prepared his dogs food that that they began to salivate. He in turn rang a bell as the dogs salivated and noticed after a while that when he rang the bell even when there was no food about the dogs still salivated.
To take it further he rang the bell and shone a light on the dogs and once again on cue the dogs would salivate when the light was shone on them. This highlighted the way our brain creates memories by association and was a paramount discovery in understanding our conditioning.
In 1920 John b Watson continued the work although this time on a human subject where he conditioned a 1 year old child to fear a rat and other small animals, by striking a metal pipe behind the baby when the rat was in view. Although this experiment doesn’t leave much to be desired and is considered unethical by many, it was instrumental in proving how fears can be conditioned into human beings by association.
Much time has passed and this work has now been continued by neuroscience bringing a deeper understanding of how we learn, create habits and are able to change them. The part of the brain related to fear is called the Amygdala and has shown to be involve in all fear based behaviours regardless of what causes the fear response.
This research gives us a clear view of how to treat fears and phobias working with the unconscious part of the mind where the amygdala is situated. Hypnotherapy has shown to be an effective way of retraining the fear reactive amygdala to not respond in the way it has been taught.
The length of the therapy can vary depending on the individual and the amount of time the phobia has been affecting the person, though I suggest that between 3 to 6 session will generally produce results.
I assist people with fears and phobias anywhere from being in the presence of asbestos to never wanting to go near an aeroplane again.
“Hi Scott, Hope you’re well. Just a quick text to let you know this afternoon was the completion of 3 flights in 2 weeks a total of 51/2 hours in the sky. Glad to report that it was an amazing holiday with friends and family when the phone wasn’t ringing and emails coming in. It hasn’t been easy and I still have a lot of work to do to get to my goal of going to Greece again however, the fact that I’m even flying again is a credit to your work. Thank you for helping me get to this point and without any pills or aids other than a small squishy soccer ball. Look forward to seeing you soon!”
Steven T – Paddington NSW
Those old sayings like “you cant teach an old dog new tricks” and i’m set in my ways and cant change” are no longer valid, and you don’t have to have your life restricted and feel your world getting smaller and smaller any longer! You cant take back your freedom…all you need to do is make the decision and take the next step!
I’d love to work with you to find the solution to your unresolved fears or phobias, so please do contact me or book an appointment to get started. I can take appointments in the Sydney Clinic or virtually via Skype and phone.