Happy Halloween from the Locher Family!
Tis the season — for ghosts and ghouls and spooky things. And for some, fears and phobias.
While Halloween is growing rapidly in popularityas a holiday as judged by the increasing amount of money spent on preparing for and celebrating the holiday, for some it is a time when their worst fears confront them “in the flesh” so to speak.
Despite all the fun, for those who suffer from fears and phobias this time of the year can be really frightful.
There is actually a specific phobia of Halloween (there’s a phobia for everything). Fear of Halloween Phobia – Samhainophobia. Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween or the fear of the festival of the dead. The term Samhainophobia originates from ‘Samhuin’ meaning summer’s end. Just don’t ask me how to pronounce it.
There are all types of phobias that are tough to avoid around Halloween. For example, the fear of masks (maskaphobia), the fear of clowns (coulrophobia), the fear of bats (chiroptophobia) and the fear of Halloween itself (samhainophobia).
A phobia is an intense, irrational fear of something that isn’t really a threat. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 9 percent of adults and 14 percent of children between 13 and 18 have at least one phobia.
Of course, most phobias are seen year round,like the fear of spiders, heights, or escalators, not just around Halloween.
Phobias tend to generalize out (become more and more pervasive) and become more intense over time.I see this pattern with clients in the office all the time. For example, one client came to see me for what was presented as a fear of driving, but it turned out to be a fear of encloses spaces. In hypnosis using age regression we discovered that at a very young age her brothers had put her in a blanket chest and sat on the top, trapping her inside. She’d totally forgotten that incident, and then got trapped in a small bathroom in an older home on a hot, humid summer day. That triggered the fear and activated it. From that moment on her fear began to grow, from small closets to the point where she couldn’t drive down a tree-lined street where the branches touched overhead. Her mind’s definition of “too small” was generalizing and making her whole world smaller!
She came in and we helped her get over that phobia using a combination of techniques in hypnosis — affect bridge regression, circle therapy and the NLP phobia cure being some of them. Once the association in the mind starts to release, then relearning a new pattern through future pacing is the most important thing to do, to create a comfortable familiarity with the situation which, in the past, caused the fear.
Hypnosis is the GENTLEST way to get over a fear or phobia. In hypnosis we can create dissociation or even double dissociation (so that you are protected from the idea or image of what you’re afraid of). Also, hypnosis is a calmer state, so the work of releasing and repatterining the association feels gentler or more “muted.”
There are methods to get over fears that don’t use hypnosis of course. The classic (non-hypnosis) therapy is called “exposure therapy,” and involves creating an exposure hierarchy where you gradually get closer and closer to the thing you fear. For some, this reactivates the fear and traumatic feelings more than is useful and can even make the reaction worse. And sometimes this approach is just less than practical, for example a fear of flying.
Is being fear-less your birthright?
We are born with only two fears — falling and loud noises. Which for an infant make sense. Falling is bad when you can’t catch yourself, and loud noises may mean that something bad is happening. (Never mind that infants are the sources of loud noises themselves sometimes! LOL!)
We generally “out grow” those fears we’re born with through association. Perhaps learning that the feeling of falling can be safe and thrilling — like on a roller coaster. And that loud noises can be associated with something enjoyable, like favorite music or hunting, etc. Fears can be learned and unlearned. Hypnosis is just a way of helping the mind do that faster.
If you need help getting over a fear — whether it’s fear of Halloween, scary clowns, flying, driving on highways or over bridges or the most common fear in the United States – fear of public speaking — hypnosis REALLY helps. Click the button below to schedule a free consultation and let’s help you become fear-less.