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Advice needed: My claustrophobic client doesn't know where her fear came from. What can I do?

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I am currently undertaking a diploma course in hypnotherapy. I have a project to undertake and advice would be appreciated.

A lady has claustrophobia but does not know when it all started. What sort of plan should I devise? I understand that it is regression and probably TA. Do you have any regression or claustrophobia scripts?

Many thanks.

This question was submitted by 'Chris'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Chris,

Thank you for writing in.

We do have an 'Overcoming Claustrophobia' script that is worth you looking at, I think.

It's a common myth that when treating a phobia you need to 'go back' and find the original cause. But when working with members of the public, there are some vital facts you need to know regarding the nature of memory: 'Can trauma really make you suppress memories?'.

The lady doesn't recall when the fear started, which implies that either:

  • the phobia didn't have one neat cause but a build-up of causes
  • the person has gotten over the original cause and it no longer bothers them, so - like many memories - it has faded.

It's an outworn myth that to cure someone you have to 'uncover' the original cause and that doing so and having them 're-live' the awful causal memory will help them. Furthermore, hypnosis is not a reliable way of 'retrieving' memories.

Any therapist worth their salt will keep their client comfortable when lifting a phobia or phobic memories - AKA Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. No client should ever have to relive a trauma or a phobia as it happened. (See 'Why there's no need to relive the trauma all over again' and '3 reasons I never have my clients relive their traumatic experiences'.) Please, please read the articles I've linked here. This is important and if your training is out-of-date, then you may need to fill some gaps yourself.

As far as this lady with claustrophobia goes, forget about trying to find initial causes and focus on de-conditioning the worst three or so memories she has of feeling claustrophobic. This should be enough to dismantle the pattern. Hopefully your school has taught you the Rewind Technique or some other safe, comfortable, and relaxing approach for lifting phobias quickly. Remember that she should feel comfortable throughout, but you can lift a phobia without knowing exactly why it began.

I hope this helps.

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - September 16th, 2014 in

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