A very typical comment from the people I work with is:
"This phobia 'has' me…I don't have it!"
One out of every 10 people have fears that make routine events like flying or crossing bridges overwhelmingly difficult. These people are not 'crazy,' they know without a doubt that their fears are irrational, but they can not control the fear. These people have phobias and the panic attacks that are the companions of the phobia.
Almost everyone is afraid of something - Spiders, cats, being alone after dark, or speaking in front of a group of people. Fear is a natural and appropriate response of the limbic (fight or flight) system to dangerous or situations perceived as dangerous. A thousand years ago when we were faced with saber tooth tigers on the savannah….we were greatly in need of an alarm response that would quickly let us know that we needed to run for safety.
What worked well for us on the savannah, can prove a genuine problem for us in the modern world. Fight/flight, 'Old Brain,' responses are generated in situations of great emotion and fear, which create powerful and often long-lasting neurological responses (hard wiring in the brain.) For Example: If you were followed by a stranger in a dark alley and attacked, you may be triggered by any dark alley. Classic phobias are based on one situation learnings (like the attack in the dark alley) where an enormous fear response is generated.
A definition of phobia includes " a fear that is not substantiated by actual real danger of threat, or by any reasonable cause, and is accompanied by a careful and thorough choice to avoid any situations where you might make contact with "the dark alley," the spider, or any stimuli associated with the memory."
There are a set of predictable responses that often accompany a phobia /panic attack. At the moment that the 'Old Brain' recognizes anything like the original fear-producing memory or stimulus a set of events occur very quickly in an order that becomes recognizable and highly individualized:
COMMON EXAMPLE (in rapid response)
The person begins to feel the primitive sensations of fight and flight, the brain is then overhwhelmed by feelings and memories that are a movie of impending doom and disaster.
The 'Old Brain' heightens the response and sends out a warning, multiplying the feelings.
The breathing is altered and adrenaline kicks in.
The danger is now ramped up and a sense of danger, 'the worst is going to happen' prevails….this runs in a loop building new levels of distress and symptoms.
* All Who Experience the Fear Response, Report Some Individualized Combination of :
Signs and Symptoms:
One of the saddest outcomes of a phobia and panic attacks is how it limits a person's social life and choices. Out of a desire to completely avoid the circumstances that trigger the alarm responses, persons will change basic life routines, both social and professional in an effort to limit the chances of having a phobic response/panic attack.
* The previous definition of phobias, signs & symptoms, and social symptoms are credited to Dr. Cyro Masei, M.D., Phobias: When Fear is a Disease; at www.cerebromentente.org
A classic phobia produces a set of involuntary responses directly related to the fight/flight alarm system, before the person has the conscious ability to stop it. As a result of this phobias are often considered irrational fears.
In fact they are not irrational, they are a one thousand year old hard-wired response that can be broken down into a series of learned responses to a stimuli (tall buildings, lightening, flying, etc.)
NLP and the combined modalities of Energy Kinesiology, TFT, and Ericksonian Hypnosis takes a map of the fight/flight alarm response and systematically interrupts the reaction, inserting new learned responses that comfort and provide a sense of internal safety and equilibrium . . . returning the system to a balanced response. Commonly, in a few sessions, relief and equilibrium and a return to basic freedoms and fun occur!
"I totally lost my sense of humor for years, so run was I by panic responses. I am amazed to hear myself joke again. I love to laugh." - T.A.
In todays' world where self-care is often at the bottom of the list…symptoms occasionally manifest as a way of getting help for unmet needs and unresolved fears & losses.
For example; When we have been involved in a chronic condition in a family or in a significant relationship where we are taken for granted, ignored, or treated abusively, we identify these events as the 'way life is.' In order to live through these events we wall them off and shut down our reactions, anger, and unmet needs in order to survive.
Often at a later time, these reactions, memories, and unmet needs resurface as chronic physical symptoms that do not respond to normal prescribed care (like shingles,) anxiety responses (such as nailbiting,) and senseless fears (such as shy bladder…the inability to urinate in a public restrooms.)
These types of responses are not normal phobias /panic attacks, that originate with a single event. For conditions related to unresolved fears and losses the approach is different and requires addressing several memories. The work often occurs over a few months with release done on all important memories.
"Living life in a pink bathrobe was awful!" - Jane's Shingles Story
Problem: Jane was a realtor with a successful business, 4 teenage sons, and a husband who was an attorney involved in politics. Jane had an enormous level of responsibility at the office, at home, and in her husband's political aspirations. A typical day for Jane was 15 hours.
Action: At the age of 43 Jane developed shingles and was so debilitated by the condition that she stayed in bed with a pink bathrobe. She was in such pain from her condition that she could not get out of bed and do all her normal chores either personal or professional. She went all over Atlanta seeking medical advice from several dermatologists and did not respond to the medications prescribed. Finally after 6 weeks in bed, she decided to seek another approach.
Result: In several sessions it was determined that the shingles were a stress/anxiety response to her overcommitted life and that the shingles had a set of messages for Jane regarding taking her life back and taking care of herself. In a matter of weeks of following the suggestions that arose from her shingles in the context of her sessions, Jane's shingles disappeared and she returned to her life with a completely different approach to self-care. Jane is enjoying being back in her beautiful wardrobe!
A sudden onset of intense anxiety, commonly coupled with feelings of fear, concerns and often accompanied by trembling, palpitations, shortness of breath, and sweating. Attacks may last several minutes and may be triggered by events, or conditions reminding the person of previous negative experiences.
Problem: I am a man in my 50's who was told by my parents at a young age that I would drown if I swam. No one in my family went to swimming lessons. As a result of this consistent message I have suffered throughout my lifetime from an unnatural fear of drowning. I have had consistent panic attacks when in the water and also could not put my face in the water for any reason! This has limited me from all water sports my entire life and enjoying a shower.
Action: Working with a combination of NLP, tapping acupuncture points (TFT,) and affirmations, Stephanie pinpointed the origins of the problem and then led me through a series of exercises to test the results while I was in my 2 hour session. I was assigned specific homework for two weeks (after the session,) in order to rewire my old messages, fears, and create comfort as I approached a body of water.
Result: I registered for swimming lessons and was in my first session able to put my face in the water and float with no anxiety at all or fear of drowning. I am certain that I will continue to swim with no problems thanks to the wonderful work Stephanie did with me! - FH, North Carolina
In today's world where self-care is often at the bottom of the list….symptoms often manifest as a way of getting help for unmet needs and unresolved issues and traumas.
Problem: I am a middle age woman and have suffered from this condition all my life. I was unable to urinate in a public restroom or a private residence if I thought someone could hear me. I also was unable to give a urine specimen in a doctor's office. You can only imagine having to rush home each day to urinate after 8 hours at the office or out for a social evening.
Action: I went to Stephanie and we had one, three hour consultation. She assigned homework which I did for several days. Stephanie let me know with a long term reflex sometimes the results were not obvious immediately after a session. The results were not immediate and after a week I forgot about the issue since I had lived with it all my life and continued to do my homework as requested.
Result: After two weeks I suddenly realized that I was able to urinate both in public restrooms and at friend's homes. Since the work 9 months ago, I have given 3 urine specimens at my doctor's office! - JB, North Carolina
In today's world where self care is often at the bottom of the list…symptoms occasionally manifest as a way of getting help for unmet needs unresolved fears and losses.
These types of responses are not normal phobias and panic attacks that most often originate with a single event. For condtions related to unresolved fears the approach is different and requires addressing several memories. The work often occurs over a few months…commonly about a dozen sessions.
Problem: Arrived citing medical phobias, and a number of intermittent pains in my body that did not respond to medical care. I also related memories that were troubling and suffered from a consistently high level of stress and a chronic inability to relax
Action: Found in my first session that the problems related to unresolved fears and experiences at a significantly younger age. Three months and 10 sessions transformed all that needed transforming in my life.
Result: I am so much calmer, the memories are gone and I sleep through the night. The anxious pulse in my stomach has gone and the stabbing pains have stopped.
Now, thanks to your help, the time is right for me to move forward in faith and confidence leaving the ghosts of the past behind this Halloween. - SW, Atlanta, Ga
Coaching for Phobias/Panic Attacks & Conditions Related to Unresolved Fears and Losses using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Energy Kinesiology, Ericksonian Hypnosis, TFT, Gestalt Therapy, and Integral Eye Movement Therapy (IEMT).
Stephanie Shipper has successfully taught and worked with medical professionals, mediators, CEO's, military peacekeeping forces and those seeking personal change for 25 years. She is one of 139 persons internationally certified as a Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and is a certified Instructor of Energy Kinesiology (TFH). Find out more...