Hypnotherapy utilizes the heightened awareness of the hypnotic state to help you explore your phobia more deeply. You will be guided by the hypnotherapist to visualize yourself in a state of peacefulness and relaxation, even when confronting the object of your fears.
In the hypnotic state, you are deeply relaxed. Your conscious mind is quieted, allowing your unconscious mind to deeply focus on your issue (in this case, your phobia). You are also calmer, and therefore more receptive to facing your fear. Most hypnotherapists utilize a series of calming messages, such as “you are safe” and “no one can harm you” to reassure their clients that during hypnosis they can objectively face their phobias without having a panicked reaction.
Your hypnotherapist may make gentle suggestions for behavior changes that can help you conquer your phobia.
For example, you may be taught to see yourself as a supportive advisor during your phobic reactions, thus learning to trust yourself and your ability to get through the situation. You may be taught certain cognitive-behavioral coping skills, such as guided imagery and the STOP! Technique, that you can use when confronting your fear. You may even be encouraged to talk about the first time you experienced the phobia and how you felt in that moment.