Vassos Alexander from BBC Radio 2 apparently has a well-known fear of snakes – to the extent that he wasn't even able to say the word, "snakes", until very recently.
A visit from the clinical hypnotherapist, Stuart Brown, has started the process to help Vassos overcome his fear for good.
During these conversations about snakes, it was interesting to note how much they looked backwards – where did the fear come from? Affirming it was rational to be afraid, building up Vassos's already anxious state – essentially going over old ground which was very familiar and routine to Vassos.
Chris Evans invites sportscaster Vassos onto the stage at the climax of Radio 2's 2DAY
We get so good we might begin to develop a physiological response to the elevation of cortisol hormones which start to whizz round our body. The heart rate increases, the blood pumps faster, there is a whooshing sound in our ears, we start to feel dizzy or sick or faint – and we prove to ourselves that we really are terribly afraid of snakes.
So Chris Evans and everyone on the show has helped (unwittingly) to confirm to Vassos that his fear of snakes is very real to him and his physiological response is an unconscious reaction to this fear.
So how could hypnotherapy help beat a phobia of snakes?
Well, quite simply, it helps the unconscious become conscious. By interrupting these well-worn patterns of thought and giving you a chance to feel and think differently about a subject matter it puts you firmly back in control of your responses. Instead of looking back and going over the situation as it has always been, hypnotherapy helps you to look forward and begin to practice the way you'd like to feel about a certain issue.
As we know how powerful this practice is (look at how scared Vassos used to be!) we can be certain that for most people, putting some practice into feeling differently using hypnotherapy as a tool can be hugely successful.
Anyone experiencing a phobia or unwanted state of mind will be doing this already in most cases. The neural pathways in the brain become well-trodden as we experience and re-experience the negative impact of a phobia. It becomes the 'go-to' way of feeling. We practice, practice, practice and practice some more at feeling absolutely terrible about this particular thing. We get really good at it!
Let's see how Vassos responds and if this encourages you to want to make changes about anything in your life that you are not happy with then get in touch and chat to our hypnotherapists today.