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Should childhood phobias be resolved at an early age?

A phobia is a relentless fear of specific eventualities or wildlife or actual physical objects. Phobias are significantly more distinct than just being slightly scared of something; it is a serious fear and avoidance of a certain scenario or object that characterises a phobic anxiety. These feelings and ordeals can lead a person to isolation, depression and panic attacks Individuals who suffer from a fear of spiders have an overwhelming and debilitating fear the moment they come into contact with any sort of spider.

Phobias can develop at any age and can be long lasting. They usually occur because of a specific incident or trauma (e.g. being frightened by an episode with a pigeon when they were young) or maybe a learned behaviour from a brother or sister or parent. Almost all children have fears while growing up such as a fear of the dark or scared of being left. All of these are a normal component of our development and will probably appear and vanish. Should these worries and anxieties develop into something more, parents need to keep a close eye and strive to recognise the signs and symptoms in an attempt to diminish any detrimental effect for the child.

If childhood phobias are not addressed in the early stages, these habits rapidly develop into a habit and can vary from minor anxiety to substantial terror and panic and anxiety attacks. If the phobia is severe it can have a detrimental impact on the child's social progression and well-being. These phobias can be anything from a fear of pets to an anxiety about eating.

Sometimes, parents tackle these behaviours early by suggesting the child face up to the situation that cause the anxiety. In some circumstances, this strategy could work well and make the worry subside however it could also strengthen the fear and make the child want to steer clear of the object substantially more. Staying away from objects or situations that cause a child anxiety helps this phobic anxiety progress and creates the habit in later life. It is essential to resolve these habits rather than avoid them to lessen the probability of carrying these anxieties onto adulthood.

The combination of Hypnosis, NLP and Thought Field Therapy are a simple and good way of tackling these habits before they become a much larger problem in later life. These hypnotheraputic techniques are extremely helpful in treating children and teenagers as they have a much better imagination at their young age. Visualisation, imagination and creativity are key tools that children implement to defeat their fears. Sometimes, just 1 or 2 session of these hypnotherapeutic treatments can be successful enough to tackle these fears and anxieties.

John Plester, an experienced Hypnotherapist and Mind Coach is a specialist at working with trauma and phobias with people of all ages and is based at Norwich Hypnotherapy Practice. He is also the Founder and Principal Tutor of the East Anglian Institute of Hypnotherapy that has been established since 2001.


General Hypnotherapy Register
National Health Service
Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
East Anglian Institute of Hypnotherapy
Norwich Hypnotherapy Practice
Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
National Council of Hypnotherapists
General Hypnotherapy Standards Council
Thought Field Therapy
Freedom Formula
Catalyst For Change
NLP Coaching
About John Plester
Tel 01603 626477