There are many phobias (over 300) and whilst there are many common fears, some come my way which are rare and interesting.
Take Batrachophobia for instance, the fear of reptiles. In over 30 years of practice, I have only come across two such phobias.
Marion (fictitious name) came to my Haverfordwest practice in great fear about lizards. Now you and I know that they do exist. They are rarely seen and are so small they surely cannot harm us. However, Marion was terrified of them and this fear inhibited her movements and a planned holiday.
Under hypnosis, I discovered that at the age of five a lizard had jumped onto her bed when she lived in Cuba and she jumped up in fright, and in a traumatised state ran from her bedroom.
From that moment on, she could not sleep alone for the fear of another lizard jumping onto her. Admittedly, the lizards in Cuba are larger than their British cousins but nevertheless are still harmless.
The problem was that in a lot of countries they are so used to humans that they can be found in many homes in the countryside or towns.
Marion became so paranoid that even returning to Wales she was petrified a gecko, as she called them, would leap out at her.
Using Hypnotherapy I removed all the past fears attached to her first trauma with the lizard and then I had to practise visualisation in hypnosis until she could imagine actually seeing a lizard crawling over her hand.
She was soon due to travel again to Cuba with her new husband and wanted to know if she was cured. Now, as I do not have a ready supply of lizards, I sent her to Bristol Zoo to visit the reptile cages. She then reported back that there were no fears and so she went off to Cuba quite happily.
Whilst there, her husband was concerned to see a lizard go behind a picture hanging on the wall, so Marion said, “I will deal with it,” dislodged the lizard and opened the window to allow its escape. She then said to her husband, “They are quite harmless so don’t worry, I will deal with them in the future.”
A result, and a relieved husband.