A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure to work with Alistair at Taronga Zoo. A room full of brave, severe snake phobics and the next day a room full of equally brave spider phobics had made a decision to become free from their phobia. At the end of the day participants were happily touching reptiles, catching huntsmen and getting their picture taking holding one.
The fascinating thing is that it only took a few hours of group work for most people to become free from the phobia. Some participants needed a bit of individual work on top of it but the results were all outstanding.
By the way, while I was holding a beautiful rainbow Python Alistair reminded me how I used to do ‘snake phobia’ quite well, shivering uncontrollably, not being able to touch the page of a magazine with a snake on it and so on... I had totally forgotten about that and about how on my first ever NLP Practitioner training with him, suppose we fixed that one very easily...
I always think if people can quickly learn how to be afraid and basically have a phobia installed within seconds then they should also be able to learn equally rapidly how to not be afraid of the very same thing quickly. Obviously it is good to keep a useful level of respect for snakes and some spiders, not only in Australia. I certainly wouldn’t want the previously scared of heights person start balancing on a tight rope over an abyss or the formerly snake phobic being totally comfortable around a brown snake. That is not the aim of the game. The aim is to have choice and be able to react resourcefully where in the past there was no other choice but to freak out.
Why does this work? All anxieties, fears and phobias are learned behaviours and as such the brain can also learn how to not do that behaviour anymore, even though that might seem impossible to you at this stage. However let me reassure you it is possible and it is a lot easier than you may ever have thought possible.
A few weeks ago a client came to see me with a phobia of heights (Acrophobia, whereas vertigo describes the sensations of dizziness when the person is stationary). Anything high up, cliffs, balconies, bridges, apartments etc. did it for him... With this sort of stuff I only work evidence based and the client told me being able to get up on and stand on top of Kangaroo Point would be the ultimate proof to him. So, I knew what the evidence would be for him and when he sent me a text message only 20 minutes after we finished from the top of Kangaroo point I knew he had what he had wanted...
This all boils down to the fact: Whatever the condition is: you can get over it! You don't have to manage it, deal with it or learn to live it. You can simply make changes that allow you to get over it.
Change is easy. So make the change and live the life you want!
One of the participants, Chris E: Silke really took the time to work out what was going on with me personally, and worked through a few different steps to remove my fear of the spider movement. To be honest, I was listening and following instruction but after the first 10 minutes I started to think that this just isn’t working, I am not going to be able to conquer this completely, I will always be scared of spiders and fail the course! But Silke continued to work through and identify the REAL issues I had. I don’t know how she did it, I can’t even understand how the content of what she was saying would help in anyway, but she did something and I just felt better, more relaxed and less concerned about my environment. At my own pace Silke encouraged me to pick up the big huntsman jar. I did, I felt strange, it was like it was holding a teddy bear. No fear! I went on at my own pace over the next 20 minutes to actually holding a huntsman in my hand.
From a man fearing the move to Australia in case I saw a huntsman, to holding on in my hands like it was my pet dog. I can’t explain the feeling, the feeling of not feeling scared towards something that only that morning I would have climbed over barbed wire to escape from!
Silke really helped to me make my own decision to face my fear, at my pace, crush a 30 year phobia in a few hours. Silke and the fearless team have completely changed my life. Thank you so much! "