John Jeffrey: Anxiety, fears and phobias

I am a mature therapist with many life experiences behind me. This, coupled with my psychology and therapy training enables me to use a holistic approach to facilitate lifestyle changes. I use hypnosis since it allows clients to progressively achieve deep relaxation which reduces anxiety and fearfulness. During the hypnotic state positive emotional responses can be visualised and worked through before testing out in the real world. Clients are encouraged to use the techniques they learn outside of therapy as part of them regaining control over their presenting problem, not vice versa.

Almost all fears and phobias are learned but they may also have a genetic component making some individuals more susceptible. The learning process takes place in the neurons of the limbic system of the brain laying down stimulus-response behaviours that can last a lifetime. Associated emotions of anxiety and fearfulness can be called up in the here and now in response to cues both conscious and unconscious. This very repetition itself consolidates and maintains the negative emotions in response to these situations. The new learned experience of hypnotherapy provides and encourages repetition of ego-strengthening and being in a relaxed state.

Hypnosis is particularly useful in teaching clients how to relax and harness the power of positive emotions in their visualisations in a safe environment. This process is itself a new learning of how to respond, subverting the very same neural systems and memories that are currently the cause of anxious and phobic feelings.

Hypnotic suggestions can support and stabilise this new learning facilitating more and more new responses to old situations and more and more new cognitive processing of old cues and triggers. Clients learn in sessions how to address old fears and thoughts in a more empowering fashion. It is a positive experience to discover that they can do so, and this itself reinforces the new cognitive processing further.


John Jeffrey 2011   Return to welcome page