Archive for Phobias


Recently I was called to a hospital in Tucson by a parent concerning their 4 year old son.  The little boy had stopped swallowing any foods for about 16 days, he would not even swallow ice cubes.  He had been admitted to the  hospital the previous week due to acidosis from not eating or drinking.  A month before he had caught a cold with lots of  phlegm and drainage which had caused him to cough and have difficulty swallowing.  He kept saying he was choking and started to refuse even his favorite foods and then refusing even liquids.  He even started taking food out of his mouth and throwing it away and crying hysterically.  He had lost weight and was becoming weaker and weaker.  After admission IV’s were started, he had an endoscopy done to rule out any obstruction and was seen by a speech therapist.  He was also seen and evaluated by 5 psychiatrists.  After talking to his mother I found out which cartoons were his favorite, because I would use these fantasy friends in his therapy.  I made up a story for him about Dora the Explorer, Boots, and Swiper.  Of course the little boy was the most important character in the story.  The mother started reading the script to him often and he listened to the CD while sleeping.  Two days after he started listening to the CD he had eaten some chicken nuggets and yogurt.  Two days later he was released from the hospital and sent home because he was eating and drinking.  I talked with the mother two weeks later and he was doing much better, but would not feed himself.  I explained that frequently children regress in their behavior when they have gone through a stressful time.  I made a new CD for him based on his new behavior and within a couple of weeks he was feeding himself and had gained all his weight back.   He has returned to a happy, healthy little boy.  Children are in unintentional hypnosis until about eight years old and what they see, hear, and happens to them is true for them.  That’s why he became so afraid to swallow anything. In his mind swallowing meant choking no matter what it was.  In his CD’s I told him a fantasy story with suggestions related to his eating and swallowing.  To children these stories are real and are accepted as real in their subconscious minds, causing the new behavior to occur.


Many of us had dental visits as children that left us with traumas and fear of the dentist office. In many cases this was a time before “modern dentistry” began. Because of this many adults do not go to the dentist as often as they need to or ever in many cases. The very last place they will choose to go to is the dentist. Many of us go along  just fine, and then in one visit we may develop an irrational fear of the dentist and never want to go back. We can develop phobias and fears anytime in our life. I have had clients that had to be given major drugs just for teeth cleaning. Some clients are so afraid that they become overcome with anxiety just thinking about making the appointment! I have had many clients that had terrible dental experiences, some just freaked out in the chair with no reason, or couldn’t have the dentist work in their mouth under any circumstances. Many of these people will do extremely well after hypnosis. In many cases the dentist can’t believe it is the same patient he has dealt with before. Many clients listen to a customized CD I make for them during the whole dental visit and remain calm and relaxed. Hypnosis allows the vital signs to remain normal, and the tongue and throat are relaxed as well, and clients can swallow easily.  Many people fear that they can’t swallow during the dental work and this becomes a big problem for them, and hypnosis can help. So if you have been putting off dental visits due to old fears from the past (especially you baby boomers) try hypnosis and give yourself a happy smile.

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An exaggerated fear that often turns into a phobia is the fear of flying.  We have all been told that we are much safer flying than driving our car to work and we can understand this consciously.  We may go along for years feeling just fine until a situation occurs, where we felt out of control and logic goes out the window.  This is especially difficult if it is a pilot that has flown for over 20 years, and within six months developed a flying phobia.  My client had flown in every type of weather for years, loved to fly, and always had felt in control whenever flying.  Then six months before seeing me he experienced a problem while flying, started to feel out of control which led to his first ever anxiety attack. Over a period of six months he started to dread flying. Even thinking about flying caused him anxiety and the fear grew in intensity until he almost gave up flying. In the last year he was also extremely stressed with other personal issues which he had very little control over and this feeling of being out of control compounded his flying fear.  His personal emotional state just fed into his fears when flying, the feelings of being out of control! In my first session with him I added logic and reasoning to his previous flying problems, added re-framing, positive visualization and suggestions also about his personal life.  He went flying the next day, feeling more relaxed, confident and self-assured than he had in months. The next week he was flying out of a national airport, excited  and confident once more to be doing something he loved to do. As I’ve mentioned before hypnotherapy can be extremely quick and powerful in alleviating fears, anxieties and phobias. Don’t let fear control your life!


All of us experience fear at some time in our life, and usually this fear is something that can actually threaten our well being.  We are taught at an early age to be afraid of the hot burner, jumping off a roof, and things as simple as watching for cars crossing the street.  Most fears do not interfere with our daily lives.  But when a fear restricts and controls our actions during the day it has become a phobia.  Many phobias come from childhood, when we were unable to add logic or reasoning to what was happening around us.  Often times phobias are formed in adulthood after a very stressful situation in which the person felt out of control and not able to handle what was happening around them.  Many times the phobia results from months or years of stress and then an incident happens that pulls the rug out and phobias are formed.  Many of my clients that develop phobias in adulthood relate years or months of having to deal with high levels of stress, and feeling out of control in their life.  The stress has to go somewhere, and many times it will present itself in illness, anxieties or phobias. It is not always important for the reason for the phobia to be identified for healing to occur.  Although if the reason is known, logic, reasoning and re-framing is used in the hypnotherapy to change the way the experience is viewed.  Anxiety and panic are almost always part of the phobia and the symptoms may manifest in many ways.  We can have anxiety and panic attacks without phobias and I’ll talk about this later.  If you have a phobia that is taking control over your life or interfering in things you want to accomplish, remember in many cases hypnotherapy can really help!

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Hypnosis is an effective and pleasant way to reduce the anxieties and fears that can affect you prior to medical, dental, and surgical procedures.  Hypnosis has many benefits to lessen stress prior to the procedure, during the procedure, and speed up recovery time.  Most of us become stressed just thinking about going to the doctor even for a routine physical.  Our pulse rate goes up, blood pressure goes up, and we start breathing quicker, just by thinking about the exam.  Then when we are in the office, all of these may even increase especially our blood pressure, also known as the white coat syndrome.  All of our bodily functions are affected by our thoughts.  Stress and anxiety can change these functions, even putting our immune system to sleep.  When this occurs our body is no longer functioning at optimum levels to promote healing, to keep our vital signs normal, or to fight infection.

When hypnosis is used prior to surgery, dental or other procedures, clients enter into the procedure calm, relaxed, and comfortable.  You see, what is in the mind is in the body.  By changing  the way we think about a procedure, we also change our physical and emotional responses to that event.  Hypnosis decreases the amount of general and local anesthesia required, decreases bleeding, swelling, and pain after surgery.  It decreases  the frequency of nausea, and speeds up recovery.  It keep all vital signs in a much more normal pattern throughout the entire experience.  These remarkable benefits of hypnosis are instrumental in giving people the best opportunity for a positive surgical and recovery experience.  Hypnotherapy prior to surgery makes every-one’s  job easier and you the patient benefits the most.

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Contact Karen Today!
Karen Kleparek can be reached by calling:
(520) 292-2000 or