Phobias We Can Help
Typically result from the corruption of an ordinarily useful mental process called “pattern matching.” Pattern matching refers to the tendency to reference prior experience and behavior when encountering present experience. Ordinarily, this process is fairly reliable. After all, humans refer to the past all the time. But if, for some reason, we incorrectly connect a current experience to some past event, the result can be an ongoing and often unreasoning phobic reaction. Imagine, for instance, that at some point in the past, you were on a trip to the African veldt.
Further imagine that as you were peacefully taking pictures of the surroundings, the leaves of a nearby bush began to shake and rustle and a lion leaped over the bush in question and chased you up a tree. Somehow, you escaped unharmed, only now, every time you hear leaves rustling, your heart leaps into your throat and you almost faint. This is an example of faulty pattern matching – perfectly understandable, but hardly useful. In fact, phobias can often be disabling, even crippling barriers to the experience of a happy, productive life. By using systematic desensitization in concert with hypnosis, phobic reactions can be effectively deprogrammed so that these inappropriate fear reactions no longer ruin your life.
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