|Causes of Fears & Phobias - Case Study, Example & Summary|
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Case study – systematic desensitisation
After a false start with a client in 1977, Michael Joseph used systematic desensitisation to successfully remove the nauseating effect experienced over the previous two years that was triggered by any image of Nelson’s column. By using an IMR coupled with a diagnostic scan he was able to pin point the cause of the nausea with the client. Having done so Michael and the client devised a simple Subjective Unit of Disturbance Scale (SUDS) and the following therapy session successfully disassociated the feeling of nausea from the trigger, Nelson’s Column, which was no longer a problem. This was confirmed by GP reports two years later. (European Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1994).
Example of Implosive therapy
By hypnotising a client and determining a place or memory when they feel safe and calm, it would be possible to place a bird-eating spider in the hand of an arachnophobic. The extreme fear would eventually subside enough to allow the client to realise that no harm was occurring and that the fear was irrational. This in turn allows further relaxation and the client becomes acclimatised to the feared spider. If the client is unable to relax then they could go to their safe place to allay the anxiety and then try again.
The majority of fears and phobias appear to be caused by inappropriate learning, and the client is really only concerned at how they can remove the anxiety and/or any symptoms that accompany the fear or phobia. With hypnosis the majority of fears and phobias can be treated effectively, some cases may take longer than others, but the results will always be based on client expectation, which needs to be monitored and managed to obtain the best results. Whilst the techniques are proven to work and provide long-term results, it is the therapist’s responsibility to ensure that the client has realistic expectations and that suitable therapy is designed and used accordingly to achieve the required goals.