Usually when I work with a client on fears, we focus on one or two at a time. A client who is afraid of spiders usually doesn’t have other non-bug related fears to look at. The client who is afraid of flying typically isn’t afraid of heights as well. Usually these fears are the result of either a single traumatic event or having taken on someone else’s fear (such as a parent). But, every once in a while I see a client who is afraid of a large amount of seemingly unrelated things—heights, flying, escalators, driving on the freeway, hospitals, tight places, etc. All of these at the same time typically aren’t about a single traumatic event that can be pointed to and healed.
At first glance, these fears may not seem related at all, but if you look deeper, you can see that the root fear is a loss of control. For example, if you are driving around the city and let’s say you blow a tire, you can easily pull over and deal with it. That is much more difficult at 70 miles per hour on the freeway, and it can feel like being out of control. The same can be said for flying. Once you get on that plane, there is no pulling over if you get uncomfortable and no bailing out.To make it worse, you can’t even use the bathroom unless they say it is ok.
For most people these things are a part of life that we have grown accustomed to dealing with, so to some extent, it’s not a big deal. If you are someone who suffered at times in your early life when control was taken away and you were violated, the loss of control in these situations can trigger negative feelings about these activities.
It’s been my professional experience that people who have what I call “a cluster of fears” were often the victims of long-term sexual violation, like being molested as a child over a period of years. Usually when these people come into my office, they have already been in therapy for quite some time. This is good because much of the work will have already been done. Yet, the damage left behind in the form of unhealed fears needs to be addressed.
This makes it both harder and easier to work on. Harder because we have to look for a deeper, more painful injury that the client may or may not want to talk about. Easier because instead of looking for one or two events causing one main problem, we are looking for an event or events causing lots of problems in many areas of the person’s life. When you find those initial triggering events and clear the emotional charge, the person’s whole life can change for the better seemingly overnight. There is still work to be done, but the crippling symptoms (the fears) diminish; the person can begin to live more fully.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a cluster of fears, don’t wait to get help. On the other side of the pain you may temporarily experience while looking at those unpleasant memories is a peace and transformation beyond explanation available to you.
Love yourself enough to do the work of healing the deeper wounds. You are so very important to the world and so very worth healing.
Jill Thomas CCHT
Soul Connect Hypnotherapy