Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of anxiety in situations where the person perceives their environment to be unsafe and difficult to escape. These situations can include open spaces, public transport, lifts, shops, supermarkets, busy workplace or simply being outside their home. When they actually go to these places they experience a panic attack with the following symptoms:
- Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing)
- Fear of collapsing, dying, going mad, looking stupid
- Losing control
- Being unable to escape
- Being left alone at home
- Avoiding situations that can lead to an attack
The symptoms occur nearly every time the situation is encountered and last for more than six months.
How can hypnotherapy help with agoraphobia?
The most common therapy for agoraphobia is CBT that uses a systematic desensitization method that can provide lasting relief to most people with panic disorder and agoraphobia. In hypnotherapy, we use the same technique but we target the subconscious and do it in a relaxed, hypnotic state. By using the subconscious, we can achieve a long-lasting change in the thoughts and behaviour. Exposure therapy in hypnosis is a mental practice in a safe environment whilst getting the client ready to face their fears in real-life situations. Repeated exposure lessens fear and helps them overcome their anxiety or distress.