Top Sante Health & Beauty Magazine
Scare of needles, heights or visiting the dentist? Then read on to find out how three women learn to beat their life-long fears in the time it takes to watch an episode of ER
INTERVIEW - Rosalind Grainger
Traditional phobia treatments can be very effective but they're rarely quick. These behavioural psychotherapies have a success rate of more than 70 per cent, and are backed up by research, but the prospect of repeat sessions and long NHS waiting lists can be off-putting. Cue the growing number of strange-sounding, quick fixes that have sprung up, such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Thought Field Therapy (TFT). They're not yet supported by scientific evidence but many happy ex-phobics swear by them. Three fear-free women explain how they got the better of their life-long phobias.
Ann Bowser, 42, from Surrey
Quick fix: Thought Field Therapy (TFT)
'I can't recall a time when I felt comfortable with heights. Even as a child, however exciting the roller coaster ride I couldn't wait to have my feet firmly back on the ground.
Before having my sons, Stephen 10, and Henry, five, I worked in banking and travelled to meetings abroad - some on the top floor of skyscrapers. If I could focus on a solid object, such as a door, I could cope. But one time I was in a room floor-to-ceiling glass and I had a severe panic attack - I was convinced the glass wouldn't hold us.
What worried me most about my phobia was the knowledge that in the grip of panic I was unable to focus on anyone but myself. If my children were in difficulty I wasn't sure I'd be able to help them.
Over the years, I tried homeopathy and hypnotherapy with no success so when my husband Gordon, brought home a leaflet on TFT last year, I was fairly sceptical. However we'd just booked a skiing holiday, which always caused problems because I was scared to death of the chairlift, so I figured I had nothing to lose. It would be wonderful to be able to zoom down the higher runs with my family - normally I had to stay on the nursery slopes on my own and pretend to be a beginner.
After hearing about my phobia - and scepticism - Jill, the therapist told me I didn't have to believe in TFT for it to work. She asked what I'd like to achieve and I said I wanted to feel comfortable with heights.
First I had to think go a height-related situation where I felt anxious. I chose getting into a chairlift and immediately my palms began to sweat. Then I began a bizarre sequence of exercises. I had to tap my face, my eyebrows, under my eyes, on my chest and the back of my hand while moving my eyes up, down or to the side. This was followed by various arm movements and humming. I felt so silly I burst out laughing. But at the end of my treatment however hard I tried, I couldn't feel any panic when I thought about the chairlift.
I'd kept my treatment a secret from my boys in case it didn't work so when I arrived at the ski resort they were stunned when I climbed on the chairlift with no fears and skied proudly down a slope two grades higher than I'd ever attempted. I just didn't think about being scared.'
Jill firmly believes in a holistic approach, and will discuss client needs on an individual basis to decide upon the most appropriate treatment to pursue. Sometimes a combination of approaches is the most effective - Thought Field Therapy overcomes fears, NLP creates excellence, and Reiki promotes a sense of peace and well-being.
Consultations are personal and confidential, and are conducted face to face in Oxshott, Surrey or over the telephone. Consultants can also be held at the client’s premises, if necessary.
Initial consultations will be for 2 hours. Many people will require only one or two sessions.