Horse Riding Fear to Riding Confidence: 

Does the thought of riding fill you with fear and dread?

It may be that horse riding fear just crept up to the point where it is now a problem weighing you down, or maybe you had a nasty experience that now seems to hold you back from riding how you want to.

Working in Cambridgeshire and Newmarket I naturally work with a lot of people who want to regain a sense of riding confidence. Whether you are someone who rides for leisure or fun, or someone who works in the horse racing industry or who competes, it is possible to eliminate that fear and enjoy riding again.

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Do you have a fear of deep water and a fear of swimming?

It may hold you back from learning how to swim, it may stop you going in swimming pools or in the deep water end of the swimming pool, and often people tell me it has an impact when on holiday when they can't go near deep water.

Your fear of deep water/swimming probably means you won't go beyond a level where your feet can touch the floor and you may stay close to the side of a swimming pool for fear of sinking. For some people, the fear can be so intense that they avoid going near the pool altogether.

And whilst for some people their fear of deep water means they panic about being out of their depth in a swimming pool, for others it can mean avoiding travel by boat, crossing some bridges or even flying over a large body of water. 

So how can you overcome your fear of deep water/swimming?

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Afraid of heights? Want to learn how to overcome your fear of heights? 

According to a recent study*, acrophobia - the fear of heights - often develops in later life. The theory is that as we get older our sense of balance tends to deteriorate which makes us feel more vulnerable.

However, if you are afraid of heights, no matter what age you are, there are ways to overcome that fear so that it is no longer overwhelming and restricting.

And whether your fear of heights happens on high levels in buildings, climbing a ladder, crossing a bridge or any other activity at height, in this article I'll cover how to overcome being afraid of heights. 

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Do you struggle with a fear of the dentist? 

I get a lot of clients referred to me from dentists because they need treatment for their teeth yet they are so fearful that they can't go through with it. 

Many just avoid the dentist altogether until their tooth pain gets too great and they have to face their fear. Others may run from the chair or be unable to stop shaking, making dental treatment virtually impossible. Some will consistently cancel and postpone their appointments and I have even helped people who have had consistent panic attacks in the dentist chair.

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Needle phobia is one of the most common phobias and fears that I help people overcome. 

If you have an injection fear it may seem like it has always been there and the thought of a needle, or the sight of one, could be enough to start up those feelings of anxiety and panic.

And you may have been able to get away with avoiding needles for quite some time, but eventually something happens that means you need to face your fear. Maybe you need a blood test, a jab to go on holiday or dental work and while you may try not to think about it, you know that the needle panic is lurking and waiting to strike.

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One of the most common fears that I help people overcome is their fear of needles and injections. Whether it's because you need a blood test, jabs or dental work, your injection fear can cause you intense anxiety and worry and even lead you to avoiding medical things altogether (even though you know that one day it's almost inevitable that you will have to face the fear...).

And often it is because they can no longer avoid their needle fear that people come to see me. Maybe they do need some dental work that will involve having an injection, maybe they need some jabs so they can go on holiday or maybe they now need a blood test and the thought of visiting the nurse creates a sense of dread. 

It may not be just actually having an injection that creates the fear, it could also be that other people talking about needles or seeing them on TV or in pictures is also enough to spark up that familiar feeling of fear.

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Recently I've been helping a huge number of people to overcome their dental anxiety in Ely. Many of them have been referred to me by their dentist or hygenist to get help to overcome their intense fear and anxiety around having dental treatment.

As with all fears, I've encountered a wide spectrum of experiences from those who can manage check ups but dread having work done, to those who have avoided the dentist for decades. I've recently helped people who are in acute tooth pain and know they need dental treatment yet keep putting it off, and those who now face the prospect of losing teeth because they have avoided check ups for so long.

And if you currently struggle with fear of the dentist, you may worry about experiencing pain or having injections, or you may remember previous times when you've panicked and worry about it happening again. Or perhaps it's a feeling of being out of control, a fear of all medical situations, the smell of the dentist surgery or - and this is commonly cited as an issue - the sound of the drill. 

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Recently I went to give blood for the second time in Ely - something everyone I've spoken to agrees is a useful and valuable thing to do. So what stops so many people actually taking an hour out and giving blood? 

Many people I've spoken to tell me they have a fear of needles or blood or are worried about fainting afterwards. And of course, needles, blood and the possibility of fainting are certainly part of the process! In fact, while I was there, one person did pass out despite being a regular blood donor, and another person felt faint and had to rest for a while.

I remember the first time I gave blood - afterwards I went a bit dizzy and had to sit down for a while. But it soon passed, and just like the lady who did faint, I was soon up and on my way again feeling fine.

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Do you struggle with a dog phobia? 

In the video below, Alison explains how hypnotherapy helped her young daughter end her phobia of dogs. Before coming to see me, Katie was fearful of all dogs; she wouldn't go near them and would actively avoid them. If she went to a friend's house and they had a dog, she had to know in advance that it would be shut away before she would agree to go there.

As with any phobia you have, with a fear of dogs, you will be on high alert whenever they may be around. The fear and panic can be so overwhelming that you may avoid certain places, you may hear every dog bark and constantly check whether dogs are on a lead or could come closer.

Yet after just a few sessions, Katie was totally free of her dog phobia.

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Do you hate going to the dentist? Is the thought of it enough to bring the nerves and fear that stop you going?

Along with needle phobia, dentist phobia is one of the most common fears I help people to overcome.

Most people with a fear of the dentist will do all they can to avoid making an appointment - they may go years without even a check up - until something happens like tooth pain and they are left with no choice.

And the nearer the appointment gets the more you feel anxious or try to not think about it. In the waiting room you may feel hot, sweaty, on edge and like you want to pace up and down the room. And once they call your name you may find that panic increases, sometimes even to the point of a panic attack where you have to get out of the dentist chair as quickly as possible.

I have worked with clients who in the past had been to the dentist four or five times, but every time their dentist fear had taken over and they had left without treatment. Some have even been told not to come back until they have sorted their dentist phobia.

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