In July of this year, I went to Canada's Wonderland with a few friends. The Behemoth is one of the new attractions and being the tallest and fastest rollercoaster I wanted to ride it first. As we waited in line the anticipation grew as I watched car after car on the rollercoaster track drop straight down from a height of 230ft. Yes, it is tall. You don't realize how tall it is until you are careening towards the earth at break neck speeds with only a bar across you lap holding you in. When it was our go, my friend suggested we sit in the front. I was all for it. We began ascending the 230ft climb and it wasn't until we reached the top that i realized how scary it was. I was white knuckling it all the way through.
We rode many roller coasters that day and then we rode the Behemoth again for a second time at night. The second time around, it seemed like nothing. It had no where near the impact it did the first time. This is a perfect example of desensitization. The more you do something, the easier and more comfortable it seems.
When someone is experiencing a fear or a phobia we use a process called systematic desensitization. The subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between real and imagined. If someone that is afraid of spiders sees a spider on tv, they react with the same fear as if they had seen a real spider. We take people through their fear, while in hypnosis, by having them visualize or imagine themselves in the situations that make them respond with fear. They always have a safe place to return to, should they wish, so they are always safe and in control. Taking them through 10 steps of fear, from the least fear provoking to the most fear provoking desensitizes them to the fear. When they can think of the scenarios in their mind and feel comfortable, we know it has worked. I have seen people remove most of a fear in just 1 hour using this technique.
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