How do you tell the difference between a genuine fear or a phobia? and is it sensible to rid ourselves completely of fear? I think not! Fear is a valuable emotion that in the right circumstances can be life saving. If you have a dog phobia for example, and then completely eliminate any fear relating to dogs, you might find yourself approaching a genuinely dangerous dog. On a scale of 1 – 10 if a score of 1 is no fear, and a score of 10 is a phobic reaction, then the people at the bottom of the scale need as much treatment as those at the top! A “normal” level would be a score of around 3. That’s when an exaggerated fear is downgraded to a rational and reasonable concern. The irrational element of the phobia however, can be completely eliminated quite safely.

We are born with 2 fears, that of heights/falling and of loud noises. All other phobias are learned, often after a personal experience or through a learned behaviour. Anyone who has a phobia, usually has a genuine fear of getting rid of it. It may sound daft but I once treated someone for a phobia of swimming in the sea, and just before I was about to start using TFT (tapping) she panicked saying “If you get rid of my fear I might go into a sea where there is a shark!” I had to first reassure her that I was getting rid of the excess fear, and not all of the fear. It’s important for anyone wanting to get rid of a phobic reaction to understand that a normal healthy level of self preservation will be maintained. Then they will feel confident enough to let the fear go.

There are a few ways to eliminate a phobia and there’s no one way that works for everyone. If you are looking for a therapist to help you I would strongly recommend you find someone with skills in more than one area: some people respond best to hypnotherapy, others to NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and others to tapping (TFT, Thought Field Therapy). In my own clinic I always use a combination of all 3 plus some cognitive work to finish it off. Most phobias can be eliminated in one session using a combined approach.

Check out this dramatic result for a needle phobia which was eliminated in less than an hours treatment

A phobic reaction is a fight or flight response, there are very real physical symptoms which can cause extreme anxiety. Once the phobia is treated you can be exposed to the trigger (e.g. dogs) and have no physical reaction at all. It doesn’t mean you will like dogs – but then many people don’t like sprouts, so in that context it’s not a problem!

You can eliminate your own phobia using TFT and NLP if you follow the guidelines in my book Tapping For Life.

For details on how to learn a range of techniques including TFT please visit