If you have been watching This Morning recently, you will have seen Nik & Eva Speakman working with people with debilitating phobias.
The general public finds it very hard to believe that a phobia can be cured in a very short time, but this is absolutely 100% possible. I know it because I cure people of their phobias on a regular basis.
Phobias can be very limiting indeed. I speak from experience because I used to have one. I was absolutely terrified of snails. (Seems crazy I know!).
I suffered from a snail phobia for over 25 years, and it had a hugely detrimental effect on my life.
I refused to go into the garden if it had been raining, I missed parent’s evenings because there were giant pet snails in a tank in the class room. If I was exposed to snails I would start visibly shaking, crying, my heart would pound and I used to run and lock myself in a room to get away.
I can recall the sheer terror of a snail being close to me; just seeing one crawling on a window petrified me and it was a reaction I just couldn’t control.
There were also many incidents when I “thought” that something looked like a snail and had the same reaction.
I recall one evening when I went to the kitchen, and the lights were dim. My husband walked in and held out his hand and said: “I’ve got something for you”. I looked and saw a small round shape and screamed and ran. (Turns out he was offering me a Malteser!).
If my husband had touched a snail, I would not go near him until he had washed his hands.
Never in a million years did I think that I could feel any different but I have been cured of my snail phobia so know that it is truly possible.
I personally contacted Nik & Eva Speakman many years ago, (feeling frustrated that I was curing other people of their phobias, but couldn’t cure myself!) asking if they could work with me to cure my fear of snails.
They replied and mentioned that as it was an unusual phobia and that they would like to feature me on a TV show they were appearing in and cure my phobia during the programme.
In 2008, I found myself sat on the couch, live on Manchester TV, with Nik & Eva in the hope that they could cure me by the end of the programme.
To test my reaction prior to working with me, Nik & Eva uncovered a plate full of snails in front of me whilst the programme was live; I recall feeling absolutely terrified and can remember wanting to leap over the back of the sofa and run. I could feel the tears literally welling up in my eyes; that feeling of fear and subsequent humiliation.
Less than an hour later I was completely cured and could pick up a snail, something that I hadn’t done for at least 25 years!!!!!
Afterwards, I recall feeling strange, very happy but strange. I can only describe the feeling of being cured as “blank” afterwards; it really is impossible to find those feelings of fear even when you try really hard!!!!!!
I’m not sure that snails will ever be my favourite creature but I no longer feel the fear and anxiety and it has made an incredible difference to my life.
I was fortunate to have had a phobia, because now when I work with my clients who come to see me with phobias, I understand EXACTLY how they feel, but I also know how good they will feel without it too!
I am one of the very few therapists that have personally experienced, and been cured of a phobia, myself which allows me to be something of a “specialist” in this area!
Not only do I have the experience, but I am also qualified in many fields including Visual Coding Displacement Therapy, having been trained by Nik & Eva Speakman themselves.
A couple of weeks ago I spent the day with Nik & Eva at their motivational seminar, and there I heard the story of a lady (who was at the event) and her medical phobia.
This lady had made an appointment to see Nik & Eva as she had a medical phobia which affected her life very badly indeed. So much so, that she had never had children, just in case she had to go to the hospital.
This lady could also never bring herself to visit the doctors. Nik & Eva cured this lady of her phobia, allowing her, at last, to make a visit to her doctor when she began experiencing stomach pains. This was soon diagnosed as cancer, which soon after led to an operation.
As Eva told this story, she began to shed tears as she felt so emotional because their work had made such a difference and probably saved this lady’s life.
This shows the impact that a phobia can have on a person, and also demonstrates the benefits of being truly free from fear. A truly humbling story that I will remember forever.
So, if you are reading this and have a phobia (or know someone that does), please be reassured that life can be very different.
A great therapist will work with you and enable you to change your schema (an organised pattern of thought or behaviour) so that you can be free from fear!
Everything we do is a result of a schema. Many schemas are positive and productive and the negative schemas can be changed to become positive with the right help!
Freeing people from the fear is definitely one of the highlights of my work, and there have been many occasions when I felt truly humbled to have been part of their change.