I have a problem that I am not able to solve. Although I can drive my own car, I am not able to get into any vehicle that I am not driving myself. I had a car accident in 1990 and since then things are going for worse; although it started with cars, now I can't get into taxis, buses, airplanes, trains, ships. This has really ruined my life. Will hypnosis help me?
I appreciate you writing to me about your travel problem. This is not an uncommon response after having had an accident. The fact that you are okay when you drive, confirms to me that your real issue is feeling at the mercy of someone else, and therefore, feeling in less control of your situation. Being a passenger means relying upon someone else to determine your destination, and your very destiny, so to speak. Hypnosis can definitely help you get over this fear. Any person would be nervous after an accident, especially in getting back into a car (or whatever other vehicle was involved). However, this can be true also for some people after hearing or reading about airplane, train or boat accidents. In other words, someone does not have to have been present in the situation to begin to fear it. The problem comes when the fear about traveling doesn't let up after a few weeks, or even months, and becomes a phobia. This is when normal activities become affected adversely; and just the thought of traveling provokes fear. Some travel-related fears lead many people to go to extremes to avoid the fearful mode of travel. This can be very embarrassing and limiting to individuals who want to be able to see friends and enjoy other places besides their homes. Now, how can hypnosis help you overcome your fear of traveling? To begin with, the hypnotherapist helps you develop calmer, more appropriate responses by working toward a relaxed and focused state of mind. At this level, your own inner resources are more available to conquer the fear. In mild cases of travel nervousness, hypnosis can replace the old fear-based program, slow the heartbeat and respiration, promote clear-headedness, and overcome the sensations of escalating loss of control. In more severe cases, hypnosis can seek the true causes of the fear in a relaxed and focused hypnotic state. The fear had locked in at some point in time. Since the unconscious part of the mind has no timeline, that part of you is not aware of time having passed. Thus, the experience is still "happening" whenever you get near a vehicle. So, hypnosis can also release the memory of the incident that had created the fear in the first place. Meeting and facing the fears of traveling by working through the subconscious (or unconscious) mind where the fears reside, can assist you in dealing with the them, thus "curing" your phobia and making it possible for you to travel again. So, as soon as possible, find a hypnotherapist who handles fears and phobias, and have fun traveling.