“It’s the geckos I see everyday … I cannot open the windows … I get panic attacks. I’m anxious. I’m frustrated all the time. I can’t even look at a picture of one. Why do the hands scare me so much? All I want is to not be threatened by them ― to be normal. I am a very positive person. What am I going to do?”
Now find out what my young client was going to do…
What this vibrant, positive person was going to do was to get to the root reason for the phobia and to get in control of a fear that was controlling her with help of interactive hypnotherapy. Your own fears and loathings may be different. Be it that you personally hate something else … spiders, wasps, daddy-long-legs, stinging nettles, or buttons! Each to his (or her) own. The way to free yourself from the fear is the same method irrespective of the object of the fear. Read on …
The power of attraction.
When you have a fear you seem to attract it.
Bring out the Gecko patrol: they could be anywhere!
Paradoxically, people always become very knowledgeable about what they most fear. So, my client knew the behaviour of geckos well, and knew that the creatures get about. Her fear, her loathing, her terror, and disgust and repulsion were extreme, so she employed a posse of family and friends to ‘stake out’ her home, her family’s home, her place of work, and her neighbouring territory. Policing for geckos was routine. All windows must be closed, in all weathers, come rain or sweltering Mediterranean-shine. Family, friends, and boyfriend must protect her at all times of day and night.
Phobic people know the creature is out to get them!
“In the Summer they don’t come out. I do not like the stickiness. The skin… the hands… are white… and they know I am scared.”
A Gecko-phobic is likely to be a Gecko-logist
A person with a phobia has studied and researched, with the utmost scrutiny the creature who threatens, the creature who is out to get them. It’s almost as if she has a PhD in her fear-object. The creature ― be it a daddy-long-legs, a spider, a wasp, a moth, or a gecko remains under their microscopic charge with respect to habit, behaviours, movements, and shifts of routine both day and night. Phobics’ observations verge on the scientific in their precision and persistence. Their contributions to wikipedia may be welcomed: http://enwikipedia.org/wiki/Gecko
Some observations are true.
The truth is that geckos are good because they eat mosquitoes. Geckos are attracted to milk.
Some observations are gathered from experience:
Babies are vulnerable as the gecko is attracted to the milk, and so a gecko can be drawn to the lips of a baby, and so enter the mouth. “I know a couple who found a gecko on the mouth of their baby”.
Some observations may be considered folklore:
You can never get rid of a gecko when there is a baby in the house.
Some observations are inherited from Mum & Dad:
Fears and phobias can be inherited. “My mother did not like them. My aunt never liked them either. My Father and brothers are humoured by my fear and do not understand me.”
The source of the fear is never remembered consciously.
The whole of the mind operates by patterns. It works with layers of patterns, laid over one another ― and only the top layer comes into conscious awareness. All of the other layers are kept submerged beneath the level of conscious awareness. Psychologists call this boundary the ʹlimenʹ and when things reach down through this liminal boundary, and affect the subconscious they are called ʹsubliminalʹ. This is what happens when someone has a panic attack. You might observe something that in itself is innocuous but because the pattern it follows happens to resonate with a pattern that is stored in the subconscious it triggers an adverse reaction ― be it a panic attack, stuttering, or morbid fear of any kind. That reaction seems to come from nowhere because normally you cannot see through the liminal barrier. Hypnosis gives you access to those layers below the limen and there you can find the pattern that is doing the mischief.
Let us take my client’s experience as an example.
To call it a fear of geckos is, in fact, an over-simplification of what is going on. The so-called fear of geckos is only the apparent symptom. What you are experiencing is not an actual fear of geckos, but a fear of the unconscious pattern that the gecko hooks into. So telling yourself that geckos are nothing to be afraid of will not do much good as that is not what the fear is really about. The geckos are simply symbols, harmless creatures on the ground that happen to have acquired an association with something that really did frighten you some time ago.
So what is going on you wonder?
What is happening is an unconscious connection with something embedded in a subliminal layer of patterns. There is a stored pattern that the gecko is associated with. The (hidden) memory of that pattern is locked into the association with the gecko and then floats up like an echo through the limen into the conscious mind: and the person experiences fear, loathing, terror, vomiting … a blind terror, as if from nowhere, but somehow tied to what may well be a harmless enough creature to you.
So how did the movie Parent Trap get tagged to this?
In hypnosis Bernice, aged eleven, reported going to see the film Parent Trap. Lindsay Lohan is in a dual role as their twin daughters, who are separated at birth by their parent’s divorce. The ‘twins’ plot to trap their parents. In one scene a gecko is placed upon the head of the Father’s current girlfriend, Meredith. The gecko makes a dash down her face and straight in to her mouth. “It was a green one,” says my client. “Disgusting”. Repulsed, Meredith spits it out. In the relaxing and magical chair, her whole body language, and shift of hand movements, suggest her response to the ‘disgusting’ scene. I shift Bernice swiftly from this experience, and she reports feeling better… and onward we progress. “What needs to be in place for you to feel better and better…” Out of hypnosis Bernice avidly re-tells me all of the details of the scene in Parent Trap, smiling, laughing, animated, and excited.
Curious? Find out tomorrow how a Gecko became a pin-up Star.
Pin-up star? Find out tomorrow in Part II