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Phobias occur when the subconscious mind believes (incorrectly) that a particular thing or situation is a threat to us, even when we consciously know that it is not. The installation of phobias usually occurs when the subconscious mind misunderstands a situation that has occurred in the past, and makes the person fearful of it in an attempt to get them to avoid a recurrence of it in future. For instance, if a person got badly stung by bees when they were in the countryside, they might end up with a fear of the countryside, rather than a fear of bees, and they become agoraphobic.

There can be many reasons why this happens, but the solution is always the same. When the client is hypnotised we have access to their subconscious beliefs, so by asking them to relate the event that triggered the phobia (which they may or may not remember consciously) we can then challenge and correct the erroneous belief.