The fear of heights, also known as acrophobia, is a common phobia experienced by men and women of all ages. In fact, researchers suggest that to some extent, being afraid of heights is natural for most humans and animals. What turns an instinctive fear of heights into a phobia is that the fear is so severe that it is deemed overblown, or it interferes with a person's day-to-day activities. In an attempt to avoid heights, people with acrophobia often refuse to go near balconies, tall buildings, and other common situations and areas. In some individuals, merely thinking about heights can be enough to trigger a panic attack.

The fear of heights can be set off in any high-up location that makes a person feel anxious. This includes ladders, staircases, roller coasters, rooftops, bridges, and many other places we encounter in our day-to-day lives. Some people with a phobia of heights may feel safe in some areas, like their own balcony, but breakdown in other places, such as when they are going up a ladder.

The fear of heights can cause intense symptoms, including nausea, dizziness, anxiety attacks, fainting, shaking, sweating, and several others. Unlike some common phobias, numerous people with a fear of heights do not respond frantically but instead become "petrified" or frozen with fear. For example, a person might climb up a ladder, but suddenly feel they are too high up to climb down and become trapped this way.

Acrophobia can be especially crippling because sufferers often find themselves panicking in situations where they need to remain calm and collected in order to remain safe. People who find themselves in a high up location, such as the top of a ladder or a staircase, may suffer an anxiety attack which leads to injury. Or, a sufferer might start shaking so violently that they risk getting hurt. It is thus crucial for people whose acrophobia could be harmful to get help for their condition.

Past treatments involved exposing a person to heights so they could try to "confront their fear." This approach proves upsetting and unsuccessful for most people. Other, more functional options include medication and therapy. Hypnotherapy is an ideal option because it's effective, safe, and non-invasive.

Traditional hypnosis works through direct post-hypnotic suggestions. In modern society, this method is often ineffective. These days, people tend to be independent thinkers and will resist direct suggestions by unconsciously refusing their instructions. Experienced hypnotists now utilize more sophisticated Ericksonian hypnosis techniques to circumvent this obstacle.

Ericksonian hypnosis therapy, as formulated by Milton Erickson, MD, is a much enhanced form of hypnotherapy than conventional practices. It utilizes indirect suggestions hidden in metaphors, conversation, and stories to channel the unconscious into a new, phobia-free thought process. This is effective because it's far harder for the unconscious to reject suggestions hidden in a dialogue, than direct post-hypnotic suggestions that are obvious to the mind.

A good hypnotherapy program will include a multitude of different techniques to guarantee it will work for all users. The combination of many Ericksonian hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques is ideal for nearly everyone trying to overcome a phobia.

The combined program begins with relaxation hypnosis. Once your mind is clear and relaxed, NLP techniques can be used to cure a phobia. All phobias stem from the same type of thought process, so all you need is a single hypnosis program with the correct formulation to cure any phobia, or even multiple phobias.

Summary: Several types of therapy rely on conscious effort to resolve a phobia, but this often doesn't work because phobias stem from the unconscious mind. The techniques of Ericksonian hypnosis therapy and NLP are especially good at treating phobias because they function at this unconscious level. Phobias are set off when the feeling of fear is unconsciously linked to mental imagery, such as looking down from a high place. By removing or disassociating the emotion of terror from the image, certain hypnotic and NLP techniques can forever cure a phobia very quickly.

Hypnotherapy sessions can help a person rapidly and effortlessly overcome a fear of heights. Hypnotherapy is one of the safest kinds of phobia remedies ever designed, with no side effects. For those looking to fight acrophobia or any other phobia, hypnotherapy provides a well-balanced form of anxiety-free phobia treatment.

Author's Bio: 

Alan B. Densky, CH has been treating phobias using Hypnotherapy since 1978. He offers how to overcome fear hypnosis and NLP CDs plus a broad range of Hypnosis CDs for stress & depression related symptoms. Visit his website for free hypnotism downloads.