Absolutely! Hypnotherapy can massively help and even eradicate agoraphobia and decrease social anxiety at the same time. I’ll demonstrate how that works, but first let me start with what agoraphobia is. Young girl looks out through the window

A lot of people ask me to clarify ‘what is agoraphobia?’ and agoraphobia is a fear of being out and being exposed to (or feel trapped and panicky) in public busy or social spaces. The panic and anxiety, as well as humiliation and embarrassment, that can come with this is a lot of the time to do with social anxiety as well, and the two sort of go hand in hand. Ultimately, this combo leads to someone staying at home more and more rather than going to these places and spaces, leading to avoidant behaviour and the diagnosis of the condition.

How does agoraphobia come about and develop?
Sometimes agoraphobia comes about because of illness due to medical conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which causes amongst other symptoms sudden cramps and the onset of diarrhoea. Sometimes when a trauma has happened around that, e.g. needing to go to the loo at the last minute and there is not a loo, or there is a massive queue, that can be enough to set off acute anxiety and if an accident happens or something has to be dealt with that is really emotionally charged, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). 
man struggles with agoraphobia and social anxietyThat combo is then enough to leave a ‘red flag’ in your mind and make going out after that really difficult, as the mind reminds you over and over if you do this, you may have this re-happen. This significantly influences most people to avoid the specific situation triggers and eventually avoid all situations to be on the ‘safe side’. Other triggers that can develop agoraphobia can be emetophobia (fear of being sick in public after feeling nauseous or actually being sick or witnessing sick in a closed environment), ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) related anxieties, strong shame, fear or social humiliation.

What’s it like to live with social anxiety and fear of public places?
It’s an incredibly isolating condition and often people who suffer from agoraphobia feel like they’re a burden to partners, family and friends. It’s a difficult condition and can lead to feelings of low self-esteem, lack of confidence in social settings, depression, eating disorders, deep isolation and humiliation and feeling weird and alone, or as my clients often say ‘like a weirdo’. 

There are however some amazing things that can help agoraphobia and social anxiety so please read on of this affects you or someone you care about.

How do you ‘cure’ agoraphobia and social anxiety?
One of the ways you can help agoraphobia is to decide that ‘You don’t negotiate with terrorists’ of the mind anymore. In other words, that those negative thought processes that are putting you off going out and are feeding the fear, you are seriously making the decision that you are going to start to fight back against it! This in itself is the number one move you can make!

The second stage is then to decide on a small milestone that would be a challenge. Emphasis on the word small! It could be to walk to the end of the road and back at first. Or say hello to that neighbour that’s always in their garden, for the first time in a year! As little as these two tasks sound to somebody without agoraphobia, these kind of actions can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety and be a great starting point to ‘push back’ on and regain control from. It’s only when you do nothing that the fear tracks to other areas, and your circle of comfort begins to get smaller. Keep rinsing and repeating the above and you will take back control, inch by inch. There will be set back days… just accept them, park them for the day, they happen; tomorrow is a fresh new day. Don’t give up moving forwards and taking back your right to freedom and independence.

Why does hypnotherapy help agoraphobia, emetophobia and social anxiety so well?
As a hypnotherapist I’ve worked with agoraphobia and acute social anxieties for a number of years now; the therapy part helps enable you to take back control, and the hypnotherapy works wonders for boosting comfort within and confidence to do things that might be quite a few steps out of your comfort zone at the moment. It’s a great accelerant for positive growth and change, amplifying your effort, with the deep and lasting power of hypnosis.

How does it work? What’s the process if I can’t leave the house?this shows a lady relaxing in her own home using headphones
Sometimes I go out to clients houses (domiciliary visits they are called) and give the hypnotherapy session in the comfort of their own homes (great for children and adults who are feeling particularly overwhelmed and stuck). It’s also great that there is then a target for them to come to my location and check it out and also save some money on their sessions! This helps to further continue the progress nicely. Over the years I have learnt many techniques and processes that work very well for taking back control and helping people to carry a feeling of ease more and more and regain independence and liberation from this challenging and often embarrassing misunderstood condition.

Of course, modern technology has revolutionised work on this area. You can now work with me from the comfort of your own sofa or bed via online communication platforms such as zoom, Facebook messenger and WhatsApp as well as the equally effective trusty landline calls.

Why pick you to help me? Why choose Hypnotherapy in Sheffield for help with my agoraphobia and social anxiety?
Full disclaimer, there is a reason why I decided to provide help for agoraphobia, doing online therapy and face to face sessions. Years ago, I myself experienced a year of agoraphobia when I was a student at school. After a pretty tough time with some stomach aches, I remember feeling very ill in the school toilets one day. I developed some panic, feeling unsafe, vulnerable and alone, far from home. All I wanted was to be back in my bedroom at home. I didn’t know what to do, who to turn to. I believe this is where my agoraphobia originally stemmed from. I guess I’ll never be truly sure, there was other things going on too. However, it took a while to move on from. 

In fact, if I’m brutally honest, elements of the emetophobia and agoraphobia lingered in the background for around a decade of my life after this time house bound (I wish I’d have known about hypnotherapy back then!). I didn’t like drinking alcohol when I became a young adult, (it made me feel like I wasn’t in control) and buses, trams, trains and being a passenger in cars would always be impossible to me and trigger a spike of panic and discomfort if I thought about it. I didn’t know how I’d ever manage to work. Panic attacks happened often if I tried to follow advice and do ‘normal things’. My family got used to making exceptions and excuses for me. I walked everywhere I could, because transport made me feel trapped, sick and like I couldn’t breathe until my early 20’s.

In my later years, studying psychology and hypnosis made me decide this was an area I wanted to really help and specialise in. After some strong successes by this point in my own thought techniques, I started analysing and trialling out these techniques in others and honing a package that really works.
Now I feel like I have a proven track record of helping people with agoraphobia and social anxiety to retake back independence and control in their life. Nobody should feel like a burden or feel humiliated with their families or partners. Thousands use hypnosis to overcome agoraphobia every day, why not you too?

What next? Message me and get in touch. Make a positive change today.
Agoraphobia can be overcome. Anxiety can be conquered and using hypnotherapy with someone who specialises in agoraphobia can honestly give you your life back! The only downside (as my clients often say) is you’ll be saying to me you wish you did it years ago!

For help and support around conquering agoraphobia, please drop me a message here to arrange a free consultation online, in person or via a call or to ask for more information. Best of luck for your independent and happy wide future. I’ll be happy to meet you there.