TRAFFIC PHOBIA

Pedestrians who have been involved in road traffic accidents may develop a fear of traffic and this may reach panic proportions. However, a fear of traffic may also develop when there has been no actual accident but the individual has witnessed a situation where there was a potential for an accident to take place. In both instances the panic may be connected with a fear of dying. If there is a loud noise associated with the circumstances of the trauma then the patient may react to this by becoming over sensitive to other noisy situations. This may be something quite unrelated such as the radio, or the television, or even a room full of people. This can escalate so that they are unwilling to turn on the radio and will only speak in whispers The individual may become so frightened that they are reluctant to venture out into any place where they might encounter traffic or noise.

The treatment of choice in the first instance is hypnotherapy. During this treatment the patient is hypnotised and in the relaxed state, under the guidance of the therapist, the patient imagines increasingly difficult situations which cause distress. In order to counteract the fears they are asked to imagine a special place in which they feel perfectly safe and secure. This will then have the effect of reducing the anxiety. The aim of the treatment is to ensure that eventually the patient is able to face all situations involving traffic and also cope with noise if this is a component of the problem.

As the treatment progresses it is frequently found that patients wish to explore other issues in their lives which on the surface seem unrelated to the presenting problem. It is important to address these and the use of psychotherapy in addition to the hypnotherapy is woven into the treatment.

In Kraft’s experience by using a combination of psychotherapy and hypnotherapy for this type of problem the patient is likely to make an excellent recovery.

 

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David Kraft


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