There are theories about where some phobias originate that are very interesting. Some speculate that the fear of spiders and snakes is deeply rooted in our genetic history; that survival depended on being alert and afraid of such creatures. Just knowing this may help calm a milder reaction to those creepy crawlies.

Many people, however, recall specific events that started their terror of spiders or snakes. Sometimes it was one particular episode or it may have been a series of encounters that built up the fear level. However the fear was created, in some cases it can be physically debilitating with symptoms escalating into a full blown panic attack. Even the mere mention of the object can bring on sensations of extreme terror, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, trembling or shaking, sweating, stomache distress, light headedness, chills or hot flashes, and a general feeling of lack of control.

There are several approaches to mitigating phobias and they might include cognitive behavioural techniques such as exposure therapy (gradually exposing a person to his fear and de-sensitizing his emotional reactions), NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) therapy or hypnotherapy.

An effective and quick technique for reframing the emotional reaction to certain stimuli is NLP's Fast Phobia Cure, which, once a set-up is in place, literally takes just minutes to execute.

Hypnosis may also be employed to regress to the original event(s) and reframe them to diffuse the emotional impact. When one regresses hypnotically, they are not just remembering the event, but they actually re-experience it, a state known as revivication. A talented hypnotist will be able to help a client do this without subjecting them to undue discomfort.

But, a phobia is not always necessarily related to a past event involving the object of fear itself: sometimes, the subconscious just selects that particular subject to use as a trigger during times of stress or anxiety. Dealing with current stressors would be an appropriate approach in this case and hypnotherapy is an excellent medium for this type of work.

The bottom line is that it is not necessary to live with phobias and when one gets to a point that it is restricting or impacting your life in a negative way, it's time for change. And change is easier than you think!