Facing Fears, Changing Lives

As some of you know Tanya Bunting Coaching is currently in the Sunshine State completing further training with the Pure NLP team [Richard Bandler, John and Kathleen La Valle] with the sole intention of Inspiring You [my clients and students] to Shine. Read on to find out how I was able to test my NLP Change Work Skills on myself during a fab day out at Sea World.

“What will you do while I’m on the fast rides?” enquired Dave.
“Test my skills,” I replied.

A few years ago, I attended an NLP Practitioner course in London with Richard Bandler. I was curious after reading publicity that claimed NLP can change your life. Day 4 was Phobia Day!

There was a wide range of phobias for Richard to deal with, from the standard ones such as spiders and snakes through to public speaking, claustrophobia to ones that were more unusual.

During Richard’s dramatic introduction with a tarantula and an extremely long snake, I was the delegate at the door. The spider was on the move [albeit in a massive conference room] and I wasn’t taking any chances. Richard advised us that, after coffee, we would be working with each other in preparation for holding spiders and snakes. I made my way for a comfort break thinking, I could just go shopping in Kensington. My next thought considered phoning my Mum to which my internal dialogue replied, “You’ll never do it, if you take that risk!”

Richard’s introduction noted that, as humans, we are born with only two fears – a fear of loud noise and a fear of falling. So, what happens?

The theory of classical conditioning [Pavlov 1927] explains how behaviour is learned through ‘stimulus response’ associations. Basically, an event in the environment [stimulus] results in a psychological reaction that is then forged into an association. Phobias [irrational fears of objects or situations] are thought to develop in this way; for example, a person may climb to the top of a high building, and when looking down [environmental stimulus], experience nausea and dizziness [psychological response].

Interestingly, it is not the object nor the situation that causes the fear, but the conditioned response to that object or situation; for example, a person who feels sick when considering a height [real or imagined], learns to avoid it. This becomes a problem when it impedes his or her ability to self-manage. Let’s face it, if you can’t take a lift or travel on an aeroplane, your opportunities for work, travel or leisure are severely jeopardised.

The good news is that whatever you fear, YOU can take control, now.

Learning Theory states, if a behaviour has been learned [conditioned] it can be unlearned [reconditioned].

Traditional techniques include:

  •  Systematic Desensitisation – gradually getting reused to a previously unwanted stimulus.
  • Massed Practice – repeating an unwanted behaviour [phobic response] many times.
  • Aversion – linking a response to a behaviour, e.g. nausea to drinking alcohol.
  • Flooding – being thrown in at the deep end, e.g. into a room of spiders. A tad traumatic!

The NLP Fast Phobia Cure was devised by Richard Bandler in the 1970s, and is a highly effective means of inducing radical changes in feelings and behaviour. It is a dramatic demonstration of how NLP can be used to bring about real change quickly so that people can take control of their lives.

NLP incorporates a range of interventions, including trance work [hypnosis] because, as Richard Bandler says himself, you can’t treat every issue in the same way. And why would you, when one method is more effective for an individual or in a particular situation? When asked, Richard is very clear that practitioners should use the intervention that works. In my experience, listening to the client or patient is key.

A learned response…

In the past, my lovely mum often recalled me being comfortable with spiders when I was very young and wondered why things changed when Tanya [the head teacher] would evacuate her office and send for the caretaker! Fortunately, when teaching my Reception Class many years ago, I had the sense to leave the children [with the teaching assistant, I hasten to add] while the creature was dealt with. This, of course, avoided me conditioning a phobic response from the children. My Mum’s response, on the other hand, was priceless…

I recall a day when she found a spider in the bedroom. Leaving a hasty note for my Dad, she packed myself and my brother into the car assuring us that the said spider was “enormous” and provided a vivid description. When we got to where we were going [we had no idea] my Nan was pleased to see us. In the early evening, my Dad arrived laughing about what had happened. My Mum, beyond laughter, then interviewed him in an attempt to risk assess whether it was safe to go home. Eventually, she was reassured that her success criteria for the removal and destruction of the eight-legged beast was fulfilled. It included being caught, the method [hoover or hands], the destruction [won’t elaborate] and the final resting place!

Back to London…

Needless to say, there was no shopping to be had in Kensington on Phobia Day. I returned after coffee to the back of the queue with the intention of holding Tina the Tarantula. Seeing that I needed all the help I could get, my student peer enlisted Kay Cooke, a master NLP Practitioner supporting the team.

“Just imagine,” said Kay, “All the opportunities it will open up for you.
If you can face one fear, you can face the rest.”

That was the start of a major development in my learning and subsequent career plan. Today, I combine my teaching, NLP and therapy skills to elicit rapid change for people who like you, I guess, want to follow their dreams.

“She’s beautiful!” I said, marvelling at her fur coat and slender long legs.

NLP and hypnotherapy enable you to make positive changes easily.

How does NLP and trance work?

In a nutshell, your sub-conscious “runs the show”. That is to say, it works on autopilot. If it has been conditioned to respond to a stimulus negatively, that’s what it will do. Identify the antecedent, and you’re half way there. Programme your brain and you will achieve rapid change, providing you are supported to set positive outcomes that you can start and maintain, and that they are good for you.

And in the Sunshine State…

Yesterday, much of my learning came to fruition on a personal level. More about that in a minute!

My first visit to Sea World was 14 years ago. At that time, I was a head teacher who was always waiting to feel an assembly coming on. My husband and my son, enjoyed the fast rides whilst I became the family “locker”. I was happy strolling and watching with our daughter. In between fast rides, we enjoyed the entertainment as a family. I recall being grateful to Shamu, the Orca, for inspiring a welcome to the new school year assembly but struggled with some of the wild life during the other performances. I could have enjoyed the whole experience even more, if not for my:

  • Fear of heights – The viewing tower and rollercoasters were not for me!
  • Fear of birds – The release of parrots during the Dolphin Celebration hadn’t been so traumatising.

At UK theme parks, I did ride the teacups but hated the intense feeling of nausea caused by motion sickness.

I’m happy to say that all of that is now firmly in the past.

On entry to Sea World, I was greeted by a troop of wandering flamingos with their handlers lost in the crowd. No time to think about it, reversing the feeling, I enjoyed their pompous greeting. They’re pretty aloof, you know!

Manta [the rollercoaster featured above] has a top speed of 55 mph and a drop from 145 feet — one of the fastest, tallest and longest thrill rides in Central Florida. I loved it because I knew that I could use my skills, as necessary. As for Antarctica [the penguin experience] there was a choice to go sedately or ride on the wild side. The staff announced, “This one spins,” in anticipation of the motion-phobics! No problem for me, I did what Mr. Bandler taught me to do, reversed the feeling and “span” anyway. A further test was the Dolphin Days celebration when a soaring rainbow of tropical birds flew over me; they kept going too fast, I wanted to enjoy their colours even more.

So…having enjoyed sharing my success at Sea World, I am about to embark of a wealth of new learning. The Pure NLP Spring Programme 2018 includes:

  • Persuasion Engineering [3 days]
  • Design Human Engineering [6 days]
  • Charisma Enhancement/NLP Trainer’s Training [6 days]

More information about the opportunities that these courses will open up for you to follow.

Do you want to rid your phobia for good? Learn how to spin good feelings? Change your life? Then, arrange a free 20-minute consultation to get started now. I check my professional emails twice daily and will contact shortly.

Warmest wishes