Phobias are catching – true or false?

Of course, your phobia isn’t exactly like ‘flu and your fear of spiders (or something else) isn’t going to sweep through the neighbourhood, infecting all and sundry with anxiety and extreme watchfulness.

But if you are living, or spending time, with young children, you could be passing onto them something that they could do without – your fears.

Phobia | Small girl with motherI had a fascinating conversation recently with a Reiki client, when she told me how she had found a small spider in her kitchen and picked it up to show her little grand-daughter.  The child flapped her hands and squawked loudly, “Oooh, ’pider!  Oooooh!”  Seeing this, my client realised that the little girl was mimicking some adult behaviour, rather than expressing her own true fears, and so she calmly explained that this was “Incy Wincy Spider” in person and not something to be scared of at all.  They had a good look at the little creature before deciding that it would probably prefer to be in the garden.  Then they sang the song together – and now, for this little girl, spiders have a completely different resonance, of playfulness, love and security.

Until the age of six, children are extremely absorbent – they mop up our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and take them on as their own, including our fears or phobia, however much we may try to shield them.  Many of the people who come to me for help with their fears have “caught” (learned) them from parents, grandparents or caregivers.  It’s not deliberate – this process is just part of the way we are designed to learn about life.

The good news is that if we have learned something unhelpful, we can also unlearn it.

So, if you have passed on your phobia about heights, wasps or birds, it’s not the end of the world.  But just think how wonderful it would be if you could release your fears and pass that on, instead!  And it can be done, believe me.  This work, to disconnect the fear response, forms an important part of my practice and I have helped many people to live without that constant, watchful tension.

Have you or your family experienced anything like this?  I’d love to know – please do join the conversation and leave a comment, below.

And if you would like to live without your specific fear, you can get in touch here to arrange a discovery conversation to find out more about how I can help you.

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