Specific phobias: types, causes, help and treatment with hypnotherapy in Berlin & online

Hypnotherapy and Hypnobalancing™ in Berlin

Hypnobalancing™ for specific phobias


Apprehension or fear of certain situations, activities, animals or objects is not uncommon. Many people react fearfully when they spot a snake or spider or have clammy hands when the plane takes off.

Fear is a normal reaction to situations that may threaten our safety. However, some people have an exaggerated reaction to objects or situations, and their fear takes limiting forms, even panic attacks. The fear reaction is out of proportion to the actual risk. Sometimes the thought of the frightening object or a brief glance at it is enough to trigger a severe reaction. This may indicate a specific phobia.

What are specific phobias, what are their causes, and what helps? How can which specific fears be resolved with hypnotherapy and Hypnobalancing™?






Specific phobia


Feeling uncomfortable about certain situations, activities, animals or objects is probably something everyone knows. Fear is a normal reaction to situations that can endanger our safety. However, some people react excessively to objects or situations, their fear increases to a pathological form up to a panic attack. The fear reaction is out of proportion to the actual danger. Sometimes the thought of the fear trigger or a brief glance at it is enough to trigger a violent reaction. This may indicate a specific phobia.

Fears referred to as specific fears, specific phobias, or isolated phobias are among the most common anxiety disorders. They can occur at any age.




Characteristics of specific phobias



Nothing is believed as firmly as what we know least.

Michel de Montaigne


People with specific phobias are often aware that their fears are exaggerated or incomprehensible to others, but they have no control over this emotional state. Nevertheless, they pay a great deal of attention to the early identification of potential dangers. They develop an exaggerated focus (hyper-attention, over-focus, selective attention) on the stimuli they consider dangerous. This way, they think they can take fear-avoiding actions in time.

The excessive focus of attention leads to an unnecessarily high level of vegetative arousal, in which even the slightest abnormality triggers an alarm reaction. Even the idea or expectation of certain stimuli, and not just at the sight of them, can trigger severe fear reactions. In such a hypersensitive state, reactions are very frequent.

Specific phobias can be distinguished from other anxiety disorders by the clear situation and object reference. In the absence of these stimuli, there are no phobic fears, no panic attacks, and no general increased anxiety, except for the specific expectation fears. The fear is directed toward a very specific object, such as an animal, an object, a very specific situation, or a place. Affected persons can name and limit very precisely what they are afraid of.




Anxiety triggers in the case of specific fears



Almost anything can become an anxiety trigger. The list of fears is long. There are several fears with their own names – ranging from acrophobia (fear of heights), aviophobia (fear of flying), xenophobia (fear of everything foreign), and claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces) to vaccinophobia (fear of vaccinations). Animal phobias (zoophobia), such as fear of snakes and spiders (arachnophobia), are very common.

Many of these fears, such as fear of animals or confined spaces, have an evolutionary background. They relate to situations or objects that were definitely associated with danger in the history of mankind.




Social pressure


Many affected people fear that their anxiety will become visible, which results in additional pressure. The stress level is heightened by this and fears are intensified. A vicious circle begins that spirals upwards.

Many patients try to take precautions to appear as inconspicuous and normal as possible. They monitor themselves, their behavior, and the environment as closely as possible to avoid any contact with the anxiety trigger and, if that is not possible, at least to keep the anxiety hidden as much as possible.






Within the specific phobia category, there is considerable heterogeneity. There are different categories of phobias:

  • Animal (e.g. fear of spiders, snakes, dogs)
  • Natural environment (e.g. fear of heights, fear of lightning and thunderstorms)
  • Blood-injection-injury (e.g. fear of medical procedures including injections, fear of needles, fear of blood)
  • Situational (e.g. fear of confined spaces, fear of the dark)
  • Other (e.g. fear of vomiting, choking, illness)






A simple phobia is highly comorbid with other disorders; many of my clients with simple phobia reported at least one-lifetime comorbid disorder. The other anxiety disorders and major depression are most frequent. Also, specific phobia is frequently diagnosed as a comorbid disorder in other anxiety disorders.



Within the specific phobia category, there is considerable heterogeneity. There are different categories of phobias:

  • Animal (e.g. fear of spiders, snakes, dogs)
  • Natural environment (e.g. fear of heights, fear of lightning and thunderstorms)
  • Blood-injection-injury (e.g. fear of medical procedures including injections, fear of needles, fear of blood)
  • Situational (e.g. fear of confined spaces, fear of the dark)
  • Other (e.g. fear of vomiting, choking, illness) 




In psychotherapy, a variety of combinations of Flexible-Cooperative Hypnotherapy with Hypnobalancing and immediately applicable self-help techniques can be used. What exactly is implemented is decided according to the topic, personality, individual situation, and objectives. Even though many years of experience are very helpful here, it is always an individual collaboration each time.

Some examples of specific phobias


Examples of specific phobias:

  • Achluophobia
    Fear of the dark
  • Aichmophobia
    The exaggerated fear of sharp objects
  • Astraphobia
    Exaggerated fear of lightning
  • Aviophobia
    Exaggerated fear of flying
  • Bacillophobia
    Exaggerated fear of bacteria and tiny pathogens
  • Blaptophobia
    The exaggerated fear of hurting others with sharp objects
  • Brontophobia
    The exaggerated fear of thunder
  • Ceraunophobia
    The exaggerated fear of thunderstorms
  • Dentophobia
    Fear of dentists
  • Divophobia
    The exaggerated fear of divers
  • Dromosiderophobia
    The exaggerated fear of railroads
  • Dysmorphophobia
    Exaggerated fear or conviction of being physically deformed
  • Ecophobia
    The exaggerated fear of environmental toxins
  • Emetophobia
    The exaggerated fear of vomiting
  • Entomophobia
    Exaggerated fear of insects
  • Equinophobia
    Exaggerated fear of horses
  • Erythrophobia
    Exaggerated fear of blushing
  • Gephyrophobia
    Exaggerated fear of bridges
  • Gynophobia
    Exaggerated fear of women
  • Gymnophobia
    Exaggerated fear of nudity
  • Herpetophobia
    The exaggerated fear of crawling animals such as reptiles
  • Hydrophobia
    Exaggerated fear of water
  • Carcinophobia
    Exaggerated fear of cancer
  • Claustrophobia
    The exaggerated fear of confined spaces
  • Kynophobia
    Exaggerated fear of dogs
  • Melissophobia
    Exaggerated fear of bees
  • Mysophobia
    The exaggerated fear of contagion through contact
  • Nosophobia
    Exaggerated fear of disease
  • Nyctophobia
    Exaggerated fear of the night
  • Ophidiophobia
    Exaggerated fear of snakes
  • Phobophobia
    Exaggerated fear of fear
  • Pyrophobia
    Exaggerated fear of fire
  • Stage Fright, Fear of Public Speaking, Glossophobia
  • Thanatophobia
    Exaggerated fear of death
  • Trypanphobia
    Exaggerated fear of syringes
  • Xenophobia
    Exaggerated fear of strangers
  • Zoophobia
    The exaggerated fear of animals such as spiders, snakes, and dogs.


Your therapist


For about two decades, I am specialized in the field of fears and anxiety disorders. I spend about 20 hours a week helping people to free themselves from their limitations and thereby gain a better quality of life. If you want to know how it all started and what you should know about me, please read my profile. And yes, therapy is a very personal matter: Because it is a very intensive collaboration, I reveal some details about myself. So you can get a first impression of me. Trust is important and that is why I focus on transparency.

The sessions are conducted either in German or English.

What does hypnotherapy cost?


Here are some organizational details. Please read them before the appointment reservation. People often ask, "How much does hypnotherapy cost?" What is meant by this are the presumed total costs, which result from the fee and the duration of the psychotherapy with hypnotherapy.




Fee for psychotherapy


The fee per session hour of psychotherapy (60 minutes) for appointments from Monday to Thursday from 10:00 to 18:00:

The fees for psychotherapy are exempt from VAT according to § 4 No. 14 a) UStG.

The first session usually lasts 90 minutes. Outside the mentioned business hours (Monday and Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.) I add a 35 % surcharge. The minimum duration of a session is 60 minutes, billing beyond that in 30-minute units. The minimum duration of a session is 60 minutes, billing beyond that in 30-minute units.

The fees do not include travel, accommodation, and allowance costs, which will be charged to the client. For traveling on my behalf: The costs for the journey will be charged according to time and effort. Within Berlin, at least an hourly fee is charged. Relevant is the individual agreement.

Postponement of meetings: For hourly fees A. and B. sessions that last up to 120 minutes can be once rescheduled up to 72 hours in advance (only weekdays count Monday till Friday, no holidays), longer sessions, or more than 120 minutes within 7 days at least 14 days in advance. Otherwise, they will be charged in full.

You can't come to my practice? Switch to a session with video or use your telephone.

Method of payment: The fee must always be paid in full by bank transfer 7 days before the session. I will send you details by mail so that you are well-informed.

Right of rescission: If registration by consumers for an event is made by telephone, letter, e-mail, or online form, the provisions of the Distance Selling Act shall apply. If the intended start of the event at the time of registration is within the withdrawal period according to the Fernabsatzgesetz (Distance Selling Act), the registration is considered a request to start the service within the withdrawal period. You have the right to revoke a service order/date without giving reasons. This is possible within 14 days of the order by telephone and in writing.



Cost coverage by health insurance companies and other insurers


Usually, the fee is not paid by national health insurance companies. Please contact your insurance company to find out about their policy details. Please discuss this with your insurer in advance. You will receive an invoice from me with classification according to ICD-10. Should applications etc. be necessary, we can do this together during the meetings.




Therapy duration


The first therapy session lasts 90 minutes, subsequent sessions can also be 60 minutes long. The number of sessions required is as varied as the personalities and situations of the clients. For anxiety disorders, I usually see clients for 3 to 8 sessions. Frequently, this question can be estimated by the clients themselves after the second session. I will then also give you an estimation based on previous experience.

Appointment booking


Please read the important information before making an appointment with me, including the contraindications for psychotherapy with hypnotherapy. I have answered frequently asked questions for you. For the success of your therapy, this information is of crucial importance. If this attracts you, then you can find out about booking your appointment here. The better you are informed, the faster we can focus on you and your wishes.

To make an appointment, you can preferably contact me by e-mail (mail@noack-hypnose.de) or by using the contact form (privacy policy) as well as by phone 01577 704 53 56 or 030 - 864 213 69. You will then receive a confirmation of your reservation by e-mail. In this reply, you will find the details for the first session. This usually happens within 24 hours. If you do not receive a reply, it could be because an email has ended up in the spam filter. In such a case, please call me.

There are only a few practice hours available, and they want to be used well. The fee for individual session hours is therefore always to be paid in full by bank transfer, with payment received at least 7 days before the session.

Why at least 7 days in advance? I would like to do it differently, but this is the best practice. Appointments that have not been confirmed with payment received seven days in advance are noticeably more likely to be canceled. And the repeated callbacks take up a lot of time. Because of this, I'm currently faced with the decision of whether and how to either significantly adjust fees to absorb this or to consistently organize in a way that is fair to all parties. Because of this, I am also offering options in terms of shifting appointments with the fees.

There is a maximum of 20 hours a week available for psychotherapy, and any canceled appointment means patients are unable to benefit from psychotherapy help. I understand that it would be more convenient for you otherwise, but this solution is the fairest for all involved.

You can use real-time bank transfer (costs 25 Ct. at Sparkasse Berlin, for example) for time-sensitive appointments, and the transfer takes a few minutes, or we can make an appointment with appropriate advance preparation. If this is not an option for you, please let me know immediately so that I can assign your appointment. Otherwise, I appreciate your understanding and look forward to intensive cooperation.

You are not in Berlin or prefer an alternative instead of coming to me?


You are not in Berlin or do not want or cannot come to the practice for other reasons? Then it is worth reading the following information about the options:


a. Travel to Berlin


For clients traveling to Berlin, there is the possibility, if booked in advance, to hold 2 sessions on the same day. It should be discussed in advance by telephone whether this is a recommendable option, as it requires appropriate prerequisites. Any sources of additional pressure should be avoided in the interest of the therapeutic success.

Here you will find further information when considering to travel to me in Berlin.



b. Online sessions


At times a personal meeting is not possible. In such cases, a telephone session or a session with video support via the Internet is an alternative or supplement. I have been using this setting for many years, and many clients have achieved excellent results with it. These experiences make it easy to achieve very intensive sessions in this way as well. You are more flexible and can also use my support very promptly. There are currently reduced fees for such sessions.

You are also on the safe side regarding the coronavirus. By the way, this is also an option if you should be unexpectedly unable to attend a session personally.​

Just ask me personally.


Let's talk. Please read the privacy policy. If you are interested, you can contact me for questions and appointments via this contact form or by e-mail (mail@berlin-hypnosis.com), phone 030/86421369, and mobile phone 01577/7045356. The best time to contact me by telephone is Monday to Thursday between 9.00 am and 6.00 pm. During sessions, there is an answering machine. Leave a message and your phone number in Germany, and I'll call you back as soon as possible. Make sure I understand what you are asking for.

You can find answers to frequently asked questions, such as fees, on the home page. There are also lots of articles and details about me (profile) to help you get an idea of who I am. This will also make it easier for you to decide if I am the right therapist for you and your problem.




I have read and accept the privacy policy.


In the address bar of your browser, the URL should begin with "https://www.berlin-hypnosis.com/...". This indicates a secure connection (SSL). Whether you enter your real name is up to you.

Preparation for the first session


With the confirmation of your appointment, you will receive recommendations on how to prepare for your first session with me. With your appointment confirmation, you will receive recommendations on how to prepare for your first session with me. You will also get an overview of what to consider regarding the Coronavirus during in-office appointments and how to prepare best for online sessions.​




The first session: Step by step 


The optimal prerequisites are set right at the beginning. In the first meeting, we create the basis for intensive cooperation. Step by step:




1. Preparation


The first session is generally 90 minutes so that there is enough time for an in-depth preliminary discussion, in which we can clarify questions. Then we begin with a detailed dialogue, with the anamnesis, in order to adapt the therapeutic plan individually to your personal needs. For this purpose, we define your goals and motives and discuss the steps.




2. First intervention


As soon as you are ready for it, we get to work. You set the pace. In the second part of the session, we figure out the easiest way to get you into a comfortable, relaxed hypnotic state. You will experience an introductory trance. This enables access to your unconscious and permits initial suggestions. How far we proceed with this in the first session will be determined by your reactions. Finally, I gently lead you out of the trance.




3. Evaluation, options, and outlook


Following the first trance, I will respond to your questions, and we will discuss how to proceed with your hypnotherapy. In most cases, you will receive recommendations you can apply to complement and enhance the work we do together, even beyond the sessions. It is crucial that you not only feel better in the session, but also have an improvement in your everyday life. The more effectively we work together, the sooner I make myself superfluous as your therapist. That's it!




When appropriate, I will teach you self-hypnosis to complement the hypnosis sessions. Self-hypnosis is a tool to control unconscious processes and thus mental states by yourself.

After you enjoyed positive trance experiences with my support, you can learn self-hypnosis very quickly. This helps you to progress self-determined. It accelerates the process, deepens, and consolidates what has been achieved in the therapy sessions. Your autonomy is thus fostered. A good therapist makes himself superfluous as soon as possible. Self-hypnosis is an excellent method of self-help that can be used beyond the actual issue.

Be sure to read the following notice


Before contacting me, please read the detailed information about fees, booking, contraindications to hypnotherapy and answers to other frequently asked questions (FAQ).

These pages are intended to provide information for those interested in psychotherapy using hypnotherapy. It is not intended to replace psychotherapy or personal consultation, examination or diagnosis by a licensed medical practitioner. I am not a medical doctor. I specialize in helping people with anxiety and anxiety disorders. The profession of a hypnotherapist (official license to practice psychotherapy according to the HPG) is fundamentally different from that of a medical doctor. Medical diagnoses are not made, nor are promises of healing made or medication prescribed. Hypnotherapy is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric intervention where this is required.

If you have any questions about psychotherapy with hypnosis, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to inform you.




Do you know my kind of fear?

Do you know my kind of fear?

Sometimes I get telephone calls or emails with the question if I have heard about this specific type of fear before. Most of the time I can say „Yes!“ and other times I am surprised. Truth is that the list of fears and phobias is endless.

read more

Published: March 12, 2007
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 15, 2023
Translation: August 23, 2019
German version:
AN: #132

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