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Hypnotherapy offering hope to phobia sufferers in UAE.

Hypnotherapists claim the practice can produce positive results for patients

Anxiety might be common among patients, but it does not usually hit thedentist themselves.

However, Zahra Zuhair's trembling voice troubled her so much that the dentist decided to seek help from an unconventional source --a hypnotherapist.

The Dubai-based Saudi national, 28, splashed out about Dhs3,500 on more than five hypnotherapy sessions.And even though her shaky voice is still not cured -- she needs to see a speech therapist -- Zuhair says the sessions helped.

"I can now control my anxiety and calm down my reactions, but it's not magical as I have a problem with a shaky voice,"Ceshe said.

"It (hypnotherapy) helped me learn techniques to centre myself and gain confidence and control my fears.It was informative on how you connect your thoughts to your inner self, it helped me relax."

Trying to relax is an issue for many people.Hypnotherapist Amrit Chandra, who has been practicing in Dubai's Miracle Centre for about four years, remembers a man in his 40s with nyctophobia -- fear of the dark.

He was so afraid that he slept with the lights on every night -- and took five sessions at Dhs1,000 each in a bid to battle his phobia.Chandra said: "We had to reach the core issue of the problem.We went back to his childhood and found out that his mother used to lock him in a dark bathroom as a child when he had done something naughty. So, if he was in the dark, he would associate it with something bad. We had to heal his inner child."

"We had to reprogramme the mind so he would look at what he was scared of from a new and neutral perspective."She added:Ce"People come to us when they find no other solution to their problems and they want a therapeutic solution."

Severe phobias of cats, horses, water and relationships are all issues hypnotherapists in the UAECehave come across.

The treatment usually includes an hour-long session where the hypnotherapist taps into the patient's subconscious to dig out the cause of the problem, Chandra explained, adding that a patient may need up to five sessions, depending on the severity of the case.

Chandra said she sees people from "all walks of life" at her clinic -- many who seek help because they have grown tired of using antidepressants to solve their problems.

"I see teachers, bankers, students, sport enthusiasts and people in upper management roles," she said.

Chandra added that many come to her to try to "cleanse their minds" of problems causing marital or relationship issues.

"There was a woman who was having problems with her husband, who kept making remarks about her weight."We traced why she had attracted men like that," Chandra said.

But not everyone's a fan -- some see hypnotherapy as nonsense.Stuart Wilson said: "Tried it for smoking -- wasn't cheap. Was so good that I actually had a cigarette while leaving the final session."Was a waste of money for me, but do believe there are some good ones out there."

Yvonne Morgan, who works for Dubai Hypnotherapy clinic, says she even hasgolfers seeking help."Golfers know how to play golf, but it's the stress that's getting in the way," she said.

"We get triathletes who come to us to get rid of anxiety.A lot of the extreme cases just haveanxiety underneath and that's what we remove.To remove the phobia, we changethe perception of how they view what theyare afraid of."

sarwat@7days.ae

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Aug 26, 2015
Words:603
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