Gephyrophobia – Bridge and Tunnel Phobias

Posted By: admin at Wed, 06/06/2012No Comments

Over the years, I’ve come to notice an interesting thing about the hypnosis business, or at least in my particular hypnosis practice. There seem to be trend patterns. That is to say that at certain times of the year, I see concentrations of people with certain issues  coming in for help. It’s no surprise that I will see more weight loss clients in late spring or early summer as people want to get their bodies  in shape for bathing suit wear. I’ll also see smokers at certain times of the year as this may coincide with the airing of those intense and graphic anti-cigarette ads on tv and radio. But recently, I’ve noticed a “ramping up” of Bridge and Tunnel phobias. This increase in what is called Gephyrophobia may have a specific  basis. As people drive more often and on longer holiday trips, they are observing more frequent bad driving  of others. But why might this phobia begin, and why do my clients often have the same exact fears?


This is purely theory on my part, but my belief is that this phobia is the product of what we know as “Highway Hypnosis”. We have long understood that people go into light trance while driving. The general “routine-ness” of the process can produce a daydreamy state that allows our minds to be less focused on the minute by minute experience of driving. While in that state, we are exposed to the poor driving observations of others, such as tailgaters, non-signallers, speeders who suddenly cut you off etc. Couple those rattling entranced observations with the feeling of exposure one has while traveling high above the water below, and the conditions seem to be right for a fear imprint.
The cumulative effects then reach critical mass, and then the phobia appears.

I have helped dozens of clients with this issue in just three sessions. By hypnotically envisioning themselves on a bridge, completely distracted by other thoughts and feelings such as noticing the magnificence of the bridge structure, the vista in the distance, curiosity about where other drivers may be headed, the fear can be zapped. Essentially, I am reprogramming the experience on the subsconscious level, using the same input mechanism that caused the problem in the first place. (I’ll share a secret here- I often give the driver the post hypnotic suggestion that the color purple calms them while driving on the bridge. Why? Because when they see the purple EZ Pass signs on the bridge, they feel relaxed).
One client, I’ll call Rich, put the change in these words. “It’s not just that I’m fearless while driving over the GW or Tappan Zee, I actually enjoy it now. I actually love driving over these fantastic structures! “.

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