Blog

What is phobia therapy and how can it help?

What is phobia therapy and how can it help?

Phobia therapy. What is that? How does it work? Will it work for me? People ask many questions and have a great deal of preconceptions about how to let go of fears and phobias. I wanted to share a no-nonsense approach to answering what phobia therapy is and how it works. As a disclaimer, this blog is of course my own opinions based on my training, my research and my practice working with clients and does not extend to all therapists and practitioners offering phobia treatment. How does a phobia work? A phobic response is designed to keep you safe.…
Read More
Overcoming a traumatic climbing memory – a case study

Overcoming a traumatic climbing memory – a case study

There is no doubt that to climb effectively we have to be able to keep in charge of our psychological state. Before we get onto our chosen route we have to put away the emotional baggage that holds us down. We can normally achieve this ourselves through approaches such as visualisation and routines that help us to clear our mind or focus it towards our goals. Sometimes however, our memories can return to haunt us. A Case Study of John  Note: John gave me written permission to create this case study and has read it and confirmed its use for publication.…
Read More
Finding what you want

Finding what you want

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated" - Confuscious Finding and getting what you want is not what we have been taught. Tireless pursuit, self sacrifice, SMART goals and 10 year plans whilst they have their uses, can lead you on a journey similar to a dog chasing its own tail.  The truth is, that hard work, goals and plans are never the destination, they are the signposts that point the way to the destination. Useful for the traveller so that they know they are travelling in the right direction. Signposts can only ever provide a…
Read More
Climbing partnerships: How to avoid the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse

Climbing partnerships: How to avoid the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse

Climbing partnerships: How to avoid 4 horsemen of the apocalypse Every so often during a coaching session it becomes apparent that there is a problem that is lying under the surface. I often find that because it is not fair to blame ones climbing partner for ones climbing performance, most people that I coach try not to bring it to the surface or even admit it to themselves. And yet throughout the session the topic of their climbing partner will slowly become the elephant in the room as it rears its head subtly in conversation over and over again. I…
Read More
Just Calm Down

Just Calm Down

“Never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down by being told to calm down” States a popular meme doing the rounds on social media. Whilst I would primarily agree with this statement, I think it is worth taking a closer look. There are two problems about being told to calm down. The sentence doesn’t tell you how to do it. If I gave you three balls and told you to juggle, then providing you haven’t practised at juggling, you will find three balls would quickly end up on the floor. Repeating myself or saying “Just juggle…
Read More
Specific and Complex Phobias

Specific and Complex Phobias

In this post I explore the differences and similarities between what has been labelled as specific and complex phobias. What is a Specific Phobia? A specific phobia is when the sufferer has an exaggerated and debilitating amount of fear over a particular ‘thing’. Common examples are: Spiders, dogs, clowns, cows, small spaces, needles. And why do people have specific phobias? Because at some point in their life the person had a significant emotional reaction in response to that ‘thing’, this may even have resulted in trauma. It could have been something that happened to them, or it may have been…
Read More
Falling off and letting go: Tips and thoughts to improve your head-game

Falling off and letting go: Tips and thoughts to improve your head-game

About This Article A fear of falling on the lead is what stops so many people from being able to climb naturally, fluidly and to their fullest potential when they are above their last piece of protection. There is a wealth of existing information out there and I will make the assumption that a great many people who are reading this article have already worked their way through a few useful articles or swapped tips with friends, and they have most likely tried at least a little falling practice and know that they should do more.  In it's most simple…
Read More
Climbing Related Fears and Phobias

Climbing Related Fears and Phobias

  All humans are born with 2 fears, a fear of loud noises and a fear of falling. Apart from these 2 fears, all of our other fears have been learned and stored unconsciously.  Fears can be useful and instructive and being afraid can be thought of as a useful and welcome emotion. Every day fear can teach us to be cautious and it can also teach us to be ambitious. Phobias however are fears taken to an extreme level and ones that can create a significant reaction simply by using our imagination. Phobias are neither useful or rational and…
Read More
Fear of Spiders

Fear of Spiders

      The danger of not knowing When it comes to our fears ignorance is not bliss. It is a common reaction to want to know nothing about spiders, however I encourage everyone I work with to get curious. Curiosity allows us to learn about ourselves and how we can improve. Fear lurks in the dark. When we create blind spots through avoidance and ignorance our imagination will fill it with our darkest thoughts. Not knowing creates some incredibly powerful emotions Surprise: The movement of spiders deeply unsettles many people and this triggers surprise which is a very powerful emotional…
Read More