Psychotherapy : Hypnotherapy : Counselling : CBT
Harley Street, London
Specialist Anxiety Therapist UK
Tom Buckland Psychological Services
For the last three and a half years, I have had a phobia of driving on the motorway. This seems totally irrational, I know, but until it actually happens, you don’t realise just how limiting this can be. I believe that this was brought on by an incident when I felt faint on the motorway, and had to pull on to the hard shoulder for about an hour, until I could sum up the courage to get off at the next junction. This was very frightening, both for me, and for my mother who was a passenger in the car with me.
You would not believe the things that I have tried to combat this over the last few years! I have tried NLT and TFT therapies, seen my doctor, been sent to see a neurologist and various others things – too numerous to mention them all. It had got to the stage where I had started to resign myself to the fact that I just wouldn’t be able to get on a motorway again. Whenever I tried, I would go into complete panic, with feelings of nausea, my hands would turn to ice and would tremble, I felt light headed and I felt that I could not overcome this.
By pure coincidence a few weeks ago, I met a gentleman who was running a course at a local hotel, and I got chatting to him about the courses that he ran. I asked him if he knew of anyone who may be able to help me with this phobia. He said to contact him by e-mail the following day, and he gave me the name of Tom Buckland, who runs clinics near Basingstoke and in London, and who was also listed on the nrah website (National Register of Advanced Hypnotherapists). Now this sounded like a good idea, as I knew that I could drive as far as Basingstoke on A roads, so didn’t have to think about a motorway journey and how to get to see him! That was a good start …. I also felt comfortable, having looked on the nrah website, to see Tom’s details and I found this reassuring, being a lady on my own.
I e-mailed Tom, and was pleased to get a quick response from him, saying that he had also dealt with a couple of similar cases this year. This started to put my mind at rest, as I thought that perhaps I wasn’t a complete nutcase after all. Tom arranged an appointment for me to meet him within a few days, and prior to that I also spoke to him on his mobile, and was reassured by the nature of our conversation that he might actually be able to help me with my phobia. He advised me that he thought between one and three sessions should do the trick, and get me back on the road, but would be able to advise me on this further once he had actually met me.
Three days later I went along to the clinic at Worting House, Basingstoke, as Tom had suggested it would be a good idea to meet up with him and talk through things and see how we got on, prior to committing to any hypnotherapy sessions. Once again, I found myself thinking that this sounded like a good idea, and thought that if the initial consultation was free, he must be pretty sure that he would be able to help me!
If I am honest, I was a little sceptical about it, having tried so many other things previously to cure my phobia, and having found that nothing really worked. On meeting Tom, he was very calming, and having talked through exactly what had happened to me, he reassured me that he thought he would be able to ‘get me sorted out’ within two sessions, one of which would involve him coming out in the car with me. Fifteen minutes later, and with a double session booked with Tom for one week’s time, I drove out of Worting House thinking that this man could really help me, and indeed, if he was brave enough to get in a car with me, he must be pretty sure that the hypnotherapy would work!
So, one week later on, and feeling a little apprehensive, I drove over to Tom’s clinic, not really knowing what to expect and what the outcome would be. I was feeling quite nervous, but also excited at the prospect that this could actually be the time that something worked for my phobia.
Once again, Tom was very reassuring and told me exactly what we were going to do that day. We started with the hypnotherapy. Like a lot of people, I was waiting for the old fashioned pocket watch to come out, but when I was reclined in a comfy chair, with headphones on and listening to calming music, I started to realise that this was actually quite a nice experience. I felt very relaxed, and then Tom started talking to me through the headphones. We went over the incident in my mind, using the techniques that Tom applies as part of his hypnotherapy process, and replayed the actual event that triggered the panic attacks. Throughout the whole session, I felt very relaxed and calm. Parts of it were even humorous!
After what seemed like a very quick hour later, Tom then said we were going to head for the motorway. I felt much more reassured on this occasion, and the great thing about having Tom with me was that he was talking me through the whole thing. Within ten minutes, I was joining the M3 motorway. After initial slightly apprehensive feelings, I found myself actually enjoying the drive, and couldn’t believe it when, about half an hour later, we were down as far as Southampton and I had passed the fourteen mile mark that had also previously been a mental barrier. There was still the odd moment when I felt a little tense, but nothing like the panic attacks that I had been experiencing previously. Through the breathing techniques that Tom had discussed with me as part of my earlier session, I was able to control these feelings.
At the end of two hours, I was absolutely elated that I had been able to get this far. Tom advised me that it would probably take a few more journeys of me driving on the motorway in different conditions, with passengers, and then on my own, etc., to feel completely back to normal, but this is a good starting point which I can certainly build on. His prediction of two sessions was absolutely spot on!
I would strongly recommend that anybody experiencing phobias, of whatever nature or however silly them seem, make an appointment for a consultation with Tom at Mind Management. I am proof that it can make a difference to your life, and that you don’t have to feel stupid and isolated any more."
"Make that call or send an e-mail today. You won’t look back."