In my experience, phobias are one of the easiest things to get rid of using hypnosis. I don’t know anything that works as quickly and as effectively, without any negative side effects, as hypnosis.
I generally see a person twice for a specific phobia. They are usually fine after the first session, but typically insist on a follow-up just to make sure.
I have the client do homework between the first and second session. For example, the lady who was afraid of snakes had to go to the reptile house at the zoo. The drivers who could not drive on the highway were required to do so.
In session one, we do a de-sensitization for the specific phobia. For example, if the fear is “fear of heights,” I have the client complete a scale of +10 (I enjoy doing this totally) to -10 (having to do this would put me in the hospital.) The +10 for this phobia might be something like “sitting under an umbrella at the beach watching the waves.” The -1 might be “standing next to the elevator in a two-story hotel.” The -3 might be “riding up to the second floor with a friend.” The -6 might be “going out on the balcony of a two-story building with a friend” and the -10 might be “standing on the balcony on the tenth floor of a high rise by myself.”
The de-sensitization happens by having the client experience the very pleasurable event in between each fear-producing event and moving for least fear-producing to most fear-producing. By the time the client gets to the -10, they are typically so relaxed they don’t have any negative response at all. I then give them the suggestion, “The subconscious does not know the difference between fact and fantasy.” (which happens to be true.)
When they come back for session #2, I ask how they did on the homework assignment. Generally, they tell me it was a “piece of cake.” If they report any difficulties, then we deal with the specific trouble-area in detail.