05 Jun DENTIST PHOBIA
One fine day, a loving mother asked if I would work on her child for dentist phobia. Then another, near by said she wouldn’t mind her two boys coming along as they had some dental work in the past and some major work coming up in the future.
Now all 3 boys had different experiences and probably never had a conversation amongst each other about how they feel with the dentist.
Loving a challenge I decided to create a time where all 3 boys could make it. These days kids and their activities definitely makes it almost impossible. Lucky we found a time slot on the weekend.
One of the boys learned why he was at the clinic ONLY ONE MIN AFTER HE WALKED IN… Im not yelling, but I’m saying I was shocked too. But mum thought this was the best option for him at his particular time, and I realised she made a good decision.
The other two boys announced that we were going to have a dentist fear session. Now I had already received the colourful picture about Manuel from his mum. She coloured the fear in a way that I saw how impactful it was in his life. He was definitely using avoidance. And there was lots of emotional distress locked inside his little body. His immediate reaction was one of “how am I going to get out of here”. Lucky he has been to my clinic before for various empowering workshops and we have developed a trusting professional rapport between ourselves. We have trust. A critical ingredient. One he was missing between him and any dentist, may I add.
So I made sure I allowed him the opportunity to let his body react to the news of the session. He wiggled and looked outside and placed his hands on his head. And some other fidgety stuff. After a minute (yes that’s all he needed to react) we then relocated to sitting not he couch. I emphasised that by sitting on. the couch we can now have the conversation. We outlined the goals, fears, feelings, emotions, confusions, curiosities and more. This allowed the “body” to find it’s calm. Once settled we left the waiting room. Please note this was really important – we did not go into therapy with the emotional discomfort. We released it in the waiting room.
Then I made a quick decision, not to go into the therapy room just yet. I thought lets do some planning (neurolinguistic style) pen on paper…to show there is structure in what we were figuring out. And we did this around the kitchen table in the clinic. Here we were all a team. We spoke strategically, and conversations were less flooded with emotions. I took notes in particular what was “not” said, and “how” things were said. Oh it was so good challenging the boys with their strengths and resources that they already possess and watching them figure out how some of their thoughts were rather irrational and wow what an imagination …..
So if our imagination can scare us (with no evidence) then it can help us be less scared too. Infact we own our imagination and can create our own mental movies if we desire. Now the boys were empowered, and this means they were ready to be my “best clients” full of co-operation and determined to meed their goals to “fear less” of the dentist.
You guessed it, they were now ready to go into the therapy room. I used 3 recliner slim chairs (how interesting that they look just like dentist chairs….). Being smart enough to know that they may distract one another I positioned them like “back to back” so they were each facing away from each other. A nice “weighted blanket: for comfort, and lets not forget a “special stone” that they could feel /anchor during the session.
I know how kids love stories….so first we set the rules and guidelines, reminded ourselves of the goals and began the induction. The induction was age appropriate and influenced by their interests as I had discovered about them. Then I used my planning and research from their conversations earlier and their strengths to create a special metaphorical story about “trust”. The unconscious mind would be so open to suggestion and making change in perception and offer moments of realisation for new perspectives. The boys loved it. Infact as soon as we finished the guided visualisation, Manuel said how fantastic it was and his fear had decreased to “2”. He was even baffled as to why he had such a fear anyway….
I was so impressed with him that I pulled out my video and with his permission (and parent permission in advance) interviewed his experience. You can see my you tube link below if you wish to check it out.
He truly did an amazing and empowering transformation in just one session.
Are you wondering about the other two? The were transformed just by using NLP before we entered the therapy room. They did not have the same fear that Manuel did, and that’s why this write up is more about him. They just loved the visualisation and when they saw mum outside they asked “can we go to the dentist every month”. so funny.
The boys got to take their special stone home (and I emphasised that if it was to get lost, not to worry, I have plenty….)
Manuel ended up going to the dentist, first he listened to my recording of the session, and he took the recording to the dentist with him to listen to whilst receiving 5 needles in his mouth that he cannot recall….
Though I must say, just moments before he went in, I actually rang, and I spoke to him direct. He certainly was finding a way to become distressed but I sure settled him with some reassuring words. Perfect timing
And yes I spoke to him after the dentist. He could not believe how smooth his experience was. Mum wrote up a testimonial and I’ve include it here. Have a read, I really hope you enjoy it and I hope that I continue to help lots of other kids (and adults).
A Testimonial From a Dental Experience (from fear to less fear):
My son Manuel had a fear of the dentist and I knew he needed to visit one sooner then later and I remember bringing it up one day and he lost all self control he started crying and refused to go
So in my head I knew he needed help
So I called Amanda from @positivethinkingclinic who is also one of my closest and dearest friends who I trust with my children minds
Manuel walked in with having a fear of the dentist being a 10 and by the time Amanda had worked her wonderful skills he was at a 2 she transformed his relationship with the dentist to trust him. Amanda also recorded Manuel’s session and we took it away with us and during the week we listened to it again
Manuel’s session with Amanda was on Sunday and on Wednesday we where at the dentist.
Manuel had some fear on the day but nothing Amanda couldn’t talk him through and to trust the dentist.
I would like to thank Amanda for the transformation in my son and his new found trust in his dentist
Dr Michael Azer @BrightonDentalstudio at Brighton le sands he was so caring and fantastic with my son again thank you
Manuel last time walked out of the dentist and said I don’t ever want to see you again
This time we made an appointment for our next check up and when walking out Manuel turned to the dentist and said see you soon
Fay Dimitriadis (mum)
For a video testimonial on Manuels immediate experience after guided visualisation please visit https://youtu.be/_MIEnrojHSA