Ian Thomas on Phobias

Phobia: The form -phobia comes from Greek phóbos, meaning “fear” or “panic.”, although phobias are more acute than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object.

Simple phobias usually stem from a stressful event in childhood (e.g. claustrophobia), whereas complex phobias (e.g. agoraphobia) are more difficult to pin down. However, no matter what the phobia, the body perceives the ‘threat’ as real, causing the release of adrenalin and the attendant symptoms of sweating, trembling and shortness of breath.

Here are three examples of common phobias which Ian has treated, usually in just one session:

Flying (Aerophobia)

Ian’s client was a gentleman who was so fearful of flying that he used to have to medicate and drink before he could even set foot on a plane. It transpired that his fear of flying actually stemmed from being restrained with a belt when having his hair cut as a child. Years later, the mere act of putting on a similar type of lap belt became the trigger for his phobia. Ironically, he was completely bald when he came to see Ian, so it wasn’t anything to do with aichmophobia (a fear of sharp, pointed objects)!

Needles (Trypanophobia)

The client here was a medical student in the first year of her course – she quickly realised that this was not a helpful phobia to have for this profession and was thinking of quitting the course, but after just one session she was cured.

Heights (Acrophobia)

Ironically, the client here was Ian himself when he took the cable car up Table Mountain in South Africa together with his wife. On the way up, Ian suddenly experienced an overwhelming fear as the well packed cable car revolved around with nowhere to hold onto. This abrupt onset of a phobia resulted a 3-hour walk back down the mountain!  

Note that acrophobia is different from vertigo which some people use when describing their fear of heights. However, vertigo, or the unpleasant sensation of spinning, is just one symptom of acrophobia. Interestingly, the word acrophobia derives from the Greek word acropolis [spoiler alert: almost all phobias are derived from Greek words!], which was traditionally the highest point in a Greek city.

Ian Marsh: Protection in a Pandemic

Date: Friday 17th September 2021

Speaker: Ian Marsh, Partner

Business: St James’s Place Wealth Management

Topic: Personal & Family Protection

1. Think about yourself as an asset

A 30-year-old earning £30,000 pa will earn £1.125m over a lifetime.

Increasingly, there is very little by the way of a state safety net underpinning these earnings, and post-pandemic, companies have been scaling back benefits to the legal minimum.

For example, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) offers:

  • £96 per week for 28 weeks
  • Is not available to the self-employed

2. What are your chances of needing protection

Risk Reality Calculator: www.riskreality.co.uk/gen

For example, a couple who are both non-smokers aged 30-years’-old and looking to retire at 67, would have a 2-in-3 chance of requiring some form of protection before retirement:

If you change both of these individuals to smokers, the risks of requiring some form of protection jumps from from 67% to 80%, with the individual risks worsening as follows:

  • Risk of being unable to work >2m (Income protection cover): 70%
  • Serious illness (Critical illness cover): 37%
  • Risk of death (Life cover): 21%
  • Any of the above: 80%

3. The Pandemic has focused minds

Many of us consider ourselves to be immortal…that is, until something ‘bad’ happens to a relative, somebody we know, or (in the case of COVID) becomes a real and present danger.

Hence, whilst life cover (relatively cheap) is the most common form of protection undertaken (being a mortgage requirement), critical illness or income protection cover are far less commonly held (being more likely to happen and therefore more expensive).


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Hypnotherapy – Subconscious Success

Date: 16th August 2019
Speaker: Ian Thomas
Business: Debt Talk
Topic: Hypnotherapy in business

“The most common request for hypnosis… is to cure a fear of public speaking”

3 key points

  1. Ignore TV hypnotists – these work upon the notion of ‘selection’ not ‘hypnosis’; the audience is rigorously screened beforehand to gauge ‘suggestibility’ and selected accordingly.
  2. Anybody can be hypnotised – nobody can be ‘made’ to do anything they don’t want to do – otherwise the conscious part of your mind will intervene. Hypnotism merely temporarily shuts down this conscious element.
  3. Your subconscious brain is the most powerful – it works 24/7, keeping all your involuntary bodily functions going (heart beating, lungs breathing…etc). We can lapse into this state whilst performing a routine task; e.g. driving the same way to work every day.


Hypnotism helps you to access your subconscious state of mind.

By doing so, hypnotism enables you to put aside the fears and doubts that routinely plague your conscious mind.

Click here to view Ian’s Cross Reference member’s page.

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