Bird Phobia - Alison's story

Alison contacted Birdworld in Farnham to see if they could help her conquer her fear of birds which had begun when she was quite small. Her fears had become so overwhelming that the fluttering of a skirt or tablecloth would make her flee in a panic. She could not bear to be near even a feather and she planned outings around the likelihood of meeting a bird. Her particular terror was that one might get caught in her hair.

We met at Birdworld one Sunday morning in July and, having established the severity of the problem and Alison’s heartfelt desire to leave it behind, we worked together for around 2 hours.

At the end of the morning, Alison decided to ‘meet’ one of the residents – Whisper, the barn owl – under controlled circumstances. This encounter went well, with Whisper being safely held by Lizzy Perrett, Head of Education, using jesses and a leashed glove. Alison was able to approach Whisper and feel the softness of the feathers on his back and head. This contact was an invaluable reinforcement of the work done during the session, proving to Alison that she really could touch a bird and be OK.

In mid-August, Alison wrote to me:

“Am feeling much, much stronger in lots of ways - haven't had too many encounters with our feathered friends - but have walked along the Thames a couple of times and noticed some grey winged things hopping about - didn't phase me at all... no mad freak outs - am putting my bubble on - ... - so that those feathery things can't get to my hair

The NLP really helped me sort out other stuff going on - not just the bird thing... have really felt able to deal with the stuff I had going on...

Am determined to go back to Birdworld before the Autumn - and pat a parrot!!!!”

In October, Alison wrote again:

“I went back to Birdworld on Sunday and patted Snowy the cockatoo - he was lovely and he had hold of my fingers with one foot... am going to go back again and have a parrot on my arm or maybe an owl - or maybe both!!! I want to hold something - to feel I am in charge... “

Lizzie Carver
11 October 2012

Submitted by Lizzie Carver, Professional Member

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