Hole Phobia is an intense fear of holes – normally in a cluster or group. This phobia has not been listed in DSM 5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013); however, that does not, in any way, reduce the intensity of this condition. In fact, one can develop a fear of any situation, animal or object as a result of a traumatic event associated directly with the phobic stimulus. Alternatively, the fearful stimulus can be inextricably linked symbolically with a past traumatic event. More often than not, hole phobia has a symbolic meaning for the individual concerned. The hole might represent the vagina – the fear of becoming a woman, or a reminder of an early sexual experience. A cluster of holes may represent an early traumatic experience of being stung by a bee near a beehive. Alternatively, holes may represent an innate fear of loneliness or feeling spiritually empty. The range of possible associations is endless but it is, nevertheless, important to treat this condition with both psychoanalysis and hypnotherapy. The hypnotherapy – specifically, systematic desensitization – will help the patient to gain mastery of the feared stimulus and to feel more relaxed around holes, while the psychoanalysis while help the person to gain an understanding of the phobia’s origin.
David Kraft PhD
UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist
N.B. Please note that therapists tend not to use the Latin names for specific phobias; however, for those interested, hole phobia is also known as ‘trypophobia’.
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