Also known as ‘Astraphobia’, this is an environmental phobia which is characterized by an overwhelming and irrational fear of thunder and/or lightening (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Thunderstorm phobia is usually associated with a hyper-sensitivity to loud noises, and the sounds of the thunder are often symbolic in nature. Often, this condition is highly responsive hypnotherapy – specifically, systematic desensitization. The most efficient approach to treating this condition is to imagine a series of potentially anxiety-provoking situations starting from the easiest and working towards more difficult scenarios. The sounds of thunder can also be simulated using tape recordings; and, the lightening can be emulated somewhat using Xenon-filled flash tubes (Heap, 1981). Otherwise, by using a combination of content and process suggestions, the psychotherapist can create a great deal of verisimilitude (Kraft & Kraft, 2004).
David Kraft (PhD)
Key words: phobia, systematic desensitization, thunderstorm phobia (Astraphobia)