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Mastigophobia- Fear of punishment

Mastigophobia- Fear of punishment

One of the most important lessons that most of us receive is that every action has consequences, both good and bad. Obviously, we strive to achieve the positive consequences of our actions and endeavour to avoid the negative. The negative consequences of an action can best be summed up as punishment. If we accept the “pleasure and pain” principle, people go towards pleasure and away from pain.

A person with a severe and intense fear of being punished is said to have mastigophobia. It could be argued that most of us are prone to this condition to some extent, based on my explanation above about most of us wanting to avoid punishment and pain. However, for the sufferer of mastigophobia this avoidance goes much deeper that what most would consider to be the normal aversion to punishment.

This aversion often begins in childhood, it could be that a parent or significant adult figure overly warns the child of what will happen if he/she gets a situation wrong. It is also possible that the consequences of mistakes in childhood lead to harsh and perhaps even violent punishment.

To work with this hypno-psychotherapeutically, one would need to help the client to break the emotional associations and attachments to the past and allow them to forge a new way of looking at errors in their lives in a way that is less intense and fearful.

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