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Scared? Have no fear by Tanya Franks


Popular television actress Tanya Franks can currently be seen playing drug addict Rainie Cross in EastEnders. She is also known for her roles in hit shows Pulling, The Bill, Broadchurch, and many others. But today she’s talking about overcoming phobias with NLP.


This sounds totally pretentious, but I’m going to say it anyway – I am literally amazing myself! For those of you familiar with NLP (Neuro Linguistic-Programming), you’ll understand exactly how I felt this week. For those of you who haven’t heard of NLP, I hope this will introduce you to this powerful tool, which has the potential to help each of us live better, more fulfilling lives.


As an actress of stage and screen, I am constantly channelling and overcoming my nerves. And yet my fear of spiders absolutely floored me. I would end up in tears and a nervous, quivering wreck at the very sight of the tiniest eight-legged creature. Come October, it will be three years since Dr. Richard Bandler, co-founder of NLP, cured me of my debilitating, life-long phobia. I name this anniversary Rosie Day, the day I held, for the first time, a spider (Rosie the tarantula) in the palm of my hand. My fears (of spiders, snakes, and even the crucifixion) eroded. Having been so blown away by this life-changing technique, I trained as an NLP practitioner, and with a few added techniques of my own creation that have proven to work, I now help others overcome their phobias, which lead up to the events of this week.


I was entering the underground at London Bridge station. I believe in using the escalator for exercise and, as I began to step down, I saw a young lady of about twenty standing ahead of me. She could hear my footsteps descending towards her as she tightly held on to the arm of the young man standing next to her on the same step. She was shooting worrying looks over her shoulder at me as she heard me approaching. “Excuse me please”, I asked, wanting to pass her.


She shuffled in a frozen fashion closer to her friend, with a petrified look on her face as she apologised to me, “I’m so frightened, I’m scared I’m going to fall.”


I placed my hand on her shoulder, attempting to reassure her that she would be absolutely fine and that she wouldn’t fall. As I carried on down the escalator I thought, “Hang on a minute, I wonder if she will respond to NLP if I offer to help her.” I knew I was risking her thinking me nuts, but so what – the worst she could do is refuse my help – it was worth an ask.


I waited for her and her friend to reach the bottom of the escalator. “I know I’m a stranger and this may sound crazy”, I said, “but my name is Tanya and I can help cure you of your fear if you have about five minutes to spare.”


“Ok, why not trust a stranger for once”, she replied.


We moved to the side, out of the main pathway, and over the next few minutes I took her through my trust and self-control exercises and the process of visualisation. I had her reverse and shrink the fear in her mind to the point where she no longer felt scared of being on an escalator at all. She opened her eyes and thanked me. “Well, as we are still standing next to the escalators,” I said, “how about we put it to the test. Fancy giving them a go?”


“Why not”, she said bravely, smiling back at me. With that, she stepped on to the upward escalator completely on her own, went all the way to the top and came back down the descending one, not just standing, but walking down. In fact, she skipped down the last few steps! As she stepped off the bottom she was ecstatic. “May I give a fellow Londoner a hug?” she asked.


We threw our arms around each other, said our goodbyes, and parted ways. I didn’t even learn her name. Being able to change somebody’s life in a moment was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had. Hence, I even amazed myself!


Tanya also uses similar techniques to release people of their sugar addiction and to live a healthier life. If you are tired of having a phobia or would like to be free of sugar controlling your diet, please email [email protected] for enquiries or to book a session.



Tanya Franks

Tanya Franks was born on August 16, 1967 in Plumstead, London, England as Tanya Christine Franks. She is an actress and writer, known for Family Affairs (1997), EastEnders (1985) and Liz & Dick (2012).

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