Phobic patients have been shown to be, on average, more hypnotizable than others. The essence of the phobic experience is not unlike that of the event of hypnosis, and the phobic experience might be a spontaneously occurring panic-filled trance-like or dissociative experience. This dissociation is viewed as a maladaptive mechanism of defense against anxiety, sadness or rage. In addition to enabling the patient to develop a psycho-dynamic understanding of the symptoms, the therapist uses hypnosis and self-hypnosis to help the patient learn more about his dissociative capacity, to become familiar with the mechanism, and to learn to control it. This offers him a way to master the shift in his functioning.