What is a phobia?
Below are some definitions of a phobia:
“Phobias are a learnt response and often learnt as a one trial learning also known as conditioned learning”
“A fear of fear”
“A phobia is a present day response to an intensely traumatic experience in the past”
“An irrational, excessive and persistent fear of some particular thing or situation”
“An anxiety disorder characterized by extreme and irrational fear of simple things or social situations”
“An intense, abnormal, or illogical fear of a specified thing”
“An uncontrollable, irrational, and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity”
“An unrealistic fear, often with obsessional characteristics”
“A persistent, abnormal, or irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid the feared stimulus”
“Extreme irrational fear and avoidance of the object of that fear”
How are Phobias treated?
There are many ways to deal with phobias, bellow are some of the most common.
Disassociation (The NLP Fast Phobia and the Re-wind Technique are based on this approach)
This technique helps by disassociating the feelings from the phobic stimulus. One way this can be done is to get the client to imagine imagining a situation that could trigger the phobic response when relaxing and disassociated from the trigger situation.
EMDR (EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITISATION and REPROCESSING)
EMDR uses the movement of the eyes to help reprogram the neurology of the brain.
This technique has had a lot of research to back up the efficacy of this technique.
Meridian Energy Therapies (TFT, BSFF, FREEWAY CERT)
There are many variations of meridian energy therapies the ones listed above are some of the most popular.
These types of therapy have been used successfully with fear, phobias, anxieties, and motivation problems
Just like acupuncture, MET’s work directly on the meridian system in the body. But instead of needles, you stimulate the major meridian points by tapping on them or massaging them lightly.
These techniques can be taught to the client to use out side of the therapy room to deal with problem situations when they arise
Systematic desensitization (exposure therapy)
The idea behind it is that if the client is exposed to the phobia gradually in a hierarchy of small steps so they will gradually get over the phobic response and learn the skills needed to cope with the phobia. for example a fear of spiders (arachnophobia) can be over come by looking at picture of spiders or things related to the phobia and them watching videos that are on fast forward or in black and white and then gradually build up to being in a room with a spider and them getting closer to the spider until they can be in a calm state around spiders. This type of method can be very risky as it exposes the client to the phobia which can in fact make the phobia worse.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavior Therapy focuses on how people think and act in order to help them over come there emotional and behavioral issues. CBT uses systematic desensitization as well as monitoring your thoughts so that you can learn better responses to the phobic trigger.
Regression / hypnoanalysis
These techniques are normally used for complex phobias and can take a number of sessions to get rid of a phobia. The main aim is to find the initial sensitizing event (ISE) and then use a variety of techniques to remove the phobic response.
phobias can be caused by an initial sensitising event (ISE) for example a bird flying straight at your face that produces a fight or flight response or by repeated exposure to a stimulus that over time builds up to a phobic trigger.
Categories of specific phobias
According to the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-4) of Mental Disorders phobias can be classified under the following general categories:
There are three types of phobias:
1) Social phobias—fear of social situations.
2) Agoraphobia—fears of being trapped in an inescapable place or situation.
3) Specific phobias—fear of a specific object (such as snakes).
There are four major types of specific phobias:
A) The natural environment—fear of lightening, water, storms, etc.
B) Animal—fears of snakes, rodents, spiders, etc.
C) Medical—fears of seeing blood, receiving injections, visiting a doctor, etc.
D) Situational—fear of bridges, leaving the home, driving, etc.