How Cbt Therapy Can Help Treat Phobias
Certain fears are natural and reasonable, but others seem excessive in the face of the level of danger presented. Such fears cause unnecessary pain and distress. They can undermine self-confidence, block enjoyment and prevent you from doing things you might need or want to do.
If you suffer from an intense fear or dread regarding certain situations or things, you may be suffering from a phobia.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a particularly effective treatment for people wishing to deal with phobias.
Different Kinds Of Phobias
There are many different kinds of phobias. The most common kind is a social phobia, which can make someone feel scared of being embarrassed in front of other people.
A kid with a social phobia might feel scared of talking to a teacher or a coach or might be afraid of walking in front of the whole classroom when they need to go to the restroom.
A social phobia can make it nearly impossible for a kid to stand up and give a book report or even enjoy a birthday party. Although most kids might be a little afraid of giving a book report to a big group of kids or talking to a teacher, kids with a social phobia become so afraid that they can’t fully enjoy life or function the way other kids do.
Sometimes people may think that a kid with a social phobia is just , but it isn’t the same thing. A kid with a social phobia may want to go out and have lots of friends, but just can’t control the fear of being with others.
Agoraphobia is another kind of phobia. This causes someone to worry about having a panic attack in a place where leaving would be hard or embarrassing. The fear of the panic is so strong that they often avoid places where they might have a panic attack.
Claustrophobia is the fear of being in an enclosed space, like an elevator, a tunnel, or an airplane.
There are almost as many phobias as there are things and situations: arachnophobia is a fear of spiders, whereas ablutophobia is a fear of washing yourself or taking a bath or shower.
How To Recover From A Panic Attack
“During a panic attack, normally the breathing can become very shallow. This will lead to a shortage of oxygen, which in turn could cause the person to panic even more, trapping them in a downward spiral. One of the most effective ways to deal with this is taking deep diaphragmatic breaths. You can achieve this by breathing in through your nose for five seconds, holding and then exhaling through your mouth for five seconds. Repeating this for a few minutes will lessen the intensity of the attack.”
Causes Of Claustrophobia As Its Own Problem
Traumatic experiences appear to play a role in some people’s claustrophobia. Childhood experiences do as well – children left in a room by accident or punished by being placed in a closet are more at risk, which would indicate that for some people it develops as its own condition.
On the other hand, some may develop claustrophobia in the absence of any traumatic experiences. Phobias may also develop through social learning, where someone close to you experiences claustrophobia and you end up subconsciously adopting their behaviors and fears.
There are some that theorize that it’s an evolutionary phobia, where being afraid of small spaces without an escape may have had some type of evolutionary benefit. For example, claustrophobia may be adaptive because enclosed spaces are potentially dangerous in and of themselves. In our evolutionary history, this would have been a tremendous advantage. But now that we live in a safer world, it is less useful and may interfere with our ability to function from day to day.
The Big Question Is How To Cure Phobias
How to cure phobias is a huge subject and has made many counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists very wealthy. However, in many cases, the psychological approach is fundamentally wrong for dealing with how to cure phobias. Months or years of counselling is not how phobias were created. Often, it was a single incident that was locked into your mind in an instant that created the phobia. Perhaps it was a life changing or even a life saving event at the time, that now no longer serves you. But it remains.
How to cure phobias? There is a simpler way, more powerful and effective than years of counselling, and it creates a fundamental change in you, in the way you do business with life, at the same time. Learning how to cure phobias is something you can mostly do on your own, with a little assistance from a set of guidelines that can create a new way of looking at life. However, curing the phobia alone is not the answer. Like planting a rose in the sidewalk to replace a weed that was growing there, it’s not a stand-alone issue. You need to look at all of you and create an environment that supports the change from the fear of the phobia to feeling comfortable with the cure for it.
The best way to learn how to cure phobias is through a structured program that systematically:
For more information in the value of systems in changing your life around, this blog post could help.
The Truth About Elevator Safety
Like anything else in life, riding an elevator carries a very small risk. That’s why the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation was put into place to educate children and adults about how elevators and escalators, and how to ride them safely. ??
In 1853, Elisha Otis revolutionized the elevator industry by implementing a safety brake system to engage in the event of a hoist rope failure. Since then, technological advancements and industry regulations have vastly increased the safety of elevators.??
How To Get Over Your Fear Of Heights On An Aerial Lift
Let’s talk about fear. What scares you? It could be spiders, snakes, little girl ghosts , getting lost in a corn maze, public speaking or something else.
For some folks, the big monster under the bed is heights. Acrophobia is the official term for fear of heights. For aerial lift operators, learning the best way to get over fear of heights can be a major hurdle to performing your job correctly.
Some aerial lifts can soar into the sky for hundreds of feet! Yikes!
Before you take steps to conquer your fear of heights, it’s helpful to know you’re not the only one. In fact, it’s estimated that over 25 million Americans have some type of phobia.
Method 1 Of 3:gradually Facing Your Fear
What’s A Panic Attack Like
Panic attacks can be really scary and may make someone shake, sweat, and breathe quickly. Some people who have panic attacks might have chest pains, feel dizzy, or feel like their hearts are pounding and they can’t breathe.
A panic attack can cause a kid to think something awful is going to happen, that he or she can’t escape or might lose control. Some kids who have panic attacks say that when the attacks are happening, they feel like they can’t think straight or that they’re “going crazy.”
Panic attacks only last a short time. But to somebody who is having one, they can feel much longer. Sometimes, even a kid who knows that the phobia doesn’t make sense may not be able to stop the mind and body from reacting and having a panic attack.
The Problem With Avoidance
When children show overwhelming fear or anxiety, it is completely understandable that loving parent would want to protect them from those bad feelings. Sometimes, whether through exhaustion or a lack of options, it can feel as though the only way to soothe their distress is to support the avoidance. This can lead to short-term relief for everyone but avoidance has a sneaky way of making things worse in the long run and keeping the anxiety well-fed.
Avoidance takes away the opportunity for kids to learn that whatever is worrying them most likely won’t happen at all, and that if it does, they are resilient, strong and resourceful enough to cope. There is no opportunity to learn that fear is a warning, not a prediction. What kids learn instead is that the best way to deal with an unusual or confronting situation is to avoid it. The more something is avoided, the more that avoidance is confirmed as the only way to stay safe. Sometimes avoidance will be a sensible option, and sometimes it will interrupt their reach into the world.
Normal Fears In Children
Many childhood fears are natural and tend to develop at specific ages. For example, many young children are afraid of the dark and may need a nightlight to sleep. That doesn’t mean they have a phobia. In most cases, they will grow out of this fear as they get older.
For example, the following childhood fears are extremely common and considered normal:
0-2 years – Loud noises, strangers, separation from parents, large objects.
3-6 years – Imaginary things such as ghosts, monsters, the dark, sleeping alone, strange noises.
7-16 years – More realistic fears such as injury, illness, school performance, death, natural disasters.
If your child’s fear is not interfering with their daily life or causing them a great deal of distress, then there’s little cause for undue concern. However, if the fear is interfering with your child’s social activities, school performance, or sleep, you may want to see a qualified child therapist.
Phobias And Fears In Children What To Do
In the midst of high anxiety, the part of the brain that can rationalise and use logic and facts to feel safe is offline. For this reason, the best time to work with a fear or phobia is during times of calm. This is when all of the parts of the brain will be relaxed and receptive to any information you present, and more open to trying something different. Here’s how to do that:
Fill in the missing pieces with plenty of information.
Younger kids are still establishing how the world works. They’re finding their way around cause and effect – that the effect follows the cause isn’t as obvious to newbies. It might be obvious to you that playing near a vacuum clear doesn’t mean you’ll disappear into the end of it when it gets too close, but for a little person, it’s not so obvious. Show them how it works. A button will fit into the end of a vacuum, but a shoe won’t, nor will a foot, a chair, a car, or a person. Even for older kids – for anyone – the more they know , the less they’ll worry. If they are scared of storms, talk to them about where thunder and lightning come from. Give them as much information as they need to feel safe.
• Get them on board with the plan.
Getting your child on board with the plan is critical – they need to be the hero in this story. They also need to be assured that they will have full control, and that you won’t be asking them to do anything unsafe.
• Make it personal.
• Break it down.
Here is an example for someone who is scared of dogs:
Panic Attack In An Elevator
Another person reacted to the Elevator Phobia Therapy video with this response:“The last time I rode one, it was the worst kind. It was glass. I have a fear of heights as well, so it is like being beaten and you cannot do anything. I’d look like an idiot but I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. What I did do was to face the only solid wall and have a panic attack.”
This is especially challenging because in this example she is confronted with two different phobias at the same time, a fear of elevators and a fear of heights . For most people, it is hard enough to cope with one phobia much less two all at once.However, the truth is that her fear and panic are not caused by heights. She cannot fall out of the elevator. There is no clear or present danger of that happening. Nor is her distress caused by being trapped in a small space. She was not trapped. The elevator doors did eventually open. She did get out.
How To Overcome Fear Of Lifts
A fear of lifts may take many forms. Sometimes this fear can be felt as a vague unease, whilst at other times these tingles of can morph into a full blown panic attack. over anything does indeed tend to escalate over time; what begins as a vague feeling of discomfort turns into a completely debilitating phobia.
New buildings all over the globe are getting ever taller, each architect or construction firm competing for the title as creator of the highest building or tallest structure. To have only sixteen or twenty floors in a building is now seen as being relatively small as compared to skyscrapers which extend to over one hundred floors. And lift manufacturers have the task of inventing lifts which are bigger, smoother, faster and more elegant. But to the person who suffers a fear of lifts, no amount of smoothness or elegance helps to entice them within those four walls.
A journey up the stairs is infinitely more preferable than stepping inside that lift and watching the doors slide closed. Getting out of breath whilst running up the stairs is nothing as compared to the tightness experienced in your chest when even simply weighing up the possibility of stepping across the threshold of a lift. But those who suffer from a fear of lifts will all agree that their fear is EXTREMELY inconvenient! Most will also agree that it doesn’t really make much logical sense; the likelihood of getting stuck is pretty minimal after all.
Tools And Tips For Emergencies
These are some ways of managing the symptoms of claustrophobia if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Although they are not really ‘fixes’ they can be very useful in managing your thoughts and feelings so that the situation doesn’t become over-whelming.
These techniques will work better if you practise them while you’re feeling fine. That way you’re prepared and can simply switch them on when needed.
How To Control Claustrophobia
“Claustrophobia normally stems from an event in your youth, such as being trapped in a confined space such as a lift or even a cupboard. A quick method I use with my clients is to get them to think about their claustrophobia whilst fixing on a position with their eyes and then smoothly, slowly and evenly moving them from left to right and then back again for several minutes. This cross-lateral stimulation reduces the emotional charge and thus lessens the impact of your fear.”
Does Fear Have A Positive Value
It certainly does. Fear is what makes us tread warily until we are certain, or more certain, of the outcome of a ‘next step’. It stops us picking up a dangerous reptile or spider, it stops us standing in the traffic with a blindfold on, and much more. It teaches us to prepare for the next step in life, better than just rushing in and taking the chance it will be ‘OK’. Because sometimes, it will be far from OK.
What Causes Intense Fears Or Phobias
Often when there are specific phobias or fears in children, there will be a starting point – something that happened that first made the fear come to life. It might be something that happened to the person, to someone else, or something that was heard about in a story, a movie or in the news. A fear of dogs for example, could have its beginnings in an actual scary encounter with a dog, hearing about someone being traumatised by a dog, or seeing a news story or a movie about a dog attack. That event is then generalised from something that happened because of one gnarly dog, to something that could happen with any dog. All dogs are then avoided in order to avoid the frightening feelings that is associated with them.
With a phobia, being in the presence of the feared thing will bring on a fight or flight reaction that is so strong as to send parts of the brain ‘offline’. This is because the brain believes so strongly in the threat, that it makes way for the person to act automatically, on raw instinct, without the intrusion of the part of the brain that would prefer to take time to analyse the situation and come up with a different plan.
The once-harmless thing becomes the warning alarm that ‘bad feelings are found here’, and it drives avoidance, or ‘fear of the fear’. The trigger and the feelings become wrapped up in one scary bundle.
Avoidance is an adaptive, obvious solution, but it also comes with its own problems.
Steps To Cure Elevator Phobia
One of the best ways to deal with any is exposure therapy. Here are ten steps to help you deal with the fear of elevators. To go easy on yourself and dis-prove this phobia attempt to do one step each day for 10 days straight . Always remember the more exposure you have to your fears, the less they can control you.
via, David, D Burns
This gradual exposure approach is very powerful and similar techniques can be applied to most phobias. Talk to your health care provider to find a 10 step solution to your specific phobia and start walking in freedom.
Tips For Managing Claustrophobia
Many people with claustrophobia will avoid the spaces that trigger the condition. But that may not be a good long-term solution because you may eventually find yourself in a scary but unavoidable situation. Here are some ways to cope during an attack:
- Breathe slowly and deeply while counting to three with each breath.
- Focus on something safe, like time passing on your watch.
- Remind yourself repeatedly that your fear and anxiety will pass.
- Challenge what’s triggering your attack by repeating that the fear is irrational.
- Visualize and focus on a place or moment that brings you calm.
It’s also important not to resist the attack when it’s happening. You may want to stop the attack from happening, but if you’re unable to stop it, your anxiety may increase and make the attack worse.
Instead, accept that the attack is occurring, remind yourself that it’s OK to experience these feelings, reassure yourself that the attack isn’t life threatening, and remember that it will pass.
Some Things Are Hard To Do A Little At A Time
Posted July 26, 2012
Phobias are treated by exposing the affected person to the phobic situation a little at a time and for a long enough time for the fear of that situation to go away. Some examples:
A driving . A young woman came to me with a history of not being able to drive for a period of a few years. She was driven to my office by her father. Over the next few months she progressed through various stages in her recovery. First, her father drove her again to my office. Then she drove him. Then she drove him with him sitting behind her and not talking, but visible in the driver’s mirror. Then he sat directly behind her, silent and not readily visible. Then he followed behind her in another car while she drove alone. Then he met her half-way at a gas station. Then she drove the entire way alone. Each practice session took about forty-five minutes.
A phobia for restaurants. This man started treatment able to stay briefly in certain stand-up eating places, but was uncomfortable in any relatively formal restaurant. He started practicing by entering and walking through a restaurant, without making a commitment to remain. On the next occasion, he was able to sit in a booth, but got up from time to time to go to the bathroom or make a telephone call. Finally, he progressed to sitting at a table at the center of the restaurant. His practice sessions ranged from an hour to two hours.
An easy phobia to treat
How Can Cbt Therapy For Phobias Help
During and following a successful course of CBT therapy for phobias, you could expect to experience some of the following:
- Discover new information and perspectives that enable you to understand why the phobia triggers such intense fear responses in you
- Learn how particular forms of thinking and behaving keep you feeling phobic and what you can do to turn this around
- Discover how different forms of thinking and behaving can reduce the intensity of your physiological response to the phobia, calm your fears and enable you to face the situation with more confidence
- Learn how to manage or completely remove, your fear response when faced with the phobia
- Become able to engage in a previous phobia situation with confidence, unhampered by debilitating fears
How To Cure Your Phobia
Rewrite your inner dialogue“With any phobia the most effective way to correct it is to ask yourself, ‘what do I need to believe to feel this way? What do I need to picture in my mind?”What do I say to myself?”What am I feeling when I think about my fear?’ By altering this dialogue you can change how you feel. i.e. reframe the terror of the spider by picturing it on roller skates in the manner of Harry Potter’s ‘Riddikulus’ spell, or dancing with a top hat and cane. Imagine the Benny Hill tune playing as the plane is taking off. Or as you start that all important speech watch, repeat your fear-driven inner monologue back to yourself in a Mickey Mouse voice.”
Borrow pleasant emotions“One celebrity client I worked with recently had a fear of turbulence. As we were very short on time I opted for a fast intervention. I simply got her to imagine staring into her boyfriend’s eyes and then recall how she felt. I then reconditioned this behaviour while getting her to think of turbulence. She messaged me a few weeks later saying that the thought of turbulence actually made her happy. You will find that any of these techniques will lessen the impact of your fear.”
Method 2 Of 5:using The Desensitizing Technique