What is phobia therapy and how can it help?

What is phobia therapy and how can it help?

Phobia therapy. What is that? How does it work? Will it work for me? People ask many questions and have a great deal of preconceptions about how to let go of fears and phobias. I wanted to share a no-nonsense approach to answering what phobia therapy is and how it works. As a disclaimer, this blog is of course my own opinions based on my training, my research and my practice working with clients in the context of phobia therapy. There are other people out there with styles and systems that I either haven't come across, or have yet to research or fully appreciate the merit of. How does a phobia work? A phobic response is designed to keep you safe. If the unconscious has a voice it would be saying "I will never let you be harmed by this again." Unfortunately it acts like a sensitive smoke detector, and sets off a full scale alarm at the faintest whiff of burnt toast. The panic that...
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Just Calm Down

Just Calm Down

“Never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down by being told to calm down” States a popular meme doing the rounds on social media. Whilst I would primarily agree with this statement, I think it is worth taking a closer look. There are two problems about being told to calm down. The sentence doesn’t tell you how to do it. If I gave you three balls and told you to juggle, then providing you haven’t practised at juggling, you will find three balls would quickly end up on the floor. Repeating myself or saying “Just juggle the balls” wouldn’t give you any more useful information. It lacks the required steps that are simple and easy to follow.  Being told how we should behave is irksome at the best of times. Being told to be calm, when it seems important that we need to take some kind of action, is likely going to break any level of connection we...
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Specific and Complex Phobias

Specific and Complex Phobias

In this post I explore the differences and similarities between what has been labelled as specific and complex phobias. What is a Specific Phobia? A specific phobia is when the sufferer has an exaggerated and debilitating amount of fear over a particular ‘thing’. Common examples are: Spiders, dogs, clowns, cows, small spaces, needles. And why do people have specific phobias? Because at some point in their life the person had a significant emotional reaction in response to that ‘thing’, this may even have resulted in trauma. It could have been something that happened to them, or it may have been something they heard about, it may even have come from watching the reactions on somebody else's face. The development could be instantaneous or slow-growing. The person may have a memory when they developed their phobia, or the origin of their fear may be a mystery to them. So what is a complex Phobia? Complex phobias have a secondary level to them because the fear isn't necessarily...
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Climbing Related Fears and Phobias

Climbing Related Fears and Phobias

  All humans are born with 2 fears, a fear of loud noises and a fear of falling. Apart from these 2 fears, all of our other fears have been learned and stored unconsciously.  Fears can be useful and instructive and being afraid can be thought of as a useful and welcome emotion. Every day fear can teach us to be cautious and it can also teach us to be ambitious. Phobias however are fears taken to an extreme level and ones that can create a significant reaction simply by using our imagination. Phobias are neither useful or rational and they can lead to unhelpful and even dangerous emotions or behaviours. It surprises me how there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there regarding climbing and fears, and as a coach who works with phobias and fear, especially with climbers, I’m often curious about how a lack of vocabulary brings about a difficulty for people to understand and explore their...
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Fear of Spiders

Fear of Spiders

I work to help people to overcome phobias in quick and effective ways, sometimes in as little as a single session, so they can live a life without being controlled by their fears. A fear of spiders is very common and every autumn and winter we share our homes, buildings and cars with spiders as they come inside to escape the weather.  This article will provide some useful insights I have had through my work with phobias and may even be enough for you to take action for yourself, or if you find that more work is required for you to reach your goal then contact me. What would you like instead?   So you’re afraid of spiders, and you don’t want to be anymore. Now what? Have you ever considered what not being afraid of spiders looks and feels like for you?   It’s a common misconception to imagine that if you were able to cope with spiders then you would find that...
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