Phobia Cures?

When you suffer from anxiety problem you don't really want to understand the full reasons why it happens. Your main interest will probably be how to change this situation and make yourself feel better. Reacting to things the way you do is just not good.



One of the most obvious ways to deal with difficult things in situations is to avoid them.



I was told this story by the father whose whole family of five suffered with OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, One of his daughters also had a problem with driving. As part of her condition she had great difficulty making right-handed turns on British roads when driving. (Remember we drive on the left.)




Her father went on to tell me that she visited a psychiatrist who talked her condition through with her and came to the conclusion that the best way to deal with that problem of turning right on the road was to stop driving! A perfect cure for the condition but the solution meant being restricted by not driving.



It is generally accepted that avoiding a fearfiul situation is a reinforcing behaviour. This is because each time the sufferer avoids the situation they are reminded of what would happen or how he or she would feel, if in this case, she made that driving manoeuvre.



Avoiding a fearful situation is not a cure it is only an avoidance of the experience. It will of course mean that the sufferer will not have to face that particular situation. But the fear or anxiety is still there.



One model of cure known as "exposure therapy" it encourages clients into situations where they confront their fear directly. This is done in stages with increasing amounts of exposure. For instance a fear of heights may be challenged by getting the troubled person to ascend one or two rungs of a ladder and test out the feelings with each a small step. They are then progressively taken on to greater and greater heights and in theory are able to appreciate rationally that they are not actually in a dangerous place. They also are expected to realise that they can cope emotionally with the exposure to their fear.



I've never been a fan of this type of treatment because it strikes me as something like driving home a nail with a steam hammer. A more subtle and less fearful route to take clients down is one that is done mentally through the use of visualisations. The technique developed in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), called "the fast phobia Cure", uses a visualisation technique that allows subjects to experience and change their reaction to the fear by making mental changes within the visualisation in a safe and comfortable setting.



By this method the client does not have to experience the full-blown fear as in the exposure therapy. With this technique clients are not exposed to any chance of a full-blown panic that can consume them. The indivdual does not have to handle the full feeling of their fearful situation.



Not only that but this NLP method can often be carried out successfully in one session, however, this is not a guarantee of one session only, it can take one or more dependent on the depth and severity of the fear response.



I had the opportunity, once, to watch a video of people going through exposure therapy and found it quite uncomfortable to watch people being exposed to their fearful feelings whilst at the same time knowing that I could, as many other NLP practitioners can, help people without exposing them to these extreme forms of their fear.



I know which way I would chose to be coached.


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