Fear is an advantageous survival instinct for all animals. But for some, fear can become irrational, causing people to make decisions that may limit their life. When fear becomes irrational, it is defined as a phobia.
Therapy for phobias can be extremely effective in helping people overcome a fear that represents a harm which isn’t likely to happen – all in a safe, supportive environment.
Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder that affect both men and women. Phobias can be specific, such as a fear of flying, but they can also be social, or situational. While phobias can range in severity, they are often beyond the control of the individual. The fear which makes up a phobia can be so strong that people will go to great lengths to avoid their source. Fortunately, phobia therapy is available.
A very common symptom of phobias are panic attacks. These are sudden periods of intense fear, despite there being no danger. Panic attacks can then lead to physical symptoms such as:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Panic attacks also have psychological symptoms, which can include:
- Fear of dying
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of fainting
Therapy for phobias, including therapy for a fear of flying and other specific, social, and situational phobias, has demonstrated promising results. Phobia therapy may help individuals overcome their fears, which helps people engage with their lives in new and adventurous ways.
Treatment of Phobias
With the help of a therapist, you can combat irrational fears with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT for phobias has proven extremely effective when treating a variety of phobias. It has its foundation in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors being interrelated. At the root of the fear is the thought itself, which creates the feeling, and thus leads to the end behavior.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for phobias can be effective by helping individuals productively manage their fears. When using this type of phobia therapy, a therapist trained in CBT will gradually help you understand how you are currently thinking about your fears. Over the course of therapy, you and your therapist will work to change the way you think about your fears. For example, if you have a fear of snakes, you may be asked to start by reading a book about snakes. The next step might be to see a movie about snakes, and eventually being able to hold a snake. This process is also called “exposure therapy,” and is a common therapy for phobias.
What should I expect when seeking treatment for phobias?
Your therapist will work with you to build a plan that addresses your unique needs in phobia therapy. Then, you and your therapist will work together to carefully reveal and amend the thoughts which are leading to your fear based reactions.
How does therapy for phobias work?
Coming to understand your thoughts will effectively help you begin to change your thoughts surrounding your fears. Changing your thoughts about what you fear will help change the emotion surrounding your fear. This change in thought and emotion will then change your reaction to what you fear. Working with a therapist who combines cognitive behavioral therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, and hypnotherapy can help build a robust and effective treatment plan to overcome your fears.
When and why to consider phobia therapy?
Phobias can limit you from participating in life events and prevent you from having incredible life experiences. This means there is no better time than now to seek treatment for phobias. Therapy for phobias can help you start living your life free of fear.
Reaching Out for Help
At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we offer many different types of therapies for phobias, including CBT. Our principal therapist, Anna Marchenko (LMHC, Ed.M) designs tailor-made treatment plans, and sessions are conducted in a safe and peaceful environment. If you are in the Miami area, Miami Hypnosis and Therapy can help you confidently take the first step with phobia therapy near you.
Read about other helpful therapy and lifestyle suggestions on our blog. At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, your health and peace of mind come first. It is our goal to help you live your best life, free from fear. Contact us today!