What is a phobia? The Psychological definition of a phobia is an extreme, irrational fear of a specific object or situation. A phobia is classified as a type of anxiety disorder, since anxiety is the chief symptom experienced by the sufferer. Phobias are thought to be learned emotional responses.
Phobias can be broken into 3 main categories
- A Specific Fear
- Social Phobia
If you look at the image on the right there is a brief explanation of each main category.
For some of us we may manage the phobia in such a way that it does not significantly hinder us in our day to day lives or it is a phobia of something that is rarely encountered. HOWEVER there are many people with fears that have a dramatic negative impact on their lives e.g.
- Social phobia : can affect making friends, creating a social circle and even your work if it stops you from doing presentations or participating in meetings
- Fear of driving a car
- Fear of dogs may stop you from walking, jogging or taking the children out to the park
- Fear of public Speaking
- Fear of the Doctor, the dentist or needles
The list of phobias that can have a significantly negative impact on your life, to a point where you do not live to your full potential is endless. Living with a phobia however is not necessary and there are effective methods to deal with a phobia.
As mentioned phobias can be a learned response. Phobias are often the reaction to an experience or memory from the past, and often from an experience that has been traumatic or even something you witnessed that was traumatic. The brain often has no new reference to a specific memory and therefor it continues to tell you to fear the object or situation even if the past experience is no longer relevant to the present moment. I work with a therapy call BWRT (Brain Working Recursive Therapy) to target those memories and phobias. This therapy works incredibly well to conquer phobias.
For more information or to book a session please contact Janine on Janine@yourtherapy.co.za
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