Is A Phobia Limiting Your Life?
Are you intensely afraid of a specific object, place or being in a situation that you cannot control, such as on an airplane, in an elevator or a passenger in a car? Does exposure to your phobia illicit extreme panic – causing you to instantly fear that you’re going to die, feel disconnected from your surroundings or wonder if you’re going crazy? Do you then suffer physical reactions, such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, shaking or shortness of breath? Has your phobia prevented you from living the life you want to live? Perhaps it has impacted relationships negatively, affected work efficiency, limited daily routines or reduced your self-esteem. Or maybe, as in the case of agoraphobia, your phobia has become so extreme that you cannot leave your home. Do you desperately want to get over your phobia and live a life without the limitation of fears and anxiety?
Living with a phobia can be an extremely restrictive, isolating and fearful experience. Depending on the specific phobia, it can manifest as an occasional aggravation or it can be completely debilitating. For example, someone living in downtown Seattle who has a phobia of snakes may not be affected by their phobia on a daily basis. However, if that same person suffers from a fear of elevators or high-rise buildings, their ability to live well would be seriously impacted. Regardless of the severity of your phobia, how long you have suffered or how it developed, with the right phobia treatment, recovery is very possible.
Phobias Are Very Common And Can Be Cured With Specific, Proven Phobia Treatment Techniques
Anxiety is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder in the U.S., and more people experience the fear and dread of phobias than any other anxiety disorder. Roughly 19 million American adults suffer from a specific phobia, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Although your phobia may make you think that something is really wrong or unfixable with you, the fear you are experiencing is a conditioned response. This is good news. Since your phobia was conditioned in your mind as an intensely fearful response to particular stimuli, it is also entirely possible to recondition your mind so the stimulus (your phobia) no longer produces anxiety and fear. Our minds are better equipped to help us heal from a phobia than any new technology or medication could ever be.
I Can Help You Release The Fear Your Phobia Creates So You Can Live A Life Without Limits
When done properly, phobia treatment therapy can be extremely effective. In our sessions together, I can teach you to take charge of your mind. You can learn how it works and how to use it more consistently, practically and effectively. Drawing from a multitude of methods, I can create a phobia treatment approach that is tailored to your unique personality and learning style. I can also use a gentle exposure approach, which can help you confront your phobia in a less traumatizing context. I will instruct and coach you on how to use these various physiological techniques and guide you step-by-step in the process so that you can implement them in the real world on a daily basis. Practicing these techniques outside of the office will speed up your recovery. In fact, many clients who regularly complete their “homework assignments” make a rapid recovery.
Even if you now feel like your phobia is running your life, it is very possible to entirely remove the fear that your phobia creates and live a normal and joyful life. With help, a willingness to do the work and the right approach, you truly can enjoy a life without limitations and fear.
But, you still may have questions or concerns…
I’ve heard that phobia treatment is expensive and can take a long time.
First, I encourage you to ask yourself how much your phobia is limiting your life. Is it causing you to suffer daily and keeping you from living the life you want to live? If so, I encourage you to imagine yourself doing all the things that your phobia currently prevents you from doing and ask yourself what that is worth.
Second, my practical approach is different than most therapists. Years of experience have enabled me to fine tune techniques and create tailor-made treatment strategies for each individual. The techniques I use and teach work effectively and efficiently, and my success rate for treating phobias is very high. Together, we can create an integrated approach and plan that addresses your specific phobia, personality and situation.
Why therapy for my phobia? Isn’t there medication to relieve phobia symptoms?
While medications can provide short-term results for phobic reactions, they often produce unwanted side effects and rarely provide long-term results. Many people suffering from phobias also try to self-medicate, such as consuming alcoholic beverages on an airplane ride. Alcohol or other drugs, such as benzodiazepines, do provide moderate or temporary relief, but they can be addictive and do not remove the underlying causes of the phobia. Since alcohol and medications cannot address these underlying fears, their use is like putting a bandage on a deep wound that requires major suturing.
Alternatively, working on changing your thinking using Cognitive Therapy, imagery techniques and a gentle exposure approach can produce long-lasting results. In addition, the techniques you learn in phobia treatment therapy can also be utilized on an everyday basis for real life situations to relieve stress, calm anxious feelings and promote overall well being.
I’ve tried everything – even therapy – to get rid of my phobia. How are you different?
Other therapists may have encouraged you to face your fear, but not given you the guidance and appropriate tools to do so safely and effectively. Confronting a phobia without the proper approach and instruction can actually cause a re-traumatization, which can make your phobia experience even worse.
Years of study, experience and counseling specific to phobias enable me to design and integrate multiple, personality-specific strategies and tools – including a gentle exposure approach – that can provide quick relief. I will guide you step-by-step through the process so you know how it is supposed to work and can practice on your own, which can speed up your recovery. As you learn and utilize these techniques, you will cultivate a sense of mindfulness and your intensely fearful reaction to your phobia will significantly lessen, if not completely stop.
I invite you to call me for a free phone consultation to discuss your specific needs and any questions you have about phobias, treatment or my practice. Call me directly @ (206)745-4933