Exposure Therapy: The Most Effective Way To Treat Phobias

Exposure Therapy: The Most Effective Way To Treat Phobias

“Simply put, a phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something … Usually somewhere in their childhood they associated this ‘thing’ with fear, or had a bad experience.” – Nicole Martinez, PsyD. 

Living in fear is not living at all. It limits all the things we can do. Imagine having acrophobia or the fear of heights, aerophobia or the fear of airplanes, claustrophobia or the fear of enclosed spaces. These are some of the common phobias affecting a large number of Americans. These phobias could mean a person will always have trouble going to high places, riding an airplane, or riding an elevator. Nowadays, they could signify a lot of inconvenience as the world we live in now is innovative and full of these things. When you are in the corporate world, it is hard to avoid high places, airplanes, and elevators.

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Facing your fear is a must, or you’ll be stuck in an invisible prison all your life. You can start by seeing a doctor who would recommend you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. There are a variety of medications that can help you with the symptoms you are experiencing when faced with your fear. There are also several psychotherapies that can aid in the treatment of your condition. One of them is exposure therapy.

 

What Is Exposure Therapy?

Here’s what Psychologist Dena Rabinowitz has to say about exposure: …”But then we move on to exposure. And exposures can be a lot of fun in social phobia. Because not only do we do exposures to everyday regular things like going into a Starbucks and just asking somebody for coffee, and maybe initiating a conversation. But we also do some extreme exposures where people do things that are either out of the normal or silly. So that people get exposed to the fact that they can feel embarrassed and tolerate it.”

Exposure therapy could be the most efficient way to treat phobias. It is a kind of treatment that allows the patient to face his fears progressively and repeatedly. This way, it will enable him to manage his symptoms such as panic and anxiety. Gradually, he will learn to adjust his thoughts to counter what he feels towards a specific object that brings him uncontrollable fear. “When used properly,” wrote John Grohol, PsyD., “scientific research has shown that it can be a powerful method to help a person overcome the anxiety and fear associated with PTSD or phobias.”

Phobias can be from past traumatic experiences or subconsciously acquired from the things we see on TV or social media. We develop fears because we are worried about our safety and mortality. We fear that a particular object or situation can cause us harm or death. Exposure therapy trains your mind to think otherwise. You will learn that it’s all in your head, your safety is always in how you handle things, and that panicking and anxiety do you more harm than the object of your fear itself.

 

What Are The Common Phobias And The Particular Things A Person Should Face To Overcome Fear?

 

A

Achievemephobia – Success

Acrophobia – Heights

Aerophobia – Airplanes or flying

Agoraphobia – Open or crowded spaces

Androphobia – Men

Anthropophobia – People

Aquaphobia – Water

Arachnophobia – Spiders

Atychiphobia –Failure

Agliophobia – Pain

B

Basiphobia – Falling

C

Carcinophobia – Cancer

Catoptrophobia – Mirrors

Chronophobia – Future

Claustrophobia – Confined spaces

Coulrophobia – Clowns

Cynophobia – Dogs

E

Entomophobia – Insects

Ergophobia – Work

G

Galeophobia – Sharks

Gamophobia – Commitment

Glossophobia – Public speaking

Gynophobia – Women

H

Hemophobia – Blood

I

Iatrophobia – Doctors

K

Katsaridaphobia – Cockroaches

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M

Metathesiophobia – Change

Monophobia – Being alone

Mysophobia – Germs

N

Nosocomephobia – Hospitals

Nyctophobia – Darkness

O

Ophidiophobia – Snakes

Ornithophobia – Birds

P

Pediophobia – Dolls

Philophobia – Love

Pyrophobia – Fire

R

Ranidaphobia – Frogs

S

Somniphobia – Sleep

T

Taphophobia – Being buried alive

Thanatophobia – Death

Tokophobia – Pregnancy

Trypophobia – Holes

Trypanophobia – Needles

V

Vehophobia – Driving

X

Xenophobia – The unknown

Z

Zoophobia – Animals

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Conquer your fear,” that’s what we usually hear, and that’s what exposure therapy aims – to make us get used to an object or situation which would then decrease our symptoms when faced with our fear. Exposure therapy believes that the key to overcoming phobias is exposing yourself to what scares you the most.