Phobias are a common cognitive disorder in Perth that arise from the development of a mental attitude that intensely fears an object that it has developed a negative fixation on. At the Energetics Institute in Perth, we offer you a counselling and psychotherapy option to identify and overcome any phobias afflicting you in your day-to-day life.
What is Phobia
A phobia may be thought of as an intense, distorted or unreasonable fixation or fear based attention factor that your mind has activated and scans the environment for. The fight-or-flight aspect of your mind is attuned to notice and alert you to those things you should notice and move away from.
Fear is the associated fear that fuels this mind so a phobia afflicted person has a hyper-vigilant attention factor operating that fears unreasonably the perceived fear of, and/or the actual presence of some object that generates feelings of fear disproportionate to the threat.
Your mind may start to fantasise or hallucinate that the feared object is present even when it is not so you may start to make safe environments unsafe with your phobias, and you are often left withdrawn and fearful and unable to normally function in the world.
What are the Types of Phobias
Your mind can make any object in the universe subject to the intense and distorted fear that is a phobia. However some objects are more commonly associated with phobias due to the fight-or-flight mechanism of the brain scanning the world for unsafe categories of objects, as part of how it operates.
You notice then that the phobias often have an association of being a threat or being unsafe associated with them ordinarily. The top phobias reported by clients are:
- Insects or animals
- Germs or diseases
- Geographical places such as rivers or tunnels or old houses
- Time and place such as in the air, at night,
- Event driven such as storms, calendar events, in a storm event etc.
- Image driven specific such as man with tattoos, authority figure, black cats
- Medical procedures, medicines, operations, dental
- Sensory stimulus such as loud noises, being touched or looked at
What Are The Symptoms of Phobia
Phobias are triggered by the unconscious fight-or-flight mechanism in your brain as it scans incoming sensory data, or that which you produce yourself internally as ideas, thoughts and images. If you have a phobia triggered by one of these inputs, you may start to have hyper-arousal signals in your body and hyper-vigilance escalation of your senses which predicts a threat is present.
Your body activates by the fear based symptoms of:
- Hyper-arousal of body including hyper-ventilated breathing, hyper-tension in muscles
- Adrenaline release producing faster heart beat and sweating
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Stomach reacting to fight-or-flight bio-chemical release
- Racing thoughts and confusion
- Wanting to flight or run
- Anxiety or Panic Attack onset
- Feelings of sadness and loss (grief like symptoms)
What Causes Phobias
Phobias can be catching so one way a phobia is learnt is if your parent has a phobia then as a young child, you were prone through mirroring and modelling by that parent, to believe the fear is real and assume a copycat response and belief. In this way you can get inter-generational phobia, anxiety disorder and other mirrored state disorders running down family system genealogies.
Some phobias are caused as you may have experienced trauma or were abused. That experience activated your brain to record a sensory reminder of some aspect of the abuser or trauma environment. The phobia represents a PTSD symptom where the trigger is a trauma activation that fears a re-traumatisation or new cycle of abuse, but the original memory of this may lie outside conscious memory.
How Can Psychotherapy & Counselling Help Phobias
The Energetics Institute in Perth can help if you have phobias and irrational fear based disorders. As your phobia is an irrational belief system based disorder then a Cognitive Behavioural Approach (CBT) will have an impact on rectifying the underlying distortion associated with the phobia.
The embodied aspect of treatment uses Sensorimotor Psychotherapy which is a bodily tracking process to have you track your arousal process and contain it within your Window of Tolerance, whilst staying present to the object of threat or phobia. This desensitisation can assist you to prevent your fight or flight mechanism hijacking your adult mind and so your rational mind can deconstruct your irrational belief moment by moment via experience and being grounded and remaining present and calm to the exposure.
You get immediate feedback that the object is safe and you can then let go of your fear and the object becomes neutral in your world and no longer acts as a phobia trigger.