I think everyone has, at one time or another, had a fear or phobia of some kind. Some fears are not as bothersome, especially if you don’t encounter the fear trigger very often. Like the duck-watching-me fear, anatidaephobia, if you don’t encounter many ducks, or are in environments where duck are likely to pop up, then may be relatively manageable. Well…it turns out that anatidaephobia is not a real phobia, It was created by “Far Side” cartoonist Gary Larsen and went so viral that it was included in a commercial advertisement for Aflac, an insurance company that has a duck “watching over” its customers.
BUT, Fears and Phobias are very real and very debilitating to individuals in the presences of their fear trigger. Specific phobias are described by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) as an excessive and irrational fear of a specified object or situation. The DSM-5 categorizes specific phobias into 5 categories:
- Animal Types (dogs, snakes, spiders, etc.)
- Natural Environment Types (thunder storms, floods, earthquakes, etc.)
- Blood-Injection-Injury Types (seeing blood, getting medical treatment involving blood, witnessing medical procedures, etc.)
- Situational Types (elevators, airplanes, small spaces, etc.)
- Other Types (fears of contracting an illness, fear of choking, etc.)
These are anxiety disorders that include a persistent, irrational fear. When exposed to the feared item/situation, the person has an extreme anxiety response (panic attack, screaming, freezing, etc.). The person may avoid the feared stimuli at all costs and it may impact their daily life and overall functioning.
The person may know that the response is irrational, but that does nothing to calm the panic brought on by the trigger/situation. For them, in that moment, it may feel like life or death to get away from the fear trigger.
Traditional therapies use treatments that gradually expose the person to the trigger, which helps them overcome the fear by reeducating the brain to reduce the panic and anxiety until they can tolerate the trigger.
Sometimes we do, but often we don’t know where the phobia came from. It is either too concealed in the past or can be the result from a number of small-ish but seemingly unrelated frightening events. And, even if we did know the cause, is unlikely to be helpful in removing the phobia.
With Emotional Resolution (EmRes), the client is asked to recount the triggered event. The practitioner leads them thru a protocol of physical sensory awareness which releases the triggered emotion that is buried in the body causing the phobia.
Recalling the event using the Emotional Resolution protocol is not triggering. It is a calm recollection of the story about what happened. This is enough for the limbic system to recall the body memories of the emotion that incited the phobic reaction. The client remains calm, lucid and present during the session. The limbic system accesses the physical sensations, the emotion’s signature, which are used to release the emotion.
Fears and Phobias can be debilitating if they prevent you from “normal” activities. Help is available using Emotional Resolution. The results are immediate.
Are you ready to release your fears and phobias?