Halloween promotes thoughts of ghost, goblins and thing that go bump-in-the-night. So this is as good a time as any to talk about how fears and phobias work. Fears and phobias are defined by how they were created.
Fears are usually created by a series of experiences (could be negative or positive) that generally occur in a similar context and evokes similar response. So if you went on a roller coaster and it scared you and you went on it again and it scared you; that’s a fear.
Fears can also be a generalization. You got barked at a dog so all your life you where wary of anything with four legs and a tail that barks.
A phobia is also a fear but usually it manifests as a one-time learning event. Your brother threw a rubber snake at you and now you have a fear of flying snakes. I don’t know of any species of snake that flies, but you can never be too careful if you have a flying snake phobia.
The best way to get rid of a fear isn’t the standard (substandard) behavioral modification method they teach in Psychology 101. The best method, I’ve found is an NLP technique called a collapsed anchor. The short version is to establish a touch anchor for the “fear” and then establish a different touch anchor for a very resourceful or power emotional state. Then fire the “fear” anchor and one half-second later fire the “resource” anchor. Hold until you see the person shift to the resource state and then let go of the “fear anchor”. This collapses the fear response and forces the brain to associate good of neutral feeling toward the former “fear” state. Try it, you’ll like it. You can download the instructions for anchoring or email me for more information. – Dr. Michael Harris
Peace Love Trance,
Dr. Michael Harris, PhD