All Contents © 2007, 2013 David S. Guseman, LCSW  
Tossed on the waves of our emotions, we forget that we are the sea.

Fears, Anxiety and Phobias

Phobias have been described as “one-shot learning”.  That is, only one lesson is needed in order for the body to learn to avoid a phobic situation.  The learning is so fast and so thorough that years and decades later, we still have an uncontrollable emotional reaction to the situation, even when we have long forgotten the original incident that caused it.

From an energy perspective, the original incident caused a “zzzt!” in the body’s energy system which has not been corrected, causing the phobic fear to go on and on.

Fears and anxieties generally relate to an over-concern about future events, often driven by the memory of a past occurrence.  Here the energy “zzzt!” locks us in a loop of worry and concern which is out of proportion to the reality of the situation.

No matter.  Whether a lifelong irrational phobia or a gnawing anxiety, the Emotion Coaching Program can help.

An intense, lifelong Snake Phobia.

“Ann” is a woman in her mid-fifties who has suffered from an intense fear of snakes for as long as she can remember.  She has an idea that the phobia came  from some tormenting (with a dead snake) that she suffered at the hands of her brothers, but that realization has made no difference in her fear.

When Ann first came to me, her phobia was so strong that, if a picture of a snake came on the TV, she would yell at her husband to shut it off.

When I asked her to close her eyes and think about snakes, she literally squirmed in her seat.  I asked her to rate her discomfort on a ten-point scale, with “10” being the worst she could imagine.  She rated it a “15”.

I proceeded to show Ann how to balance her energy and, six minutes later, I asked her to close her eyes and think about snakes again.  This time, she couldn’t even find the snakes.  Her reaction was a wonderful, round “zero”.

When she returned to see me two weeks later, I didn’t know if she had had a chance to test out her phobia.  So I devised my own test.  As Ann was sitting down in her chair, I suddenly leapt out of my seat, crying “Don’t sit on that snake!”  Ann’s response was to calmly look to left and right (a wise thing to do if you suspect a snake is in the area) before replying, “Okay.”  (Please note that this was early in my experience with phobias, and I now rarely employ such vigorous testing.  On the positive side, the work was so effective that Ann did not pass out or run screaming out the door as a result of my little drama.)

Ann dropped in a few weeks later to tell me of her own “test.”  She had been doing household chores while watching a movie on TV.  Suddenly and without warning, the young woman in the movie metamorphosed into a large snake, which then slithered out of the scene, bound for parts unknown.  Ann’s comment:  “I didn’t have any reaction.”  And, in all probability, her only reaction to snakes from here on out:  logical and rational concern and respect.  And, perhaps, a chance to enjoy their beauty and that she can actually stand to look at them.

Note:  Phobia cures do not always happen in six minutes, though in my experience a one-session cure is the rule, not the exception.  Some phobias contain multiple “aspects”, each of which needs to be addressed individually.  Some phobias contain other emotional factors, requiring a bit more “detective work”.  My general rule:  a multi-session protocol which “flattens” the phobia and other issues that may arise, during which you learn to use the techniques for yourself.

P.S.  When the job is done thoroughly (as I do, of course!) the phobia will never return.

Testimonials and Case Histories 4
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Speech