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Phobias

Dr. Jan Mark Burte - Phobias

Overview

 

Phobias may be simple (e.g., fear of injections, germs, flying, driving) or more complex (e.g., agoraphobia, social phobia). However, all phobias are treatable. By definition they are an irrational fear of a given stimulus or situation resulting in a maladaptive response. In some cases they can be eliminated and in others reduced down to very manageable levels.

 

Approaches

 

Various approaches have demonstrated their usefulness in treating phobias.

 

One approach is systematic desensitization, where the patient learns to apply relaxation techniques to increasingly closer approximations of the phobic stimulus.

 

Another approach is hypnosis, which provides the opportunity to utilize relaxation techniques but adds the element of focused internally directed experiential learning. Specific hypnotic techniques, such as distant viewing, metaphors, activation of helpers, cognitive distraction and reframing and covert desensitization, are but a few of the techniques that make overcoming phobias a much easier task.

 

In more severe cases, Dr. Burte can interface with your prescribing physician to create a multidisciplinary approach where cognitive therapy, hypnosis and pharmacology all come together in assisting you in overcoming your phobia.

 

Often times phobias are trauma based and may either stand alone as the presenting symptom or may be part of a larger disorder such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. In either case, psychotherapy is a critical component in uncovering the memories and associations of the trauma in overcoming the phobia.