Friday, June 10, 2011
Post 1 Phobias & Systematic desensitization
Phobias are considered unexplainable and sometimes irrational fears. During High School, i knew a girl with a phobia of bridges. She would be terrified to go near them and felt anxious when she started a journey where she knew she would encounter a bridge and sometimes couldn't bring herself to cross it by herself. In certain situations, she would have to have a friend drive over the bridge while she buried her face in the back seat of the car. During my senior year psych class, our teacher told her about Systematic Desensitization as a way to overcome phobias. He told her it would start in a relaxed atmosphere where she would be presented a very small item that was associated with bridges, like looking at a picture. At first, the picture would cause anxiety , but if she attempted to calm herself down while looking at the picture, it would be the first step towards overcoming her phobia. When she no longer felt anxious, she would progress to a more intense anxiety producing situation like going to see a real bridge in person. This would work the same way until she would be able to cross the bridge anxiety free. When i speak to her about it now, three years after high school, she says it relaxing and overcoming her phobia is working, being as she can drive over a bridge today, with still some anxiety. In my opinion it is an improvement from burying her head in the back seat!