Systematic desensitization – the person is asked to relax, then imagine the things that cause the anxiety, working from the least fearful to the most fearful. Graded real-life exposure has also been used with success to help people overcome their fears.
The amygdala (Latin, corpus amygdaloideum) is an almond-shape set of neurons located deep in the brain's medial temporal lobe. Shown to play a key role in the processsing of emotions, the amygdala forms part of the limbic system. In humans and other animals, this subcortical brain structure is linked to both fear responses and pleasure. Its size is positively correlated with aggressive behavior across species. In humans, it is the most sexually-dimorphic brain structure, and shrinks by more than 30% in males upon castration. Conditions such as anxiety, autism, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias are suspected of being linked to abnormal functioning of the amygdala, owing to damage, developmental problems, or neurotransmitter imbalance.The role of amygdala: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1749
Roman Trnovsky | email@example.com |
The word ‘phobia’ comes from the name of Greek God Phoebus, who fought with the enemy as he gives him a fear
Fear serves to each of us a warning of danger.
A common fear can turn into something that complicated
our life - the phobia
7 - 11% of the population has specific phobias (APA, 2000)
Cognitive – behavioural model
What is phobia?
“Irrational” fear of an “objectively harmless” stimulus.
A: Accountant at work
B: Oil rig worker in North sea
C: Bomb disposal worker
Reality of Danger
Agoraphobia - Public places outside home, e.g. shops
Social phobia - Being watched / appraised by other
Specific phobia - grouped into:
Animals and insects
Blood / injury / medical (e.g. dentist)
driving, crowds, enclosure, air travel)
Natural Environment (e.g.
Selected list of phobias
Funny Phobias (YouTube)
Fear of being out of
mobile phone contact.
Irrational or in critical
and hostile which is
fear of that behaviour
Fear as discrimination
such of phobia(s), and
perceived to be foreign
more specifically, of
and violence on the the
basis of sexual
associated that are
orientationswith that nonphobia and anxiety.
Frequency of specific phobias
Anxiety Automatic Thoughts
Shortness of breath
Feelings of choking
Chills or hot flushes
Fear of dying
The importance of unconscious conflicts from childhood.
Use defence mechanisms to cope with anxiety.
Freud theorized that phobia occurs when people
converted anxiety instead of unconscious motives or
desires for objects symbolize the motives and desires.
Functional approach - treat each phobia
as the same.
Phobias are formed through classical
Many phobias arises after experiencing
traumatic events (e.g. social frustration)
Someone was drowning
Identify what the unconscious fear is
Help the client bring it to consciousness
Help the client understand, accept and then change
how they deal with the fear
Free association – the client relaxes and
tries not to think about anything. They
simply allow thoughts to enter their mind
and describe them to the therapist.
Dream analysis - the client keeps a record
of the things they dream about. They bring
it to their therapy sessions and describe the
dreams to the analyst.
Recent literature reviews have concluded
that the efficacy of pharmacological
treatments for phobic disorders in children is
Fear of situations where one would not have to call for
help if something happened.
Fear of leaving the house, visiting shops, fear of crowds,
public places, travelling by public transport, visit the
theatre or cinema, from the enclosed space etc.
Exorbitance’s victim realizes his fear and is able to admit
that there is a real danger, but rather to avoid these
This significantly impairs quality of life.
Affected do not drive transport
equipment, do not go shopping in
stores, sometimes the result that sits in his
apartment on the phone, which may in
case of problems related to call for help.
Fear of being alone
Fear of losing control in a public place
Fear of being in places where escape might be difficult
Becoming housebound for prolonged periods of time
Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others
Unusual temper or agitation with trembling or twitching
Feelings of helplessness
Dependence on others
Feeling that the body is unreal
Feeling that the environment is unreal
Anxiety or panic attack
The most effective treatment of agoraphobia is a
combination of psychotherapy and drug therapy.
The psychotherapeutic approaches are proven to be highly
effective cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
For more severe course, especially with panic attacks is
recommended drug therapy. They are used SSRI
antidepressants or moclobemide, for quick relief anxiolytics.
The goal is to help the phobic person
The success usually depends upon the
severity of the phobia.
Systematic desensitization is a technique
used to treat phobias.
Antianxiety and antideprresive medications.
‘A persistent fear of one or more situations in which the
person is exposed to possible scrutiny by others and fears
that he or she may do something or act in a way that will
(The American Psychiatric Association)
3-13% of the population suffer throughout the life.
(Kessler et al., 1994)
Phobias become most often between 14 to 20 years.
The slope of phobia can be based on lack education or lack
of socialization with the environment of the child.
High probability of occurrence
Early childhood during the formation of a
personality clash with the world
Puberty and self-realization
Creating your first partner relationships
and family formation
The transition to non-productive age
Inborn abnormal function of amygdala
Various diseases and disabilities
Side effects of some medications
Inferiority - you can not take criticism or praise, can not
say no, fear of abandonment, change, addiction, emotional
closeness, fear their potential
Anxiety - is due to fear of possible threats, the voltage
from a known or unknown situations
Automatic Negative Thoughts
Containment - afraid to talk about their pain
and excessive expression of joy, or vice versa
exaggeration of joy, as a way of masking true
Hypersensitivity - fear of observation
conflict, inconsistency, negative facts, weather
Avoiding stressful situations
Delusions and distorted self-image
Alcohol and drugs
Work holism and careerism
Anxiety, fear, anger
Eating in front
What happens if I will
Everyone see me!
Everyone think, that I am
I will lose self control!
Tremor, heat, sweat,
Avoiding of eye contact
Avoiding of similar
CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Psychotherapy with relational dynamics orientation
Art therapy, drama therapy
Social skills training
Patient is gradually exposed to feared
situations from the simplest and less
fearsome to the most complex.
Patient should be carried out
systematically, under the supervision of
American Psychiatric Association (2000) DSM-IV-TR. [Online] Available at:
http://www.psychiatry.org/practice/dsm/dsm-iv-tr [Accessed: 08 May 2013].
American Psychiatric Association (2013) DSM-5: The Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis.
[Online] Available at: http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx [Accessed: 08 May
Cocks, R. (2006) Anxiety disorders: phobias: anxiety disorders such as phobias can
devastate the lives of sufferers. How do behaviourism and other psychological
perspectives explain this pathology? Psychology Review, 12(1), p.10.
Curtis, A. (2012) Clasification and diagnosis of mental disorders. Psychology Review,
Gross, R. (2010) Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour, 6 edn. London:
Hodder Education, an Hachette UK Company.
Main, J. (2012) Clasification and diagnosis of mental disorders: The proposed DSM-5.
Psychology Review, 18(2), pp.7-9.
Plotnik, R., & Kouyoumdjian, H. (2011) Introduction to
Psychology, 9th edn. Belmont, USA: Wadsworth, Cengage
Stern, R. (1995) Mastering Phobias: Cases, Causes, Cures.
London: Penguin Books Ltd.
World Health Organization (2010) International Classification
of Diseases (ICD). [Online] Available at:
http://www.who.int/classifications/icd/en/ [Accessed: 08 May