Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fixing a Phobia in 90 Minutes – a Preview

Popsicle sticks cause phobias! This is amazing yet true. Not unlike snakes, heights, confined spaces and aeroplanes, popsicle sticks too can create the sense of grating disparity and shrinking fear in a small number of people.

I learned this, in scanning the FM channels recently, discovering a fascinating talkback dialogue: all about phobias; their causation and treatment. I was immediately enthralled.

I could’ve been forgiven for thinking this was a crackpot spoof because at times the congruence of rapport registered psychologist Anthony Gunn was able to achieve with calling listeners was simply mind blowing; their combined interaction indicated perceptions a little out of this world but so true due to their shared understanding. How the so-called ‘normal’ person can be this way in a small yet significant pocket of life is tragic.

The book Fixing Your Phobia in 90 Minutes, however, offers much hope as it says, “One in four people suffer from phobias, yet they are the easiest psychological problem to treat.”[1]

Gunn explains that phobias are not only caused by the emotion of fear but also, at times, disgust. This explains the popsicle phobia profiled at top. Yet fear is the common response.

He also went on to say that the mere thought of that phobia we may have is more paralysing than the actual experience of it in reality. This means if we were to sample our phobias in real life we’d not be as fearful as we think we’d be. And this reveals clues on treatment.

And the solution? Simply, we must face our fears, taking small steps in situations we can control, with even the use of a ‘phobia friend,’ which Anthony elaborates about in his book, which I would recommend (see the footnote for more).

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] Penguin Books, Australia, Fixing Your Phobia in 90 Minutes. Retrieved 13 May 2009. see also the website:

No comments: