Looking at a normal person walking down the street you wouldn’t know what kind of fear they might be facing. People face different fears in their lives that they can’t control. It is common for people to be scared of a situation that has a rationality behind it. For example, being scared while inside a haunted house. If the fear is irrational and many aren 't frightened by it, it would be categorized as a phobia. Living a life with constant fear that interferes with a person’s everyday life would be categorized as an anxiety disorder. Joseph Wolpe developed a way which systematic desensitization, a form of psychotherapy, can help a person gradually decrease their anxiety or fear for a certain situation. He used neuroses, a group of psychological problem that are related to one form of anxiety, to slowly help his patients outgrow their fear(Wolpe,262).
A person with a phobia has a fear reaction that is out of proportion to the reality of the danger(Wolpe,262). The reactions that occur are extremely uncomfortable that include symptoms such as dizziness, heart palpitations, feeling faint, hyperventilating, sweating, trembling, and nausea. If a person has a phobia they will do whatever it takes in order to avoid the fear stimulus. Avoidance of the fear stimulus will most likely interfere with a person’s regular life drastically(Wolpe,263).
There are three main types of phobias: simple phobias, specific phobias, social phobias. Simple phobias include irrational fears of things like animals such as dogs, cats, or the most common snakes. Specific phobias are centered around specific situations such as small spaces, claustrophobia, or heights, acrophobia. Social phobias are irrational fears of interactions with other people....
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...hobia, but not the underlying causes of the anxiety associated with the fear. They said that new symptoms would just replace the ones that would be treated. These criticisms weren’t proven because a follow up was done years later with the same success as before (Wolpe,267).
Since Wolpe’s research, the use of systematic desensitization has grown that it is now usually considered the treatment for people with anxiety disorders. Many studies since Wolpe have been conducted by other researchers which supported his work (Wolpe,268). I think the results support Wolpe’s theory and his patients seem to have improved their lives through systematic desensitization. If I were a person with a severe phobia that caused me great anxiety, I would consider his treatment. This study seems to have helped many and will continue to serve as the treatment for people with anxiety issues.
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