Treating Phobias

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Treating Phobias Wood (1999) describes a person suffering from a phobia experiences a persistent, irrational fear of some specific object, situation, or activity that poses no real danger (or whose danger is blown all out of proportion). Agoraphobia, social phobia, and specific phobia are three classes of phobia. Agoraphobics have an intense fear of being in a situation from which immediate escape is not possible or in which help would not be available If the person should become overwhelmed by anxiety or experience a panic attack or panic-like symptoms. People who suffer from social phobia are intensely afraid of any social or performance situation in which they might embarrass or humiliate themselves in front of others—where they might shake, blush, sweat, or in some other way appear clumsy, foolish, or incompetent. Specific phobia—a marked fear of a specific object or situation—is a catchall category for any phobias other than agoraphobia and social phobia. Specific phobia can be divided further into four other subcategories. The four categories are situational phobia, fear of natural environments, animal phobias, and blood-injection-injury phobia (p521). By definition, phobias are irrational, meaning that they interfere with one’s everyday life or daily routine. For example, if your fear of high places prevents you from crossing necessary bridges to get to work, that fear is irrational. If your fears keep you from enjoying life or even preoccupy your thinking so that you are unable to work, or sleep, or to do things you wish to do, then it becomes irrational. Wood (1999) stat... ... middle of paper ... ...were very interesting in capturing the fullness of virtual reality therapy. After reviewing both articles a reasonable conclusion about virtual reality therapy would be that it is very successful, as stated in the results of both articles. Bibliography Rothbaum, B.O., Hodges, L.F., & Kooper, R., Opdyke, D., et al. (1995, April). Effectiveness of computer-generated (virtual reality) graded exposure in the treatment of acrophobia [14 paragraphs]. The American Journal of Psychiatry [Online serial]. Available: Stover, D. (1995, August). Overcoming Phobias [5 paragraphs]. Popular Science [Online serial]. Available: Wood E.R.G., & Wood, S.E. (1999). The world of psychology (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon

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