Yikes! I can’t do that or go there, with all those people. Again the definition, according to the DSM, is a “marked and persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable, cued by the anticipation or presence of a specific object or situation.” A phobic reaction can be completely unexpected – like seeing blood, or the site of a snake. Regardless of the object, a phobic reaction sets off an intense anxiety reaction in the individual experiencing the unexpected object. Frequently people who know they are phobic go to great lengths to avoid an inadvertent confrontation with the object of their fear.
Properly understood, phobias are readily treated by Dr. Mannis. He has found that by confronting the object of an individual's fear and facing it in successive encounters, yields a readily effective treatment modality. This treatment requires considerable courage on the part of the patient however. With the patient’s resolution that they really want to overcome their phobia they begin to face their fear. Through developing strength from successive confrontations the phobic object or issue is ultimately overcome. Through this treatment approach the patient comes to grips with their issues behind the phobic aversion. The understanding and satisfaction that comes from confronting a phobic object, can be very liberating and even life changing.