So how do phobias develop?

When we are growing up, we go through all kinds of experiences and sometimes those experiences can be unpleasant and the emotions intense. When these emotions are very strong our minds ‘bottle them up’ and you may develop a phobia or anxiety, this is an external symbolic interpretation of an internal anxiety. These emotions that have been essentially projected onto an object eg. knives or other sharp objects (aichmophobia), or a situation eg. enclosed spaces (claustrophobia).

How are phobias symbols of our anxiety?

The fear of flying is a good example of how phobias are often symbolic. According to Virgin Atlantic, about 10 million people in the UK suffer from a fear of flying. Not many people however have actually been in a plane crash…so a fear of flying, like most phobias, is actually a fear of being out of control. There is nothing more likely to trigger a feeling of being out of control than being stuck in an aircraft 30,000 ft up with the doors locked and no exit.

Your psyche symbolises the fear of being out of control and projects this onto planes/flying.

How to get rid of your phobia.

Some therapies try and get you to face your fear which usually only helps in the short term and can make things worse. However when you think about the fact that a phobia is driven by EMOTION. The most successful long term solution is to change how you ‘think’, by managing your thinking (cognition), this way you learn to manage the emotions and begin to take back the control.

Click here to get help with your phobia.