Fear is an emotional part and physiological behavioral response to a threat-part of our natural defense mechanism for ensuring our survival. As with most behaviors and emotions, fears are learned responses and many of us learn to fear things that are not really threats to our survival. A fear of flying or public speaking, a fear of success and a fear of failure are common examples. Having an experience that transforms a natural and prudent sense of caution into fears or anxiety that limit your ability to partake in activities considered a normal part of life- like driving on the freeway, flying or riding an elevator- can also be devastating to your quality of life. You may also develop a fear that grows so out of proportion to the actual threat (which may even be nonexistent) that your reaction is actually irrational and possibly incapacitating, sometimes causing a full-blown panic attack. In this case, you have a phobia. Phobias, even of harmless things like mice, spiders, needles, enclosed or open spaces, freeways, etc., can be paralyzing and, for many, embarrassing. Fears, phobias, and general anxiety issues are as varied as there are types of people, and they are very treatable. Most of my clients respond both quickly and dramatically- we can often erase a fear or phobia in as few as two or three sessions.
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