Wondering how to cure a phobia? Many people who have a genuine phobia wonder how to cure a phobia. Luckily, there are a couple of great ways for how to cure a phobia. You can learn how to cure a phobia on your own or with the help of a therapist. Chances are likely that a therapist will use a similar technique to the one listed below, so if you want to learn how to cure a phobia on your own, you can go for it! If it doesn’t work, you can always seek out the help of a therapist who specializes in phobias – or even in your particular phobia! – as therapy has been shown to be very effective for most people, and might work for you in just a few sessions.
Here’s how to cure a phobia on your own using something called a fear ladder.
First, figure out what you fear
The first thing to do is to figure out what you fear. This can’t be overgeneralized, though, but needs to be specific. If you have a phobia of spiders, you might fear seeing photos of spiders, watching them on a television, encountering them at the zoo, and finally encountering them in real life. Make a list of all the things that have to do with your phobia that cause you some level of anxiety – any anxiety at all, even if it isn’t actually overwhelming.
It can take more time than you think to figure out what you fear, so give yourself time. Think of everything in connection with the main focus of your phobia that makes you anxious or that you habitually try to avoid. Write those things down on a list, and hang on to it for the next step.
Next, rank your fears
Next, you’ll want to put your fears in order of least to most uncomfortable. The least uncomfortable item on your list might just make you a bit anxious or nervous, and the most uncomfortable might be almost unbearable for you at the moment. Think carefully as you rank your list. It will probably be a logical progression where you’re first dealing with things that are only tangentially related to your fear and eventually facing the actual thing that you fear.
Finally, encounter and overcome your fears one by one
Now comes the difficult part. It can take a while to learn how to cure a phobia in this way, but it does help. What you’re going to do is to start encountering and overcoming your fears, crossing them off the list one by one.
If you’re afraid of spiders, for instance, you can start by looking at photographs of spiders, and work your way up to actually encountering one in real life. At first, even the first step will be uncomfortable, but with repeated exposure, it will become easier and easier. Once you’ve mastered the ability to come into contact with photos of spiders without being anxious or afraid, move on to watching a television program about spiders. Don’t move from one step until you can do that step without feeling anxious, and if any step feels overwhelming, backtrack or seek professional help.
As you’re encountering your fears in your how to cure a phobia quest, practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing when you start to feel a little anxious. Eventually, you’ll start to associate relaxed feelings rather than anxious or fearful feelings with the things that you once feared. The fear ladder technique seems a little simplistic for how to cure a phobia, but it has worked for thousands of people. In fact, many therapists use this technique to help their clients work through phobias!