Presenting problem: Animal Phobia
Treatment modality: BWRT®
Number of sessions: 1
M got in touch after tiring of a life-long animal phobia which stopped him from living life to the full.
Over the years he had tried a number of different therapies, to no avail. Now, with an imminent trip overseas to a country known for an overabundance of feral cats, he was desperate to be rid of it.
Instead of feeling excited about the holiday he was already on edge, knowing he would constantly be worrying about when and where they might suddenly appear, and dreading the evenings he’d spend shut inside hot and stifling restaurants, when everyone else would be enjoying dinner in the cooler air outside. Excursions to public places were out of the question.
Although he had a general dislike of all animals, the thought which troubled M the most was that one of the creatures would touch him. Worse, that one of the cats would jump on him!
He described his agitation upon seeing the curves of an ‘evil looking’ cat’s movement as it approached him, an anxiety which increased in direct proportion to the animal’s proximity. The tipping point would be if a cat got so close that it threatened to brush against his legs, at which juncture M said he would likely experience a full-blown panic attack. It was, thus, far better to avoid any potential risk of such an encounter completely.
Because M was due to fly the following day, the therapy itself was carried out online, once he had arrived at his destination and settled in. Somewhat sceptical at the effectiveness of engaging in therapy several hundred miles apart, M nonetheless threw himself into the process, such was his desire to be free from his animal phobia.
A week later, my phone pinged one morning during breakfast and, as I glanced at it, a photo appeared of a man sitting at a cafe table in the sunshine. It was M! But not just this. Closer inspection revealed that the shadows were hiding cats, a whole bunch of them, snaking around the pavement and out the other side of the picture.
In the accompanying caption M excitedly declared his amazement, happiness and profuse thanks, which happened to be the exact same sentiments his sister, J, expressed, when she rang me sometime after he had returned.
For the first time ever, M had been to visit his sister at her home, something he had refused to do until now because – you guessed it – she had cats. Such was J’s astonishment at her brother’s transformation that, before the call was over, she had made an appointment to deal with her own phobia, a fear of vomiting. But that, of course, is another story…
If you have an animal phobia you would like help with book your free consultation, today
To read a case study about emetophobia (fear of vomit/being sick) click here