This phobia which is the fear of fear, is often undiagnosed. A place where it is commonly found is with those suffering panic attacks. It is probably safe to say that the majority of people who suffer panic attacks also suffer from phobophobia. As many report as soon as they have experienced a panic attack they then live in dread of another one coming and hence we have the phobophobia. The intense discomfort that panic attack sufferers report leave them living in fear of the next one coming which it often does. Often panic attacks come whenever they want and are quite unpredictable hence heightening the fear of the impending fear which will appear at some unknown time in the future.
Most conventional approaches to panic attacks and the phobophobia would seek to contain the feelings of anxiety in some kind of way. To work on ways of stopping them. Whilst the goal is for the panic attacks to stop and the phobia to stop how one goes about achieving that can done in a variety of ways.
Alternatively the client is invited to experience the symptoms of the panic attack in the therapy room with the therapist. This has a number of productive therapeutic effects on the client and their relationship with the panic attack. This approach in particular addresses the phobophobia and can have quite a significant impact on the phobia for a variety of reasons.
As one can see from this treatment plan for the treatment of GAD the focus is on getting rid of it, stopping it, gaining control over it, avoiding it and so forth. This has some significant contra indications and leads to other difficulties. The alternative approach being suggested here is to engage the neurosis and to establish relational contact with it.