Saturday, June 8, 2013


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.

Amy tattoo

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.

General treatment plan for GAD

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.



  1. Linda said:

    I used to have a LOT of panic attacks. Sometimes they would last half an hour. Then take hours to kind of recover from. Once I stopped dreading them, they just came and went a bit less. But, I still get them now and then without any real warning. They still take a while to pass and I just kind of "sit" with them and try to work around them. They are physically draining.

    Reading this post made me realisedI rarely spoke to the therapist about them because I just accepted them.

  2. It sounds like you may have spontaneously arrived at the solution which I am suggesting Linda. One engages the neurosis one does not fight against it.


    1. Maybe the therapist helped without me knowing - in that weird way that happens in therapy. I can recognise many of those steps in your general plan. But, naturally, I guess that it is not so structured in the therapy session - otherwise it would seem too much like going to a lecture or something. So, maybe a planned spontaneous arrival.

  3. Well if there was a productive relationship with you then it is probably so that you got a very subtle kind of help that almost works at an unconscious level without you knowing it Linda.

    The structured work in therapy is good and vital but it is just as important how the therapist goes about doing the structured work as much as what the structured work is.