"Avoiders" with Mild Phobia Step 2

, Psychologist, liyap.com5.1K reads

The next step of the process is to continue your efforts, but this time understand your reactions. Once you have gained some insight into your own behavior, you'd be able to take control of the phobia. 

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This stage is definitely the most important of the three. It follows the idea of mindfulness, used by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, where you consider the actions you are engaging in and try to take charge of them. Like the difference between watching football and playing football yourself, you need to start choosing how to act instead of instinctively reacting.

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Track Your Reactions

The simplest way to do this is by continuing to watch the videos you've already found, but making sure that you can stick it out all the way to the end. Note down how you react to them, so that next time you watch you know what to expect from your body. Once you know how you are going to react, you can begin to think about why you have acted like that. Did you scream so that someone else would come and help you with the spider? Did you wildly swat about because you wanted to kill the spider? Doesn't matter which, as long as you kind of know what you did and a little bit of why!

Change Your Behavior

The next bit is the hardest. Whilst watching the spider videos, or if you're feeling brave - try it on real spiders, try and change the way you are acting. If you can make yourself calmer through breathing exercises, with deep inhales and slow exhales, or if you are able to control your hand movements by playing with worry beads, you have changed the behaviour! This part means that you are stopping yourself from just randomly reacting to spiders and are instead taking control of the situation, putting yourself in charge.

You Are in Charge!

Once you've taken control of the situation, you are able to decide how you need to act in that context, and can work on using things like worry beads to calm you down when you see a spider.

An example is seeing a spider, immediately grabbing a piece of kitchen roll paper, gently taking the spider with it and placing it outside your window – all under 30 seconds.

Full reference: 

(Nov 25, 2015). "Avoiders" with Mild Phobia Step 2. Retrieved Nov 22, 2019 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/mild-blunters-step-2

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