Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Facing Fears

Brian Caplan discusses Exposure Therapy.

The exposure therapy approach to dealing with fears makes a lot of sense to me. As a matter of fact, I think people are wired to do this (to some extent) automatically. One example is dreaming repeatedly about a traumatic event. Another is obsession with a worry.


  1. My husband used to use this in his practice. He uses one now called EFT (emofree.com).

  2. "What's the worst thing that could happen..."

  3. I agree; to some extent I am wired to face my fears, perhaps compelled. My fear of heights can be paralyzing, but I find myself pushing this limit whenever I can. On the other hand, some fears (rejection, criticism from those I love or respect) can be difficult to face.

  4. One interesting strategy for overcoming fears (especially anticipatory anxiety disorders) is what is called paradoxical intention. For example, if you anticipate getting nervous in front of crowds, it might help if you *intend* to feel nervous.

    It is strange, I do not know why it would work, but in some cases it has strong and lasting effects.

  5. Exactly so Bob!

    Actually my brother used to joke: "What's the worst that could happen? God could cease to be God and the universe could collapse on itself, but other than that..."

  6. Justin,

    I think I'm going to try that next time. So, you just imagine that you're naked and the audience is full of Mary Kay saleswomen with camcorders?