Ep 57: A Different Perspective on Phobias [Rebranding Trauma Therapy Series]

Curiosity should always be the default for therapists working with clients, and clients should know this and look for it in session. This is especially true when we’re talking about phobias.

There’s often a lot of shame around phobias because they’re characterized by a disproportionate response to a feeling or fear. At the surface level, it might not seem logical. But if a therapist responds in this way, they could create or feed a toxic relationship between the client and the feelings the client is having.

Instead, a better response is curiosity. It’s important for both therapist and client to get curious about clinical reasoning when it comes to phobias and adaptations.

In this week’s video, I’m sharing how therapists can be curious about the function of the phobia to help clients look deeper into how their bodies, emotions, and thoughts react to experiences that are triggering a response.

It’s not necessarily straightforward. Content doesn’t necessarily transfer when our brain develops alarm systems and links that lead to adaptations. This makes it difficult to identify and, as I’ve talked about in previous episodes, digging into traumatic experiences isn’t always the answer.

Listen in as I provide tools and insights for both therapists and clients. This is such an important conversation in our journey of rebranding trauma therapy into something that can help and heal.

Listen in and be sure to watch the whole series on rebranding trauma therapy.

When something traumatic happens to us, it can be healing to have a therapist listen to and/or validate our horrible experience, especially if no one else has before. However, rehashing details of traumatic events can be retraumatizing. Brain-based therapies like EMDR teach us that we don't have to talk about the trauma or the details if we don't want because the real healing doesn't focus on the traumatic event itself.

The Zero Disturbance podcast is for educational purposes and is not a replacement for a therapeutic relationship or individualized mental health or medical care.

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With a Masters in Education from Vanderbilt, Kambria has been creating trainings and teaching adult learners for over 20 years. As the Director of Education and Quality Improvement at Stanford Medical School, she created ease in complex systems, thereby giving medical trainees successful learning experiences. Now, as a dedicated mom, therapist, and EMDR Consultant, Kambria knows what it means to do things efficiently, effectively, and in a learner-centered way. When she isn't podcasting or creating online courses, you can find Kambria playing with her twins on a beach in California.