Fear of Fish
The Fear of Fish is Technically Known as Ichthyophobia and is a relatively rare phobia.
It is possible that the rapid and random movement of a fish, that is often seen in peripheral vision (out of the corner of the eye) leads directly to the ‘startle’ reflex which may then lead onto an anxiety reaction.
There are very few dangerous fish and so the likelihood that that the fear of fish is based on an actual negative experience is fairly low.
The most likely cause of this phobia is rooted in childhood, perhaps on seeing a parent exhibit a negative reaction which then becomes a ‘learned behaviour’.
Whilst the feared object or situation may seem, to other people, to be ‘ridiculous’ or ‘silly’, the person who suffers from Ichthyophobia knows only too well that the Anxiety that they experience is real enough.
You can read more about phobias in general here.
We completely understand this here at TranceForm Psychology and will treat you and your Fear of Fish seriously and with ‘unconditional positive regard’.
It has long been understood within the world of psychology that our minds are more than capable of producing a real biological reaction to any given situation and so as long as the Ichthyophobia sufferer “believes” that the object or situation they fear represents a real danger to them, then they will experience real fear with all of the associated symptoms.
This ‘reaction’ itself is not ‘faulty’ – the problem isn’t the Anxiety that is experienced, but the ‘idea’ or ‘thoughts’ that go into creating this reaction!
The greater majority of people who suffer with the Fear of Fish readily accept that their fear is “irrational” but continue to experience it regardless of this knowledge.
It is important to understand, therefore, that despite the severity and strength of the negative emotional experience that the Fear of Fish might produce inside you, that it is 100% created by your thinking and not by the external object or environment itself.
This idea is known as ‘constructionism’ and is particularly well understood.
Fear of Fish Symptoms
The symptoms of the Fear of Fish are very similar to other specific phobias and will often include:
- Avoidance of water or waterside locations
- Panic attacks
- Inability to Relax
- Problems Concentrating
- Being quick tempered
- Feelings of dizziness
- Prickly sensations
- Aches & Pains
- Dry and Sticky mouth
- Sweating Excessively
- Migraines and Headaches
Ichthyophobia Symptoms are generally automatic and uncontrollable and can seem to take over a person’s thoughts which frequently leads to extreme measures being taken to avoid the feared object or situation, what are known as “Safety” or “Avoidance” behaviours.
Unfortunately, for the sufferer, these safety behaviours have a paradoxical effect and actually reinforce the Fear of Fish rather than solve it!
Your Fear of Fish may be the result of negative experiences that can be either directly or indirectly linked to the object or situational fear.
Over time, these symptoms can become “normalised” and “accepted” as limiting beliefs in that person’s life – “you have learnt to live with it.”
In just as many cases, Ichthyophobia may have become worse over time as more and more sophisticated avoidance behaviours and routines are developed.
The good news is that the vast majority of people who suffer with a Fear of Fish will find that a course of Psychological Therapy will help enormously by helping to change the fundamental thinking contributing to the problem in the first place!
Psychological Therapy for the Fear of Fish
Tranceform Psychology can offer a range of different psychological therapy solutions for the Fear of Fish which you can read about below.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for the Fear of Fish
If you’re committed to overcoming the Fear of Fish then we highly recommend following our Tranceformental CBT 10 session programme.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic psychological therapy course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
The programme is also available as an online self-help CBT programme.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Alternative Therapies for the Fear of Fish
Although our preferred form of mental health counselling for the Fear of Fish is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
Free Initial Consultations for the Fear of Fish
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss your Fear of Fish prior to commencing any treatment plans.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various therapy options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.
At Tranceform Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss any therapy treatments BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Overcome the Fear of Fish with Our Online Self-Help CBT Programme – Only £99!
Self-help CBT has been shown to be highly effective for anxiety-related problems such as the Fear of Fish and can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.
Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, our Online Self-Help CBT course will teach you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience your problems without having to visit a therapist.
Click Self-Help CBT for the Fear of Fish to find out more.