Cynophobia – Fear of Dogs
Cynophobia is the fear of dogs and is quite a common phobia.
In the vast majority of cases Cynophobia will have been created by a negative experience with a dog at a young age, particularly as dogs are prone to bark unexpectedly and at seemingly innocuous events.
Some people find that it is specific breeds of dog that they fear rather than fearing all dogs. Horrific media stories about vicious dog attacks may also contribute to a general sense of unease around dogs.
All phobias, regardless of what the feared object or circumstances are, produce real feelings of Anxiety and Stress for the sufferer, and Cynophobia is no different in this sense.
Whilst the feared object or situation may seem, to other people, to be ‘ridiculous’ or ‘silly’, the person who suffers from Cynophobia knows only too well that the anxious feelings and panic attacks that they experience are real enough.
We completely understand this and will treat you and your Cynophobia seriously.
It is now widely accepted that our minds are more than capable of producing a real biological reaction to any given situation and so as long as the Cynophobia sufferer “believes” that the object or situation they fear represents danger to them, then they will experience real fear.
Much of the work we do in helping people overcome phobias like Cynophobia focuses on the evaluation and modifications of a person’s core beliefs and values so that exposure to the phobic trigger can be ‘evaluated’ differently and given new and more useful ‘meanings’ – what is known as ‘adaptive coping’.
Most people suffering from Cynophobia do recognise that their phobia is “irrational” but continue to experience it regardless of this knowledge. This is why simply being told to “snap out of it” rarely produces a good outcome!
The symptoms of Cynophobia are very similar to other specific phobias and will often include:
- Anger problems
- Generalised Anxiety
- Social anxiety
- Control issues
- Feelings of depression
- Insomnia & sleeping problems
- Low Self-Esteem
- Low Self-Confidence
- Panic attacks
- Overthinking things
- Avoidance and safety behaviours
Cynophobia symptoms tend to be 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” type behaviours.
Unfortunately, for the sufferer, these safety behaviours have a paradoxical effect and actually reinforce the phobia rather than solving it!
Cynophobia may be the result of negative emotional experiences that can be directly (or indirectly) linked to the object or situational fear but this is not always the case because phobias can also be assimilated (or learned) in the earlier stages of life if parents, family members or other influential people in a person’s life exhibit the phobia.
Over time, Cynophobia symptoms may become “normalised” and “accepted” as limiting beliefs in that person’s life – in these cases, sufferers may not seek help for their problem for many years as they learn to ‘accept’ it.
In just as many cases, however, Cynophobia may become much more pervasive and start to get in the way of normal living. This is particularly true if the safety and avoidance behaviours have grown in frequency and sophistication.
The good news is that the vast majority of people who suffer from Cynophobia will find a course of psychological therapy helps enormously.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Cynophobia
If you’re committed to overcoming your Cynophobia problems then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul which is available as an Online Therapy as well as a self-help CBT programme.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic psychotherapy 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.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an empirically supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Alternative Therapy Options for Cynophobia
Although our preferred form of psychotherapy for Cynophobia is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
- Psychodynamic therapy which focuses more on emotional problems and relies on the Therapeutic Relationship to bring about change. Available with Paul.
- 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.
- Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.
Free Initial Consultations for Cynophobia
We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your Cynophobia prior to commencing any treatment plans.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various 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 our change programmes 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 Your Problems with our CBT Course
Our 10 session course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is clinically proven to be effective across a range of different psychological problems.
Using an online learning platform, it is available with 2, 5 or 10 sessions of clinical support either face-to-face in the Wombourne offices, or using Zoom video facilities.
It can also be taken as a self help CBT course that will teach you the fundamental tools and techniques used throughout the mental health profession.