Fear of Bacteria – Bacteriophobia
The Fear of Bacteria has become much more pronounced since the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 and has led to lots of people worrying about catching the virus (bacteria and viruses are often perceived of as being the same ‘thing’).
All phobias, regardless of what the feared object or circumstances are, produce real feelings of Anxiety and Stress for the sufferer, and the Fear of Bacteria 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 the Fear of Bacteria knows only too well that the anxious feelings and panic attacks that they experience are real enough.
We completely understand this here at Tranceform Psychology and will treat you and your Fear of Bacteria seriously.
For many years Psychologists have been aware that our minds are more than capable of producing a real biological reaction to any given situation and so as long as the Fear of Bacteria sufferer “believes” that the object or situation they fear represents danger to them, then they will experience real fear.
This fact highlights the significance that our ‘core beliefs’ have on the way that we experience things because the ‘meanings’ that we attribute to our experiences creates the conditions for how our bodies respond.
Most people suffering from the Fear of Bacteria 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!
Fear of Bacteria Symptoms
The symptoms of the Fear of Bacteria 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
The Fear of Bacteria 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!
The Fear of Bacteria 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, the Fear of Bacteria 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, the Fear of Bacteria 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 majority of people who suffer from the Fear of Bacteria will find a course of psychological therapy helps enormously.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for the Fear of Bacteria
If you’re determined to overcome your Fear of Bacteria then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul which is available as an Online Therapy as well as a self-directed 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 Therapies for the Fear of Bacteria
Although our preferred form of psychological therapy for the Fear of Bacteria 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 the Fear of Bacteria
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss your the Fear of Bacteria prior to commencing any treatment plans.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various psychological 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 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.