Fear of Cats
Fear of Cats and Ailurophobia Counselling in Wolverhampton
The Fear of Cats is Technically Known as Ailurophobia and seems to a very common phobia experienced by people. Experience within the clinic seems to indicate a higher number of females suffer from the fear of cats than males.
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Whilst the feared object or situation may seem, to other people, to be ‘ridiculous’ or ‘silly’, the person who suffers from Ailurophobia 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 Cats 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 Ailurophobia 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 Cats 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 Cats 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.
The symptoms of the Fear of Cats are very similar to other specific phobias and will often include:
- Panic attacks
- Inability to Relax
- Problems Concentrating
- Being quick tempered
- Feelings of dizziness
- Prickly sensations like pins and needles
- Aches & Pains
- Dry and Sticky mouth
- Sweating Excessively
- Migraines and Headaches
Ailurophobia 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 Cats rather than solve it!
Your Fear of Cats 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, Ailurophobia 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 Cats 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!
TranceForm Psychology is able to offer a range of different psychological treatments for your Fear of Cats including both ‘cognitive’ (thinking) based talking therapies as well as therapies based on ’emotional’ content such as EMDR.
If your Fear of Cats has become very ‘pervasive’ then we might suggest a psycho-dynamic approach to therapy where an emphasis is placed on the ‘relationship’ between the therapist and client as the fundamental ‘vehicle’ for change.
Cognitive Therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and the Changing Limiting Beliefs (CLB) Programme tend to regard the symptoms of Ailurophobia as being due to ‘unhelpful thinking styles‘ or patterns of thinking that directly ‘create’ the ‘feelings’ of anxiety and stress when encountering the phobic object or situation. These types of therapy are often referred to as ‘incremental’ therapies and tend to focus on building a set of ‘coping skills’ and mechanisms that are very much focused on the ‘present day’ experience rather than any ‘past traumas’.
This relationship between thinking (cognition) and feelings (behaviour) is the central pillar of these types of therapy and is supported by a substantial body of scientific evidence.
Psycho-Dynamic Therapies such as Psychoanalysis take a different approach to the the incremental therapies as they consider that events and social influences experienced in the earlier formative lives of the person can cause, or at least “pre-dispose”, a person to ‘process events’ in a specific way in later life.
The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to help a person to explore, develop personal insight and resolve these causative issues following the doctrine of “cause and effect”.
You can read more about Psychodynamic Therapy V Directive Therapy approaches here.
FREE Initial Consultations for Fear of Cats
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial assessment to chat about your Fear of Cats.
During this 50 minute consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
At TranceForm Psychology we understand that therapy is a collaborative process between therapist and client so it’s very important to be able to meet PRIOR to agreeing any kind of help.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking therapy for Fear of Cats, including both the financial and personal implications.
For most mental health issues we recommend following our 10 session Tranceformental CBT Programme (an advanced version of empirically established Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to overcome a wide range of mental health and behavioural problems.
CBT is a proven, evidence-based form of therapy for developing a fundamental level of understanding into the dynamics of your problem, but also for learning new coping skills and strategies for sustainable change over your life.
Tranceformental CBT is available On-line as well as a one-to-one format in the clinic.
Visit Online Counselling for more details.
The Changing Limiting Beliefs Programme was a 'state-of-the-art' approach to overcoming mental health problems that is grounded in scientific principles and based on the subjective nature of reality.
Today Tranceform offer a course of evidence-based therapy based on an understanding of core beliefs and values called Tranceformental CBT.