Fear of Fish – Ichthyophobia
The Fear of Fish is also 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’.
Fear is the emotional experience that we have when we perceive there to be some sort of threat in our immediate location or context, or even that a threat may present itself in the future (anticipatory anxiety) and this is certainly true for somebody who has a fear of Fish.
The important thing to be aware of is that we only need to perceive (believe) that something is a threat in order to trigger the fear reaction and just as importantly, what one person perceives to be a threat may not be regarded as threatening to somebody else.
In other words, the fear of Fish is a highly individual experience based on the subjective belief that Fish represents a threat to that individual.
Many people do not really understand or have a great deal of sympathy for people who suffer with the fear of Fish as it may not be something they personally experience, however, for the person suffering this fear the stress and anxiety that they experience is real and not imagined.
We are fully aware of the subjective nature of individual fears and will treat you and your Fear of Fish seriously when you consult us for help.
Fear of Fish Symptoms
The symptoms associated with the fear of Fish have much in common with other fears and phobias and may 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
Often the symptoms of Ichthyophobia can seem to occur without the object of fear even being present indicating that the fear of Fish has become normalised into everyday life.
This normalisation process often results in the development and use of safety behaviours in an attempt to prevent exposure to triggering events which, paradoxically, may cause the problem to get worse.
In other words, safety behaviours tend to reinforce the fear of Fish rather than diminish it!
Ichthyophobia may be the result of earlier traumatic experiences that can be directly (or indirectly) linked to a specific object or situation, but this is not always the case because fears can also be inherited as learned behaviours from the social context in which a person is brought up.
The good news is that the majority of people who suffer with a fear of Fish will find a course of psychotherapy highly beneficial.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for the Fear of Fish
T-CBT is a clinically proven psychotherapy course that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify any limiting beliefs and unhelpful thinking styles that you might have developed in order to cope, and then provide guidance on how to make changes to your thinking and behaviours to irradicate the problems.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has an excellent track-record with problems based on anxiety and fearful cognitions (thoughts) which are key factors in the fear of Fish.
Alternative Psychotherapies for the Fear of Fish
Although we generally recommend CBT for Ichthyophobia, we also offer alternative psychotherapies for people preferring a different approach.
Counselling which is less formally structured than CBT but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment in which to discuss issues. Talking problems through with a skilled counsellor is often therapeutic in its own right.
Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of psychotherapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.
Free Initial Consultations for the Fear of Fish
We offer all prospective clients FREE initial consultations to discuss your Ichthyophobia problems prior to commencing any psychotherapy programmes.
The consultation and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various solutions that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available online.
We recognise the importance of the therapy relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so it is important to meet (either face-to-face or online) before deciding to follow a course of psychotherapy.
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.