Therapy for Mysophobia the Fear of Germs or Getting ill from Germs
Mysophobia is the Fear of Germs and during 2020 is highly relevant given the situation with the Coronavirus pandemic.
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Although Mysophobia is relatively un-common there is a very common ‘condition’ associated with this particular phobia called Emetophobia, the fear of vomiting or being sick.
Sufferers of emtophobia have a very strong fear of ‘Norovirus’ as this is considered to be THE ‘sickness’ bug.
In this sense Mysophobia sufferers can be extremely anxious and go to great lengths to be ‘clean’ and ‘hygenic’, often washing their hands many, many time in a day.
Whilst the feared object or situation may seem, to other people, to be ‘ridiculous’ or ‘silly’, the person who suffers from Mysophobia knows only too well that the Anxiety that they experience is real enough.
We completely understand this here at TranceForm Psychology and will treat you and your Mysophobia 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 Mysophobia sufferer “believes” that the object or situation they fear represents danger to them, then they will experience real fear.
The majority of people who do suffer with Mysophobia recognise that their fear 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 solution!
The symptoms of Mysophobia are very similar to other specific phobias and will often include:
- Obsessive about cleanliness
- Won’t touch door handles
- Avoid people who are or have been ill
- 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
Mysophobia 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 phobia rather than solve it!
Mysophobia may be the result of negative emotional experiences that can be either directly or indirectly linked to the object or situational fear.
Over time, the symptoms often become “normalised” and “accepted” as limiting beliefs in that person’s life – “I’ve learnt to live with it.”
In just as many cases, Mysophobia may have become worse over time as more and more sophisticated safety behaviours and routines are developed.
The good news is that the vast majority of people who suffer from Mysophobia will find a course of Psychological Therapy helps enormously.
TranceForm Psychology is able to offer a range of different psychological treatments for Mysophobia including both ‘cognitive’ (thinking) based talking therapies as well as therapies based on ’emotional’ content such as EMDR.
We also offer psycho-dynamic approaches to therapy where much more 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 Mysophobia 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 ‘brief’ or ‘directive’ therapies and tend to focus on the thinking that is occurring ‘now’ rather than as the result of a ‘past experience’.
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 are fundamentally different to the cognitive approaches as they consider that events and influences experienced in the earlier formative lives of the person can cause, or at least “pre-dispose”, a person to suffer in a specific way in later life.
The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to help a person to explore, understand and resolve these causative issues following the doctrine of “cause and effect”. In these types of therapy, the relationship between the therapist and client is considered as an important factor in the solution to the problems.
You can read more about Psychodynamic Therapy V Directive Therapy approaches here.
FREE Initial Consultations for Mysophobia
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial assessment to chat about your Mysophobia.
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 believe that therapy should be a collaboration 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 with us, 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.