All About Phagophobia, the Fear of Swallowing, & How To Overcome it with CBT Therapy & Counselling in Wolverhampton & West Midlands
What is Phagophobia?
Phagophobia is the Fear of swallowing and is relatively rare.
This phobia is often associated with Emetophobia, the fear of vomiting.
At one point Emetophobia was thought to actually be Phagophobia. This has turned out to be incorrect with the fear of swallowing being much more specifically about ‘ingesting something’ into the body.
All phobias, regardless of what the feared object or circumstances are, produce feelings of anxiety and stress for the sufferer, and Phagophobia 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 Phagophobia knows only too well that the anxious feelings they experience are real enough.
We completely understand this and will treat you and your Phagophobia seriously.
Our minds are more than capable of producing real biological reactions to any given situation and so as long as the Phagophobia sufferer believes that the object or situation they fear represents a threat to them, then they will experience real fear, anxiety and stress.
The symptoms of Phagophobia 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
Phagophobia symptoms tend to be automatic leaving the sufferer feeling like they have little or no control over the way they feel.
This often results in the use of avoidance or safety behaviours in an attempt to prevent exposure to what they consider to be the triggering events.
Unfortunately, safety behaviours tend to produce a paradoxical effect and end up reinforcing the phobia and associated distress rather than making things better.
Phagophobia may be the result of earlier traumatic experiences that can be directly (or indirectly) linked to the object or situational fear, but this is not always the case because phobic responses can also be inherited as learned behaviours from the social context in which they were brought up.
Over time, Phagophobia may have become normalised or accepted as part of a person’s life and where this has been the case, sufferers may not seek help for their problem for many years as they have learnt to live with it.
In just as many cases, however, Phagophobia may become much worse 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 Phagophobia will find a course of psychotherapy helps enormously.
Therapy & Counselling for Phagophobia
You can read more about the different types of psychological therapy for the fear of Gagging or Choking below.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Phagophobia
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 any unhelpful thinking styles or limiting beliefs and then show you how to make changes using methods derived from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Tranceformental CBT programme is a clinically proven approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Alternative Psychological Approaches for Phagophobia
Although our preferred form of psychological therapy for Phagophobia is Tranceformental CBT, we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
Psychodynamic therapy which focuses on understanding why the problem has arisen and relies on the therapy relationship to bring about change. Available with Paul.
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 Phagophobia
We offer all prospective clients FREE initial consultations to discuss your Phagophobia problems prior to commencing any therapy programmes.
The consultation 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 online.
At Tranceform Psychology 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
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is clinically proven to be effective across a range of different mental health problems.
Using our 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.
Areas We Serve
We offer mental health services, therapy & counselling for people living in:
- West Midlands
- South Staffordshire
For those living further afield, we also offer Online Therapy Services using Zoom.