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PSYCHODYNAMICS OF PHOBIAS

Phobias are a very effective way that our mind uses to get rid of the inner anguish we feel, so phobias are a creation, a symptom where there is a displacement of an internal anguish towards another representation outside our psyche that would be the phobic object. Angst is always behind those fears we project on concrete objects or situations, they are memories of primitive fears.

The anguish is present by a dreaded repetition of something that could not be processed at the time, a tension that could not be discharged in an immature psyche, a drive that tries to express itself and from which we try to escape.

The phobia is therefore a defensive formation that transmutes the anguish in fear of one or several objects or situations, arises in critical moments of existence, updating the risk of primitive anguish and abandonment, that is to say when the narcissistic foundations are put into play. Once a phobia has been established, the main defenses against it are repression and avoidance of the feared object, this establishes a closed loop, making it impossible without treatment to find an exit due to fear increasing over time, the discomfort can be so intense that it can incapacitate the person for daily life.

In order to be able to solve phobias totally, first in therapy we must identify and connect with the primordial anguish that lives behind the phobic fear, after trying to tolerate increasingly longer periods of exposure of what we feel as threatening, this allows us to become progressively habituated to the anguish without triggering the automatic avoidance or escape response that is what keeps the phobia active. Free ourselves from phobias totally if that is possible with the right therapy that will teach us to own all our emotional state.