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Flashcards in Specific Phobias Deck (18):

By what is specific phobia characterised?

Marked and persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable, cued by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation. This fear must lead to avoidance which interferes significantly with the person's life.


In specific phobia, what is the person's opinion of their fear?

They recognise that it is extreme or unreasonable.


What is the prevalence of specific phobia?

Lifetime = 11-12%; around 60% of population experience 'phobic' symptoms at some point in their lives.


What principles are applied when working with phobias?

Habituation and extinction.


What is habituation?

The reduction in anxiety with repeated stimulus presentations.


What is extinction?

The pairing of a fearful stimulus with a non-fearful stimulus to produce a different response.


When assessing specific phobias, what needs to be examined?

The severity and impact on daily living.
Identify specific thoughts, feelings and behaviours associated with the phobia.
Patterns of avoidance/safety seeking behaviours.
Maladaptive and adaptive coping strategies.
Develop a list of feared situations/objects to allow for graded exposure.
Is there another anxiety disorder present?
Describe a recent event.


What are the goals of assessment in specific phobias?

The identify patterns of behaviour, including mal/adaptive coping strategies, avoidance and reassurance seeking.


What are the key cognitions defined by Beck (1985) in anxiety?

Overestimation of the probability of harm occuring
Overestimation of the extent of harm which will occur
Underestimation of personal coping resources
Underestimation of external rescue factors


What are the four maintaining factors in specific phobia?

Anxious predictions
Physiological arounsal
Safety behaviours


Who identified the Key Cognitions in Specific Phobias?

Beck (1985)


What needs to be asked when assessing for Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia?

Fear and avoidance around blood from a minor cut, an injection, having blood taken
Both experiencing and witnessing these
What will happen in these situations?
What are the somatic symptoms?


What are the somatic symptoms to be aware of in BII phobia?

dizziness, light-headedness, feeling faint, sweating, fainting/almost fainting


What do Kirk and Rouf (2004) identify as distinctive difficulties of working with specific phobia?

1. Acknowledging the fear
2. Grading
3. Secondary cognitions
4. Dealing with very high anxiety
5. Avoidance of affect
6. Subtle safety behaviours
7. Interpersonal maintaining factors
8. Co-morbidity
9. Generalisation


According to Kirk and Rouf (2004), what is the difference between grading and behavioural experiments?

Behavioural experiments are designed to test idiosyncratic beliefs rather than facilitate habituation. For this reason, behavioural experiments can be much less gradual than graded exposure.


According to Kirk and Rouf (2004), what is the difficulty of secondary cognitions?

Not only do people have phobic beliefs, they may also have beliefs about what it means that they are phobic of this situation - these may include embarrassment, loss of confidence and low self-esteem


What can be helpful to eliminate subtle safety behaviours?

Metaphors and stories


What, according to Kirk and Rouf (2004), might indicate that the phobia performs some kind of function?

Blocks in therapy