FEEL

FEEL (fast emotional elaboration and liberation)

A person with a specific phobia has an excessive fear of an object or situation. (DSM-IV).  The object or situation is not dangerous, yet the person usually reacts as if it is. As a result, the affected persons tend to actively avoid direct contact with the objects or situations, and in severe cases, any mention or depiction of them.

A person who encounters that of which they are phobic will often show signs of fear or express discomfort. In some cases it can result in a panic attack. In most adult cases, this kind of phobia is consciously recognized by the person; still, anxiety and avoidance are difficult to control and may significantly impair the person's functioning and even physical health.

Specific phobias often begin during childhood or adolescence, and continue into adulthood. Specific phobias are common. The prevalence rates of specific phobia in community samples range from 4% to 8%. Over the course of a lifetime, the prevalence estimates in community samples range from 7.2% to 11.3%.

If specific phobias exist in adolescence, they have a greater chance of persisting in early adulthood. Specific phobias that continue into adulthood generally become chronic if they are not treated. Furthermore, there is a greater chance for an individual diagnosed with specific phobia to develop new phobias as a young adult. The specific phobia triggers a lot of distress or significantly impairs an affected individual. Therefore early detection and treatment, even mild cases of specific phobia, is a key to prevent the development of full-blown cases of the disorder and further psychological or physical complications.

The FEEL method assumes that the cause of the specific phobia rely on specific traumatic experiences from the past that continue to govern a person's responses in the present. These experiences can be large traumas that resulted in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition characterized by, sleeplessness, anxiety, and phobias, or they can be smaller traumas that have a less dramatic but still negative impact on personality and behavior. Every traumatic event has a learning process. To complete the process one should pass through four phases similar to the digestion process. These four phases are: digestion, absorption, metabolism and assimilation.   When distress is experienced, it can become locked in the information associated system with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. The person ends up feeling "stuck" emotionally, preventing learning from taking place. The information associated system is the memory network which involves a specific part of the body tangled in that specific experience. This event is characterized by producing an electromagnetic activity very specific to that experience which activates a specific part of the brain, a specific organ or area in the physical body which is connected to the specific energy network known by traditional Chinese medicine as a meridian. This memory network between psyche, brain, body and electromagnetic field energy is known as a psychoneurosomatoenergetic short-circuit. Thoughts, images, emotions, and sensations, related to the trauma which is linked in this short circuit are considered as conditioned stimuli.

Repeated experiences through nightmares and flashbacks, or even harmless stimuli that were present at the moment of the trauma, reinforces the somatic reactions and the psychic construction, is established and the trauma is stored.

The psychoneurosomatoenergetic short-circuit memory network could be triggered over and over again, and the person ends up feeling "stuck" emotionally, preventing learning from taking place. The defense mechanisms work by distorting the trauma into acceptable forms, or by unconscious blockage so the real cause of the traumatic terror is stored in implicit memory and may be set off by a conditioned stimulus linked to a previous danger situation and mostly the conditioned stimulus transforms in the object of phobia. Activation of a part of this short circuit by any conditioned stimulus could activate all the memory network emerging as thoughts, images, emotions, and sensations, related to the trauma.

The development of a specific phobia and the time of its appearance may be influenced by a variety of factors:. family background, genetic predisposition, variations in socio-cultural aspects and stress.

The aim of FEEL therapy is to open this short circuit and to complete the learning process of the past trauma.

Therapy

Specific phobias are most effectively treated by psychological rather than biological treatments. The primary goal of most treatments of specific phobias is to reduce fear (not to free), phobic avoidance, impairment, and distress. Approximately 12%–30% seek treatment for specific phobias.


Integrative approach

Like psychoanalysis, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy uses the basic assumption that feelings held in the unconscious mind are often too painful to be faced. Thus we come up with defenses to protect ourselves from  knowing about these painful feelings.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is insight-oriented therapy is a psychodynamic therapy that aims to expose and reduce clients' unconscious conflicts, increase clients' understanding of their underlying thoughts, and assist them to gain conscious control over their psychological conflicts. Once they are aware of what is really going on in there mind, the feelings will not be as painful. Psychodynamic psychotherapy involves a great deal of introspection and reflection from the client. Usually this level of insight depends on the client's ability to dive into their past, to bring to the surface their true feelings,  so that they can experience them and understand them; to be so they must possess enough resilience and ego-strength to deal with/use the onslaught of feeling a new perspective brings. But these individuals often come from confusing, manipulative, dishonest, or even violent families in childhood making their task difficult to acheive. So this method requires considerable time, money, and effort to touch feelings from the past without knowing the real cause of these feeling.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy may be effective to decrease anxiety related to their exposure exercises. Research indicates that cognitive therapy alone is probably not an effective treatment for specific phobia, therefore it should be associated with other treatments . 

Several studies indicate that real-life (in vivo) desensitization or exposure is considered to be effective and long-lasting treatment for a broad range of specific phobias. Systematic desensitization includes a process by which individuals unlearn the association between the phobic stimulus and anxiety. Incremental exposure involves the patient's gradual facing of the phobic stimulus through a series of graded steps. Wolpe's imagery desensitization is suggested so that patients with specific phobias can face the fear in imagery prior to attempting in vivo exposure. But with this method there is a reduction of the anxiety reaction and not resolution of the problem. Therefore other studies suggested the combination between Cognitive-behavioral therapy and desensitization therapy. For such an approach, a patient needs to be highly motivated because the treatment may lead to temporary discomfort. The primary reasons for poor compliance with cognitive-behavioral treatment include lack of time, anxiety, and low motivation.

FEEL therapy works to discover the real cause of the phobia, elaborate it to facilitate the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and bring these traumatic memories to a positive resolution in order to release the emotion blockages. In this way the psychoneurosomatoenergetic short-circuit is open and its blocked energy is viable to the learning process and the experience is stored with appropriate emotions, able to appropriately guide the person in the future for personal self realization and relief of accompanying physiological arousal.

FEEL therapy combines Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, EMDR and TFT in one short therapy session.