Danni has a fear of sharks and it is stopping her from being able to enjoy the sea with her daughter Grace. She has been unable to swim in deep water after an incident 34 years ago when her brother pretended to be a shark when she was a child. The Speakmans are here on ITV and now they can take a look and have a listen in order to help.
Danni states that she is afraid of sharks in every situation. She cannot even see a picture of a shark without feeling her heartbeat rise. I know that many people commented on twitter and facebook during this program that this seems extreme but this is often common with phobias. I have encountered many people who have a phobia of spiders and snakes which means they too would not like to see a picture of them. I even know of one hypnotherapist who has pictures of spiders to help with spider phobia testing on their website.
As we have seen before, the Speakmans get the family together for a group session in order to help this fear. They speak with Danni, Grace and her mother Mary. In all the people I have seen with phobias, and amongst the therapists I have spoken to there is no precedent for having a family counselling session in order to deal with a phobia successfully. Of course when you are making a television programme it will look more interesting when you get a family group together and shoot pictures of them crying and being emotional.
Most clients who see me for a phobia find it so much easier than they imagine. There is no need to expose them to the thing that they are worried about in order to help them let go of the fear and move forward.
Galeophobia, or the fear of sharks, is not something that you would ususally treat by taking your client to the seaside for a paddle in a harbour in the UK. We are fast approaching the point where the therapy is turning into something that could alienate those worried about a fear of phobia.
You can read all about fears and phobias and how they happen and how to overcome them here..
This time her daughter was not present but did send a video message which brought the tears required for daytime television. We found out that the fear came in part from her experience with her brother and partly was learnt from her mother. This is also quite common. We do need to be aware of the example that we set our children. Most spider phobia sufferers have found that this came from a parent for example. The good news about this is that it is something you learned and this means you can unlearn it too!
There was a lot of laughter in this programme. Sometimes it is hard to see the difference between nervous laughter and that of someone who is not quite as bad as they say but appearing on television. I am sure that we are just not seeing everything.
The treatment on the beach
This time the Speakmans opted to treat their client on a beach. It did look similar to the place they took her earlier before the family group mediation meeting. I am sure that these took place at different times although it did look like we were seeing something filmed out of sequence because of television constraints.
The film Jaws seems to have had quite an effect on Danni. Hollywood may have a lot to anser for!
If you would like help with any fear or phobia then you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07980 233160
No one needs to live with a fear or phobia ,you can let go. Just ask for help