Affect phobia therapy

About affect phobia therapy

A phobia is often associated with an excessive fear of things like spiders, heights, enclosed spaces, or public speaking. But a phobia can also manifest itself in a different way. For example, if you fear sadness, you may avoid feelings of sadness and become very angry instead. Or instead of comforting someone in grief, you make a joke or tell them to stop crying.

What is affect phobia?

Dealing with your feelings should actually be the most natural thing in the world. We all have feelings, such as joy, enthusiasm, sadness, excitement, fear or loneliness. Still many people find it difficult to show their emotions openly.

An affect phobia is an excessive fear of (certain) feelings and emotions in yourself or others. It usually involves feelings that are experienced as negative or unpleasant or that you think may frighten others, such as anger, shame, sadness, jealousy or despair. You are afraid to allow these feelings and try to suppress them.

You will probably avoid situations that evoke or could evoke these feelings. This can limit your life considerably, it is at the expense of your freedom to do what you want to do.

You are afraid (if you allow and show unpleasant or negative feelings) that you may be perceived as weak, hysterical, uncontrolled, or excessive. Or that you are a burden to others if you show your sadness, for example. Some common characteristics of affect phobia are:

You are afraid (if you allow and show unpleasant or negative feelings) that you will be perceived as weak, hysterical, uncontrolled or exaggerated. Or that you are a burden to others if, for example, you express your sadness. Some common symptoms of affect phobia are:

  • feelings of guilt about anger;
  • shame to cry;
  • avoid others you find extremely emotional;
  • you find it difficult to sense the emotions of others and to respond appropriately.

You can suppress feelings, but they don’t go away! And it takes a lot of attention and effort. Suppressing feelings can therefore be accompanied by physical problems such as inner restlessness, stomach pain, headache, muscle tension or dizziness. And you can also feel lethargic, tired or gloomy.

In the long run, suppressed feelings can negatively affect your self-esteem, your relationships, your environment and the experience of happiness. That is why it is important that you learn to understand them, consciously allow them and take them into account.

What is affect phobia therapy

Fortunately, it is possible to learn to deal with your emotions and feelings in a different way. During the therapy we will examine which feelings are difficult for you, what is the cause of a (possible) blockade, how avoidance behavior can be broken and how we can help you deal with these feelings.

A gradual exposure to the feared feelings (exposure) can be part of the therapy. This builds trust, which after a while helps you control your feelings and the fear of your feelings.

A possible blockage can arise during your childhood at home, a bad experience at school or maybe you are quiet and introverted, which also makes it more difficult for you to express your feelings.

Feelings of suppression prevent you from enjoying life to the fullest.If you succeed to find a way to deal better with negative feelings, you will also be able to experience positive feelings such as joy, gratitude, and contentment more intensely and express them more freely.

Contact Psychologen Amsterdam

Do you need help or do you just have a question about affect phobia therapy? Then call for an appointment or send a message to Psychologen Amsterdam.

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Our specialists in the field of Affect phobia therapy

Josien-Schuurmans
Sjaña Holloway
Kitty Kamphuis

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What do we offer?

A safe and trusted place for therapy in Amsterdam

A warm welcome from our founder Anouk Taytelbaum.
We are here to help you.

What do we offer?

A safe and trusted place for therapy in Amsterdam

A warm welcome from our founder Anouk Taytelbaum.
We are here to help you.

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What do you have to pay?

No waiting list

We offer direct availability

Blended Care

Our effective eHealth approach!

System therapy:
relationship and family therapy

Anger & misunderstanding? Sometimes you are so stuck in negative patterns that you can’t work it out together anymore

Insurance cover

What do you have to pay?

No waiting list

We offer direct availability

Blended Care

Our effective eHealth approach!

Are you here for the first time?

We show you step by step how we work

System therapy:
relationship and family therapy

Anger & misunderstanding? Sometimes you are so stuck in negative patterns that you can’t work it out together anymore

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Our healthcare professionals are trained in Hollands most respected counselling institutions with years of experience in the GGZ, private and charitable sectors in and around Amsterdam. In addition, they are continuously trained and retrained, which is also an obligation to keep their registrations and memberships with various professional associations.

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