Blog — Phobias

The Cicadas are Coming! Interview with Laurie Tarkan, New York Times

the_exploratorium / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

For the cicadas, it's the summer of love, for those with bug phobia, not so much-- it's more like the summer of dread, fear, disgust and even canceling all outdoor plans and locking the doors and windows up tight. As with any fear, the more we avoid, our imagination takes over and the worse the fear gets.

How do we take charge of our fears? By getting accurate information and controlling what we can: we can't control the bugs, but we can control our reaction to the bugs. Are they disgusting awful creatures? Or just one more part of nature (albeit a creepy crawly part)? See the difference? I had the pleasure of talking to New York Time's writer, Laurie Tarkan about how to manage entomophobia (the technical term). Click here to read this great piece.

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What to do when you're afraid of throwing up

throw up fear

Happy new year, readers! This may seem a strange way to start off the year, but this is an opportunity for change, and for millions of Emetophobia sufferers, they'd love to not bring their disabling fear of throwing up into the new year. Maybe you know someone like this-- or you are someone like this! Here are many ideas for understanding how this phobia works, how to take charge of it, maybe even have some fun with it, and importantly, how to overcome it.

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Rethinking the Path to Empathy: When it's Hard to Connect, Step into Your Own Shoes First

EmpathyWhat is the path to empathy? We have all been urged (or at times, chided) to "step into someone else's shoes," But just as we might strain to comprehend the extent of the physical pain someone is experiencing when they look so normal, so like us on the outside, we can strain to fathom the extent of emotional distress others endure in the absence--to us-- of a good enough cause. In other words, try as we might, someone else's shoes just might not fit. That's OK. We don't have to understand what someone else is feeling, we just have to want to. Instead of doing the far stretch into someone else's shoes, as fellow human beings we all understand suffering-- whether from anxiety, or loss, or pain, so we can step into our own shoes, flip through our own feelings of vulnerability and find a "good enough" empathic match. Here are some ideas to run with (in your empathy shoes!). Here's to less worry and more empathy all around.

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