Fear of dogs (Cynophobia) treatment

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Fear of dogs (Cynophobia)

Cynophobia is the irrational fear of dogs. The difference between the normal fear of dogs many ordinary people have and Cynophobia is that the person suffering from Cynophobia will do his best to avoid approaching or passing by a dog to the extent that he may stay at home to avoid his neighbour’s dog.

A phobia is an irrational fear of something that has no real harm (like fear of darkness or fear of spiders) The problem with Cynophobia is that there is a possibility (even if a very little one) that the dog may actually attack the person and that’s why the person may be convinced that there is a real possibility for harm.

what causes Cynophobia?

Usually the cause for any phobia is a traumatic experience associated with the feared object. In the case of Cynophobia being chased by a dog when you were a kid may have resulted in acquiring Cynophobia.

Cynophobia treatment

The following methods can be helpful in treating Cynophobia:

  • Cognitive behaviour therapy : Cognitive behavior therapy will help you change the way you think of dogs which could result in feeling less fear towards them. Cognitive behavior therapy is based on the fact that thoughts trigger the emotions and then the emotions trigger the unwanted behavior. By controlling the first thing which is thoughts we can control the emotions (fear of dogs) and in turn the behavior (avoiding dogs)
  • Using hypnosis to change your irrational beliefs about dogs: usually people with Cynophobia have got a strong belief that the dog is going to attack them at any moment or that dogs are harmful creatures. By using hypnosis you can install new beliefs about dogs in your mind or remove those irrational ones.
  • using NLP: NLP can be used to treat Cynophobia. If you fear dogs then most probably you have incorrect mental image in your mind about them. This image may be picturing the dog as a wild creature that has big teeth. By using NLP you can change the false image of the dog in your mind to something more realistic and so your irrational fears will ease.
  • Desensitization : Desensitization Is a method of therapy involving gradual exposure to the thing you fear until you become able to feel relaxed around it. When this happens the therapist will take you a step further by allowing you to stay closer to the feared object until Manage to feel relaxed around it once again. Whenever you succeed in conquering a certain level of fear the therapist takes you a step further until you feel completely relaxed around the feared object

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More info about cognitive behavior therapy

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Learning NLP

Systematic desensitization

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