For most people, driving phobia therapy is unnecessary. Driving is just an everyday activity that they take for granted. Sure, it can be frustrating, annoying, even boring. But, most do it without a second thought. Driving disappears completely unconsciously into their day-to-day life . These people don’t need driving phobia therapy.
And then, there’s the rest of us.
What Exactly Is Driving Phobia, Anyway?
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that’s marked by a persistent, irrational fear of an object or situation. Someone with a phobia will generally go to great lengths to avoid the thing that triggers their fear, and their fear is often disproportionate to the actual danger posed by the thing in question. Also, most people with phobias know their fear is irrational, but that does little or nothing to allay it.
So, then, driving phobia is an irrational fear of driving that’s often specific to certain aspects of driving. For example, many people have anxiety driving on highways, and will go to insane lengths to avoid them. This makes life very difficult if, as many people do, you happen to live in a big city.
Most mental health professionals agree that driving phobia is actually a type of agoraphobia, which comes down to the fear of being trapped.
How Different Types of Driving Phobia Therapy Work
Different kinds of driving phobia therapy work on decreasing feelings of being trapped while driving using several different techniques:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) — CBT has proven one of the most effective types of driving phobia therapy. It helps with driving phobia by working to change old behavior patterns and by correcting distorted thinking surrounding the perceived dangers of driving vs the actual dangers.
- Hypnotherapy — Hypnosis works by allowing your unconscious mind to participate in the healing process. Phobias almost always have a strong subconscious component, and hypnotherapy gets at and releases those unconscious fears, which helps you drive from a calmer, more rational perspective. It’s particularly useful for releasing old traumas, like anxiety after a car accident.
- Exposure therapy — This type of driving phobia therapy helps you get over your fear of driving by confronting it head on. Let’s say you have a phobia of driving long distances away from home. Exposure therapy would have you drive a little further from home each day, gradually building up your tolerance. Eventually, you’d be able to drive long distances from your home without fear.
Living with driving phobia can place severe limitations on your life. Fortunately, our understanding of how to treat phobias has advanced tremendously in the last 20 to 30 years. Effective driving phobia therapy treatments that really work are now readily available to anyone who needs them. All you have to do is reach out and grab them.