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Dog Phobia Gone in 30 Minutes

The last time I worked with a young person (12 y/o) with a dog phobia, I was approached by the mother at a public event in which I was setting up a booth. When she asked if I handled phobias, I asked if she had a doctor's referral as phobias are the domain of psychiatry and psychology. She didn't have a referral. I told her I would work with her no charge, see what we could do. She said it was her daughter. I agreed to interview her daughter, no charge.

The interview was easy. I sat across from the daughter and placed a hand lightly on each of her knees.

"Tell me about your problem with dogs."

She started with a story about how her grandmother's little dog had bit her on the lip and hung there growling. I pressed on one of the knees lightly to set a negative anchor as she hit the part of the story about the dog growling while hanging on her lip. The mother didn't know that had happened, and expressed surprised at the daughter's recollection of something that the daughter claimed occurred around the age of four.

I released the pressure on the knee, and asked, "Did you bleed?" She responded, "Yes." "Did you die?" She looked at me in what appeared to be astonishment, "No." I placed slight pressure on the opposite knee to set a positive anchor, "So you survived all that." "Yes." I released the slight pressure and reframed the incident something like, "What a shame you had such a bad experience with that nasty little dog, and you didn't know enough to keep your face away from such a nasty little biter. You were very young then, and you didn't know how to assess if a dog was friendly or not. You probably thought that dog was as friendly as you, and bent over to say hello. You've learned a lot about life since then, haven't you?" She brightened up; I put a slight pressure on the positive anchor, "Yes." I released the slight pressure on the positive anchor site.

"Do you have any other incidents like this?" "Yes."

She told another story about being assaulted by a dog, she was playing in the water with her brother, and a golden retriever ran into the water. She was scared and ran away, it ran after her, jumped on her, and scratched her. I pressed the negative anchor slightly, and then released it. Her brother "saved her" by pulling the dog off of her. "Did you bleed?" "Yes." "Did you die?" I placed slight pressure on the positive anchor as she "No," and reframed the situation, "That was a very different dog from the nasty little biter you met when you were young. That dog might have been coming to play in the water, but you didn't know that, and you acted like a cat. You ran and the dog chased you. I wonder what would have happened if you had continued to play like a little girl instead of acting like a cat by running away?" I released the positive anchor.

"Are there any other incidents?" "Yes."

She pulled up her shirt sleeve and showed me multiple scars the size of the tip of my thumb, told me a story about being mauled by a Rottweiler. This was the only dog story her mother knew about. I didn't press the negative anchor on this issue. We already had enough anchoring of the negative. She told me the whole story. I asked, "Did you bleed?" "A lot." "Did you die?" "No, but I had to go to the hospital." "I am so sorry you had an encounter with a big mean dog. Dogs can be just like people, some are mean, and some are nice. Would you like to let go of that worry you have about dogs." "Yes."

I asked her to remember something funny, and when her face was laughing, I pressed on the positive anchor spot and released it.

I asked her to remember something she had done that she was proud of, and when she had that look of satisfaction on her face, I pressed the positive anchor spot, and released it.   Continue to Page 2


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