Is fear of the dark rational

Koko suffers from nyctophobia, the fear of the dark

In order to get her fear of the dark under control, Koko doesn't have to know the cause, says the two psychologists. "The technique for processing fears is very simple," explains Spieshöfer. “A feeling wants to be felt and I feel a feeling through the body. I can't think of feelings. When I let in a feeling, I feel a tingling sensation or a heaviness or it gets cold, et cetera. When the fear arises, I have to say 'yes' to her and not 'no, I don't want to feel you'. We often think that we are already allowing and feeling the feelings, but we're just about to do so. And that's what makes it so bad and exhausting for us. "

What sounds abstract means in practice that the patient is artificially guided into the fearful situation in a protected setting, i.e. purely through his imagination, consciously senses into it and learns to endure it. As a result, something occurs that Schliewenz calls 'habituation': “It's not about fighting fear, but making it manageable.” Spieshöfer adds: “The technology does not rely on confrontation and also not on desensitization. It means more to integrate feelings. ”She thinks little of coconut affirmations, since the mantra-like proposition of sentences like“ I'm safe in my bed ”denies fear.

She doesn't know yet whether Koko will look for a therapist at some point. Your shame is just too great. "I hinted at it to my mother once, but she ridiculed it." Most of all, Koko is burdened by the fact that she cannot travel alone because of her nyctophobia: "I would really like to do that." they always fear the sleeping situation. “Fear makes me dependent.” But at home in your flat share in Berlin, these worries are far away - provided that your roommates are there. "Living alone," says Koko, "would be my worst nightmare."