Anxiety is rapidly on the rise in the UK, 74% of people feel so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope (Mental Health Foundation and YouGov, 2023). Often anxiety spills over into a phobia which develops as a result of already being in a heightened state of stress and then having a panic attack when driving/flying/in a theatre etc, usually feeling out of control/trapped/overwhelmed. This can then lead us to avoiding the place in which we experienced panic and so a phobia develops.
As an integrative therapist I am always working to ensure the right tools are used for the right person. Having a toolkit of interventions is essential when working with a wide range of issues that may present differently from client to client especially with anxiety and anxiety disorders. So, while there may be some commonalities for example avoidance in phobias, it is useful to have a varied choice of interventions to use accordingly.
The stretch zone is a brilliant tool that helps me to help anyone suffering from anxiety induced phobias with gradual habituation or exposure desensitization. The stretch zone is the space between comfort and panic. So you can take small steps forward rather than a giant leap. The stretch zone is where you can make progress towards your goals without being consumed by anxiety. Its where the magic happens!