Fears limiting daily life
All mammals have a self-conservation mechanism that keeps them away from danger, through disgust, aversion and fear: that’s why we don’t too close to fire, we don’t eat poisonous berries, fruits or animals and we stay away from the edge of a cliff. A phobia is when our body reacts with the same mechanism for harmless stimuli, because in our history they have been associated to the sensation of being in danger.
Therefore, we can develop fears of nearly everything and every situation, even if they may seem unreasonable to many. Sometimes, the stimuli that we are afraid of can be part of daily life (e.g. pigeons, germs, public transport, crows) and so phobias are extremely limiting if untreated. Indeed, when phobic people will try and avoid fearful situations, but by doing so, they will also miss out on the opportunity of correcting their sense of confidence and the ability to cope with such objects and situations.
In these situations, a therapist will help by working in two directions: giving you some strategies to avoid fearful situations less and less and, at the same time, by working on the association of those harmless objects and situations, with the memories of feeling in danger.