At the conclusion of the project, the patient demonstrated a much-reduced fear of high bridges, indicating that the cognitive/behavioral approach was successful in bringing relief.
For most people, occasional feelings of anxiety, worry or fear are a normal part of life hardwired into the human system as a means of preparing the body for any kind of reaction that might be necessary, the famed fight or flight response. This reaction is even necessary as “being able to anticipate things that might happen allows us to make plans and to consider the possible consequences of choices we make, enabling us to have better lives” (Anxiety Disorders, 2006). Accompanied by physical responses such as increased heart rate, trembling, dry mouth, sweating, nausea or clammy hands, anxiety indicates our body is ready to do whatever it takes to keep us safe from the negative or threatening situation we are anticipating. . Unfortunately for some people, anxiety has become a significant problem as it becomes applied to issues or objects that are unlikely to cause any harm or present any true danger. This irrational fear has come to be known as a phobia and these phobias can sometimes become so severe that they significantly reduce a person’s quality of life and ability to function within normal society.
In determining whether the cognitive/behavioral approach is an appropriate and effective treatment to combat incapacitating fear caused by anxiety, it was determined to use a test subject who suffered from a specific phobia. She experienced significant fear every time it was necessary for her to cross over a high bridge, particularly (but not necessarily only) when she had to cross over water. .