SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Backpacker Magazine – September 2008

Never Fear: The Fix

Conquer any fear with this DIY guide to applying a proven treatment plan called cognitive- behavioral therapy. Think of it as training for the mind.

by: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Photo illustration by Stephen Beneski
Photo illustration by Stephen Beneski

In the Field

Learning is essential, but it’s not enough. “You can’t read yourself out of a phobia,” says Page Anderson, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Georgia. When you come into contact with your feared object over and over, and no catastrophes ensue, your brain will get used to it—and your body will stop reacting with panic.

  • Build a hierarchy Make a list of situations and rate how much each scares you on a scale of 1 to 100. Put them in ascending order from least to most frightening. See this sample fear hierarchy for grizzly bears:

1. Looking at pictures of bears (10)
2. Watching videos of calm bears in a natural setting (15)
3. Watching videos of aggressive, growling bears (20)
4. Imagining encountering a bear on the trail (35)
5. Seeing a bear at the zoo (40)
6. Standing close to a bear at the zoo (50)
7. Driving around Yellowstone National Park (70)
8. Watching a bear in the park from the car (75)
9. Dayhiking with a group in Yellowstone (85)
10. Dayhiking alone in Yellowstone (95)
11. Camping in a Yellowstone frontcountry campground (98)
12. Camping in the Yellowstone backcountry (100)

  • Work up the ladder Starting with the least-scary item on your list, put yourself in each of the situations and—this is key—stick with it until your anxiety fades. “Allow the fear to come and pass,” says Todd Farchione, assistant research professor at the Boston University Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Repeat each step as necessary before moving. An experienced friend or guide can help.


Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Blood in the streets of DC
Posted On: Jul 30, 2014
Submitted By: george of the j
Trailhead Register
TR: Cook Forest, Pennsylvania (7/27/14)
Posted On: Jul 30, 2014
Submitted By: Adirondackiteer

Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

>
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions