Personal Narrative: My Fear Of Cats

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Cat, either you love it or hate it. I, happen to be one of those people that hate it. Living in Malaysia makes it very hard to avoid cats, as they are everywhere. On the streets, in restaurants, schools- you name it, they are always there. According to Ciccarelli and White (2013), my fear of cats is abnormal as it causes me to have significant discomfort and experiencing panic when I am facing a cat. Cat. Just the word alone sends chill to my spine. I could hear my own heart pouncing and racing when I think about cats. The way the visible spine of its body moves with its tail when it walks or when it stretches is my greatest nightmare. There will be goosebumps on my arm and leg whenever I see a picture of cat. My hands will be sweating when …show more content…
In a carefully controlled situation, my therapist would introduce me to different encounters with cats. However, the exposure therapy can be in various forms such as in vivo, in imaginal, and in virtual (Schumacher et al., 2015). My therapist can start of the exposure therapy in imaginal form where I am asked to picture myself petting a cat, gradually transition to virtual form where I may be experience petting a cat through the virtual reality (VR) technology, and lastly in vivo form, I have to pet an actual cat. This method may seem similar to systematic desensitization as it begins from the least feared to the most feared, however, exposure can be also intense and instant (Schumacher et al., 2015). The intense and rapid exposure is called flooding where my therapist would put me in my most feared situation, which is petting a cat or being in a room full of cats. Since there is a chance I may be traumatize, the flooding process will be under a very controlled environment (Ciccarelli &White, 2013). My therapist will also determine whether I could handle the stress before determining the flooding environment. According to Ciccarelli and White (2013), when I am under the flooding process, there will be no chance of escaping or avoiding which produces the extinction of the conditioned fear response which is running away from the

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