Curing the Fear of Heights:
A Client’s Story in Her Own Words
I was interested in overcoming my fear of heights and tossed around the idea of seeking some type of treatment. My hope was to become able to deal with everyday occurrences, such as looking out the window of the building where I work without feeling as though I would have a panic attack.
One day, I was looking at a friend’s Fun-Ed magazine and thinking about signing up for a few cooking classes when something interesting caught my eye. I found a seminar titled “Transforming Pain into Power” which was to be conducted by Steve Reed. The paragraph describing the class read: “for fears, phobias, traumas, depression, low self-esteem and anxiety.” The description also mentioned utilizing new therapy techniques with a proven success rate. I thought it sounded like the perfect solution and I was ready to try anything. Initially, I was skeptical and it’s not like me to attend a self-improvement seminar, especially with a roomful of strangers. However, I decided I had nothing to lose.
The seminar was extremely informative and I learned quite a bit. I did find some of the things I had heard in the seminar unbelievable, but since there was actual documentation of individual cases and their progress, I felt that I could definitely benefit. I was intrigued by the fact that it was not traditional therapy and that I would not have to spend the next three to five years in therapy to come to terms with my fear of heights. From what I gathered in the class that night, I would actually be able to overcome the fear and not just learn to live with it.
I then called Steve Reed and scheduled an appointment to discuss some of the issues I wanted to work on, in particular, my fear of heights. I scheduled an appointment for the following week. I was still unsure if this would work for me and not completely convinced. It was one thing to see a documentary film on TFT (Thought Field Therapy) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and another to actually experience it for yourself.
During the first session, I talked about the issues that I wanted to work on and I rated them on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being least bothersome and 10 being the most. I rated my fear of heights a 10 without hesitation. It was the worst, most horrifying fear I could ever imagine. At the end of the first appointment and initial assessment, however excited, I was still not convinced that this would be the “miracle cure” I was looking for.
I went back to Steve Reed’s office for my second appointment the following week and we began the (TFT) Thought Field Therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) processes almost immediately. During the first set of EMDR eye movements, I started to actually feel the fear. I felt the same fear as I do when I’m high up. My stomach was tight, knees were weak, heart was beating fast, and I felt the same anxiety and panic that I feel when in the actual situation. We then did several rounds of Thought Field Therapy, which relieved the anxiety. I started to feel more in control when doing the next set of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). I was able to imagine being at the ballpark in Arlington sitting at the top of the stadium, as well as taking the escalator up while looking down. I’ve never been able to imagine this, much less do it without panic reactions. By the end of the session, I was able to look down from a very high place in my mind and know that I was going to be okay and that I was in control.
When I got home that night, I thought that was the most extraordinary thing I had ever done or learned and looked forward to my next session. However, I was still not convinced that I was going to be fully cured of my fear of heights. At this point, I only thought I would be able to tolerate my fear in some form. I never thought about testing what I learned this early in therapy. I knew I would at some point, but not yet.
The following day I was at work in my 13th floor office, which to me is extremely high up. It was then that we heard a boom outside the windows. The majority of my department, of course, went to the window and looked out to see what was going on. There were about seven employees standing at the full-length windows looking straight down at a wreck that had occurred directly below the corner of my supervisor’s office. I ran to the window and looked straight down. I was actually standing so close to the window that I was touching it, because there were several people behind me. I stayed for a couple of minutes looking straight down at the cars and people who were involved, then I looked across to the park and then down to the next corner and watched as the ambulance drove up. I went back to my desk which, by the way, is out in the office and not next to any windows. That’s when I realized what had just happened. I had been standing where I was never able to stand before without having some type of panic reaction. I could not believe what I had done. I called my husband and left a message on his voice mail telling him that I just looked down from the 13th floor and didn’t feel a thing, not one thing. I could have cried I was so excited. I ran to another side of the floor and looked straight down at people walking across the street, at the bricks in the sidewalk and the cracks and potholes in the street. I felt absolutely nothing. No heart beating fast, no panic, no shaking, absolutely nothing but normality. That was one of the happiest days of my life!
Since then I’ve been to several places where my husband and I like to walk on the weekends, which used to be a problem for me due to the high bridges that we would have to cross on some of the trails. I was actually able to look down from one of the bridges at the river below without feeling like I was going to have a panic attack. It was so enjoyable that it’s almost impossible to describe.
Now I am truly a believer in the (TFT) Thought Field Therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) methods of therapy and feel blessed that I was able to participate in such a progressive treatment program.
Melissa G. – Dallas, Texas
To schedule an appointment with Steve to get help for a fear of heights, call 972-997-9955 today.
Steve Reed is available for an office appointment for your counseling and psychotherapy needs in the Dallas, Fort Worth, DFW metroplex, including Addison, Allen, Arlington, Bedford, Carrollton, Colleyville, Denton, Euless, Flower Mound, Frisco, Garland, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Highland Park, Hurst, Irving, Keller, Lake Highlands, Lewisville, McKinney, Mesquite, Murphy, Plano, Richardson, Rockwall, Rowlett, and University Park. He provides therapy at his office in Richardson, TX. Treatment is also available via phone counseling to people world wide.
Steve can also be contacted by email at email@example.com.