|About the Book|
You finally meet the perfect person: someone attractive and kind and right for you, in every way. But the closer you get, the more suffocated and trapped you feel. Even though your partner isnt doing anything wrong, it feels as though he or she wereMoreYou finally meet the perfect person: someone attractive and kind and right for you, in every way. But the closer you get, the more suffocated and trapped you feel. Even though your partner isnt doing anything wrong, it feels as though he or she were just going to take you over and swallow you up. You feel in danger and start to panic, or just shut down emotionally. For others, a similar dynamic operates in their professional lives. Even though they have the skills they need to succeed, the thought of taking on a new project or a new responsibility feels like it will somehow swallow them up. They begin to dread meetings, and often end up avoiding interactions with supervisors and co-workers, even though their performance ratings and possible promotions are at stake. The emotional claustrophobia or fear of engulfment that underlies situations like these is not a psychiatric diagnosis, although it is a symptom that is commonly experienced by individuals with histories of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, or anxiety or panic disorders. This fear also affects many other people who have never seen the inside of a therapists office. Whether it arises only in one context, or in a variety of settings, its a fear with debilitating consequences, and it can pose a formidable drain on time, energy, and emotions. Psychologist and author Aphrodite Matsakis specializes in treating individuals who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder. In her work with clients who suffer from PTSD, she found that fear of engulfment often compounded existing anxieties, and frequently led patients to develop additional fears. In this new self-help guide, she shows readers how to confront their fears directly and take steps to either eliminate this fear, or find ways of managing it so that it no longer controls their lives. Throughout, examples drawn from her own work help readers come to terms with how a fear of engulfment operates in their personal relationships or professional lives.