Psychotherapy Effect on Phobic Patients

Words: 1444
Topic: Sociology


Psychotherapy is a technique used to treat mental disorder. This study was conducted to establish effect of psychotherapy on phobic patients. Additionally, the study was conducted to follow up on phobic patients after psychotherapy. The study focused on exploring systematic desensitization on phobic patients. Moreover, the study focused on investigating the effect of group therapy on phobic patients. Studies on phobic patients included those suffering from astraphobia, hydrophobia and nyctophobia. Furthermore, the study was conducted on patients suffering from zoophobia. This paper will analyze a research article by Sharma, Vandana and Awadhesh.

Research Methods

The authors utilized different methodologies in arriving at their conclusion. For instance, the authors began by listing various treatments for phobia. This was followed by a discussion on systematic desensitization. In the end, the authors discussed group therapy. These discussions set stage for practical on the two methods of psychotherapy. Based on this research, 110 patients suffering from phobia were selected. The patients underwent screening, which showed that the authors wanted to ensure precision was achieved. The 110 patients were placed in two broad groups namely the untreated and the treated. The authors established that patients with phobia had been with it for at least 3 years. Methodology utilized was systematic and specific to the topic of discussion. Methodology applied was so detailed that everything relating to theoretical framework was included (M. Sharma, & V. Sharma, Upadhyay, 2013).

Core content

These researchers wanted to explore the effect of group therapy as well as systematic desensitization among patients with different phobic issues. To achieve this, they conducted the study among patients with nyctophobia, hydrophobia and astraphobia. Additionally, they explored patients with zoophobia. The survey began with screening for phobic patients aged between 19 and 12 years. This was done to achieve matching socio-economic status. Specific personality characteristics were also targeted using Beck’s method. The researchers utilized chi-square to analyze results, which were taken from varying variables. Moreover, evaluation of the patients was done at SIMPHs, which is a qualified mental institution in India. However, results which were got differed on the number of responses. Additionally, it was found that symptoms disappeared after 7 months of psychotherapy. In essence, the researchers concluded that psychotherapy was effective in treating phobic patients (Powers, 2010).

According to the researchers, this study was aimed at exploring the effect of group therapy and systematic desensitization on phobic patients. However, result from group therapy was found to differ significantly from results from systematic desensitization. Nonetheless, after 7 months of psychotherapy, the symptoms, which were once dominant in the patients, were found to have disappeared. Rorschach Inkblot test was administered to 110 patients suffering from varying phobic issues. Researchers arrived at the conclusion that group therapy and systematic desensitization were helpful in treating phobic patients. However, this was arrived at after a follow up was done on 44 out of the initial 110 patients involved. Moreover, out of the 44 patients who underwent follow up, a massive number of 43 were treated successfully. In essence, this brought about the conclusion that psychotherapy could be utilized in treatment of patients with phobia (M. Sharma, & V. Sharma, Upadhyay, 2013).

Aim of the article

The authors utilized sources from Freud, Beck, and Manor, among others, to define the terms utilized in the paper. Additionally, the authors examined their sources; they evaluated Freud’s use of the term phobia as well as its application. Freud defines phobia as an anxiety hysteria, which focuses on external objects. Throughout the paper, the authors agreed that phobia is focused on external objects. Additionally, they agreed that phobia is not an obsession. Nonetheless, Freud reviewed his position after extended research on phobia. Additionally, the authors mentioned research conducted by Segal and Klein to define phobia as well as establish its root cause. Essentially, the authors set stage for achieving their aim, which was to determine if group therapy and systematic sensitization could treat patients with phobia (M. Sharma, & V. Sharma, Upadhyay, 2013).

Theoretical coherence

This article was theoretically coherent based on the sources utilized in it. Additionally, it was backed with evidence-based research, which focused on both qualitative and quantitative analysis. That is, evidence was traced from numerous samples. In addition, quality of instruments utilized for the study was drawn from theoretical framework. Of great essence to the study was Beck’s test, which was administered. Additionally, the paper was written in a logical manner. Since the paper was scientific and peer reviewed, it was structured in a professional manner. For instance, the authors began by defining phobia as well as by giving both primary and secondary sources for further research in psychotherapy. Notably, key points in the article were stressed to promote understanding. Furthermore, the authors utilized different sources to ensure that theoretical coherence was achieved. Moreover, the sources were credible and dependable in psychotherapy (M. Sharma, & V. Sharma, Upadhyay, 2013).

Relevance to clinical practice

The article is highly relevant to modern clinical practice. This is evident in the fact that psychotherapy can be conducted on individuals with phobia as well as other ailments with the hope of achieving positive results. Psychotherapy in the article can also be applied in other areas of psychology such as cognitive behavior therapy, gestalt therapy and behavioral therapy, among others. Behavioral therapy is very good as it helps to restructure jointly held beliefs of the family. This is advantageous to families as it promotes unity and strength. The therapeutic process is also important as it works to promote mutual respect between the therapist and client as they collaborate for a common purpose. However, the process is quite difficult on resistant individuals as well as those who are stereotyped on certain beliefs (Yalom & Lescz, 2005).

Group therapy is applicable in healthcare because it helps patients to recover from diseases such as phobia, among others. Gestalt therapy is most applicable in a group context because it emphasizes on direct actions and experiences. This is especially good for clients in a group context that experience anxieties concerning future events as this can be enacted at the present. In addition, this approach would fit multicultural clients if the therapy were used to integrate polarities in clients. Moreover, the therapist should accept his/her client’s culture for success. Gestalt approach is very important as it stresses client’s awareness of present environment in order to establish his/her next move. This is very helpful as one can only change his/her behavior if he/she understands himself/herself. The approach is quite difficult when working with culturally reserved clients as they become resistant. However, the approach is good in terms of its analysis of present situations as opposed to past occurrences (Yalom & Lescz, 2005).

Another method mentioned in group therapy is behavior therapy. Techniques involved in behavioral therapy include behavioral and psychoanalytic techniques, among others. In addition, the approaches involved included acceptance based and mindfulness approaches, among others. Other techniques used included relaxation training, applied behavioral analysis, multimodal therapy, systematic desensitization, self-modification programs, eye movement reprocessing and desensitization, exposure therapies and social skills training, among others. Behavioral approach is widely used due to its numerous techniques and methods. This allows it to be applied in many problems, which range from anxiety, to group problems, among others. In addition, it is well placed to work in people from diverse cultures due to its uniqueness. Moreover, the therapist is expected to be creative in order to adapt to any type of client. Based on the above facts alone, it can be noted that the authors’ research made a great impact in clinical practice because the article introduced cheaper ways of treating phobia in patients. Moreover, this research paper gave an insight into numerous applications in clinical practice (B. Sadock & V. Sadock, 2007).


As much as this article was well researched, it also opened avenues for future research. For instance, it would be recommendable that the researchers advance further and examine the reasons why the two outcomes differed. Additionally, it would be important to ensure that follow up is done on all participants in order for minority views to be taken in too. Additionally, the authors should give a detailed comparison between group theory and systematic desensitization outcomes.


This article was well research since it had resources from credible scholars like Segal, Klein, and Freud, among others. Moreover, the study was conducted based on known theoretical framework. It is also worth noting that analysis of the paper was done in an effective manner using chi-square. This reflected the fact that the article was credible and reliable based on its outcomes. Additionally, the article proved that group therapy and systematic desensitization were effective in treating patients with phobia.


Powers, A. (2010). Finding the evidence in PubMed (MEDLINE). Web.

Sadock, B. & Sadock, V. (2007). Kaplan and Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry. New York, NY: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Sharma, M., Sharma, V., & Upadhyay, A. (2013). Effect of Psychotherapy in Phobic Patients and Their Follow-up. SIS Journal of Projective Psychology & Mental Health, 20(1) 36-41.

Yalom, I. & Lescz, M. (2005). Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (5th ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books.