All About Haphephobia, the Fear of Being Touched, and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling
What is Haphephobia?
There may be a number of reasons why you have Haphephobia, for example:
- You may have been touched inappropriately at some point in your life.
- You might worry that touching people will increase your risk of catching germs or illnesses (eg. Coronavirus).
- You may have a fear of intimacy – Erotophobia & Genophobia.
However, there is no valid scientific evidence that Haphephobia is the result of any kind of biological fault or chemical imbalance in spite of the credibility that the biomedical models of mental illness are given in the medical and psychiatric literature.
On the contrary, Haphephobia is much more likely to be the result of your own, subjective evaluation (meaning-making) of what happened to you and is therefore better described as a psychosocial phenomenon.
Haphephobia Symptoms & Behaviours
All phobias, including Haphephobia, create feelings of anxiety because phobic objects or situations are always perceived as a threat.
Consequently, the symptoms of Haphephobia are both specific and generic and may include:
- Avoid close contact with people.
- Reluctance to form intimate relationships.
- An elevated heart rate.
- A sense of dread about what might happen.
- Worrying that you might pass out.
- Feeling dizzy or disoriented.
- Heart palpitations.
- Having a dry or sticky mouth.
- Hot sweats.
- Feeling Stressed.
- Difficulty breathing easily.
- Feelings of panic.
Moreover, you may have all, some or even different symptoms to these listed here and this is due to the subjective nature of Haphephobia.
Furthermore, you should also be aware that many of these somatic symptoms (symptoms felt in the body) WILL subside over time and rarely last for more than 20 to 30 minutes.
What Causes Haphephobia?
It’s possible that your Haphephobia may be the result of traumatic events or adverse situations that you experienced at some point in your life.
If you have experienced any kind of abuse as a child (physical or sexual) then you may have developed a fear of being touched in any way (see childhood adversity).
However, because a Fear of Being Touched is by no means universal, the most likely explanation for your Haphephobia is the way you understood and made sense of your earlier experiences around which you have built a set of beliefs.
Is your phobia making you anxious or are you creating the anxiety?
It might be hard to accept, but it’s almost certain that the anxiety you experience when you encounter your phobic object or situation is being unwittingly created by YOU and NOT the thing you fear.
Find out more about the subjective vs objective nature of phobias here.
Counselling and Therapy for Haphephobia
We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for Haphephobia the Fear of Being Touched.
Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:
- How long you have had your phobia.
- Your personal preferences.
- How your phobia is affecting you today.
You can read more about the different types of therapy for Haphephobia on the following links:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Haphephobia
- Counselling for Haphephobia
- Pluralistic Therapy for the Fear of Being Touched
Although all forms of psychotherapy use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.
Furthermore, research also suggests that the therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.
Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.
During this consultation we will discuss your particular phobia and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.
The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.
Applied Psychology Solutions
If you’d like to learn how to overcome Haphephobia but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.
If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.
Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?
Then why not see if you can solve your fear of being touched using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.
Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.
Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.
We offer counselling for haphephobia problems for people living in:
- West Midlands
- South Staffordshire
You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.