Emotional Resilience Blog from The Fear Course

The latest research, realisations and thinking in the world of emotional resilience, anxiety and fear reduction from around the world.

The Top 10 Fears / Anxieties And How Long It Takes To Treat Them

The Top 10 Fears / Anxieties And How Long It Takes To Treat Them

Every year I do an audit of the anxieties and fears we treat and how long it took to treat them. There are five numbers to look at.

  1. Frequency - the number of people presenting with a particular fear or anxiety.
  2. Control average - The average time (in days) it took to get the fear or anxiety to level 3 (0 = no feelings of anxiety or fear. 10 = Maximum anxiety and fear feelings). Level 3 is a definition of the disorder being under control by the individual. Most people present to us at levels 8-10.
  3. Control range - How long in days (quickest to longest) it took to get the disorder to get to level 3 (see notes above).
  4. Discharge average - the average time (in days) it took individuals to feel they had the fear or anxiety under control enough to discharge themselves from the programme. Usually at level 0.
  5. Discharge range - How long in days (quickest to longest) it took to get the disorder under complete control (to get to level 0 or 1) and to discharge themselves or leave the programme having been successfully treated.
Anxiety / Fear   Frequency 

 Control Av 

 Control Rng   Discharge Av   Discharge Rng 
1. General Anxiety Disorder 403 12 4 - 21 16 11 - 33
2. Social Anxiety Disorders * 368 9 3 - 16 16 13 - 21
3. Fear of Rejection 360 10 7 - 14 16 12 - 22
4. Fear of Failure 337 11 7 - 20 17 14 - 31
5. Fear of Meetings 324 9 5 - 17 15 7 - 20
6. Panic or Anxiety Attacks 211 7 2 - 9 10 6 - 19
7. Public Speaking Anxieties 209 8 5 - 16 15 7 - 19
8. Agoraphobia 194 7 3 - 22 19 8 - 34
9. Sexual Performance Anxieties  162 14 7 - 30 23 11 - 38
10. Fear of Flying 131 9 7 - 18 16 12 - 19


*Social anxiety disorders (SAD) include fears and anxieties around being in social situations, meeting people, dating, having to talk to people unexpectedly, going to gatherings etc.


  1. The top three fears and anxieties tend (but not always) to be versions of a fear of rejection.
  2. When I started conducting therapeutic interventions the presence I was surprised about the predominance of a fear of meetings. At first I assumed a fear of meetings was a subset of public speaking anxieties, however over the years I have come to recognise both the prevalence of this disorder and its grounding in a fear of rejection, social anxieties and public speaking issues.
  3. The treatment times are only for the period until the disorder is brought down to levels 0 (no anxiety) or 1 (aware of a minor heightened sense of arousal) this does not include the confidence and assertiveness phases of the programme. I firmly believe that to just treat an anxiety or fear is not enough as it leaves the client susceptible to forming similar fears and anxieties at a later date. To prevent this I usually include a confidence and assertiveness skills course to prevent this occurring.


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5 Factors that promote emotional resilience in children

5 Factors that promote emotional resilience in children

There are a series of factors currently emerging from studies which promote the development of emotional resilience in children. A number of these studies have looked at children who have overcome adversity, such as the death of parents, growing up in a war zone and children who have been enveloped in a natural disaster for example. A now well known analysis from researchers at the University of Minnesota in 1990 showed that children are much more likely to recover or bounce back if they:

  1. Have a positive relationship with at least one competent adult,
  2. Are good learners,
  3. Are good problem solvers
  4. Are engaging and engage with other people
  5. Have their own areas of competence that are valued by them-self (self-worth) and others (value).

We know from our own work into the development of emotional literature (the ability to recognise and perceive emotions in themselves and others), that children who are encouraged to ask questions and develop autonomous learning and problem solving skills (as opposed to being taught) tend to be more emotionally agile, able to regulate their own emotions better, suffer from less anxiety related issues and are more resilient. Certainly there are positive indications that developing critical and creative thinking skills are two further factors in the development of emotional resilience. The people who tend to do the best at dealing with their anxiety on The Fear Course those with reasonable reasoning skills.

These five factors are not the only requirements for the development of emotional resilience. I will review those in a forthcoming blog.

We are putting together a guide for developing emotional resilience in children. If you would like to get a copy pop your details in the boxes below and we will let you know as soon as it is ready.

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Masten, A.S. et al (1990) Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology / Volume 2 / Issue 04 / October 1990, pp 425-444

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