If you were listening to Mix 94.5 FM yesterday you might have heard about Leah’s fear of balloons, and today was the reveal of how EMDR helped her overcome her fear.

I was asked to help Leah overcome her fear of balloons.

At the beginning she tells us that she wouldn’t be able to stay in the room if there was a ballon any closer to her than three metres proximity.

Talking about balloons or thinking about one popping causes her to experience physical symptoms of anxiety – mostly tightness in her chest and sweating hands.

She thinks her fear developed when she was about ten and someone popped a balloon in her face. Leah doesn’t remember it but her sister does. She doesn’t like the sound of balloons being squeezed or played with for fear that they might pop!

In the studio and off air, I applied the EMDR technique, the “flash technique” which involves alternating between a place she can imagine as pleasurable and safe, and quickly flicking her mind to the thought of a balloon popping

This reduced her fear from an 8-9 out of 10, to a 5 out of 10 within about 45 minutes, and then we recorded her graduated “exposure therapy” as she gradually felt more and more comfortable for Kymba from the Mix 94.5 Breakfast Show to bring the balloon closer and closer – until she could hold the string of the balloon and eventually hold the balloon in both hands… not something she could have done before the session of EMDR!

Written by Lisa Irving, Clinical Psychologist and Principal at Revive

Book your own EMDR appointment to overcome your fear with one of our psychologists:

  • Linda Johnson
  • Tara Yewers
  • Carla Bormolini
  • Lisa Irving

The video of her interview can be viewed here: