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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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May 2003


Fear is something that we try to avoid. It is one of those uncomfortable feelings that we don’t like. However, there are some positive points of fear. Now, I know that that seems to be counter-intuitive. How can fear be a good thing?


We were programmed through evolution to have fear. Just think for a minute how long we would have survived if we were cavemen if we didn’t have some healthy fear? The problem is that today the fear can either be distant and out of control-does Al Queda have weapons of mass destruction hidden some where in the Middle East? Or difficult to recognize-I have a cold. Should I speak with my doctor about SARS? Life would be easier if all we had to do was run from a saber-tooth cat!


However, fear can still be helpful for us. When you are fearful, ask yourself: what can I learn from this fear? Or what is my fear trying to teach me? When we are fearful, we need something. Perhaps our fear is telling us we need connection with someone. Go get a hug from your partner or friend. Perhaps our fear is telling us we need to reconnect with our spirituality. Take some time to meditate, go to synagogue or church or to sit in a park, however you meet your spiritual needs. Perhaps our fear is telling us that we have not prepared adequately. Do you have emergency food and water in case of an earthquake?


We need to tune in to ourselves and honor our fear. It has much to teach us, if we would only listen.


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