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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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I was raised very religiously and learned to be very fearful

Resolved Question:

I was raised very religiously and learned to be very fearful of sin especially sexual sin. At the age of 14 I became very fearful of touch. This was to the point that if someone touched me in any form or way, I would become afraid that I sinned especially if I thought a wrong thought. Now I am older and still continue with this. Now I'm not only fearful but I get a little aroused when touched in any way by anyone, even if I don't want to it happens. What is this and how do I stop it?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 6 years ago.

Hello, and welcome to JA.

This is simply learned behavior, and therefore, can be unlearned!

You have been taught to believe that even if you think a ‘bad thought’ something terrible will happen to you. Now even I, (and I’m not a religious person) understand that most religion is about the forgiveness of sins, not the punishing of them!

You may well be suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, and I’m going to suggest that you would benefit greatly from a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also cause the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

Norman M. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You are right on the money and I appreciate your response. I will do my best to seek th CBT therapy.



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