The vast majority of therapists and therapies can't help someone with serious anxiety disorders. Most therapists really don't know how to help because generic 'therapy' or 'counseling' skills most learn, or the level of training and formal supervision they receive in the therapies I mentioned above isn't very extensive. So I'm not surprised you haven't been helped. And as you know, medication has apparently, not been a great answer.
Well, you did a great job in this 'assignment about the water phobia. What you included are a couple of key ingredients we would use to help you cope with this health-related anxiety, and many others you would have. First, is the principle of gradual and nonthreatening exposure to what the child fears. So you would probably fill the bathtub with only a tiny bit of water, and have them play with toys that floated in the tub, perhaps while standing or sitting outside of the tub---you would make it fun or at least relaxing and nonthreatening. So what we would do in this first step with you
is also, nonthreatening exposure to what you fear---simply have you acquire a blood pressure cuff from a health equipment rental store or buy one for yourself, and have you handle it and maybe put it on and just wear it for short periods of time while watching TV or eating a meal. You would have the understanding that no one, not even you would pump it up and take your blood pressure reading.
With the child, you would make it fun and distracting and this is what we'd have you do in wearing the cuff. Next, we would have the child get into the tub to play with the toys with only 1/4 inch of water or so, correct? And with you, we would put a bit of air pressure into the cuff but cover over the reading dial so no one would read the numbers and there would be no stethoscope component. And next, we'd add
water to the bathtub and with you, we'd repeatedly pump up and deflate the cuff, without reading it. All the while, you'd be trained to meditate and think about other thoughts or watch a distracting event. We might have you actually focus on your thoughts and feelings about the cuff while it was pumped up and talk about it, which would desensitize you to wearing it. Eventually, you'd allow your reading to be taken without as much anxiety and fear. Now what your doctor said about getting a perfect blood pressure reading is nonsense because there is a RANGE of readings that are normal and he/she knows this. There is no perfect reading. There are extreme out-of-range readings and these are the only ones doctors really worry about. So you need a half-way normal range reading is all!!!
I'm going to pause here and let you comment on this general approach to overcoming fears. It DOES work of course, and you know this because you'd use the very same methods you intuitively know to be 'right' to help a child get over her water phobia.
What do you think?