Cam­paign helps Dubai res­i­dents con­trol their fears

7 Days in Dubai - - DEAR 7DAYS... -

very­one is scared of some­thing - even In­di­ana Jones was fright­ened of snakes. Fears can be ra­tio­nal and keep us safe, but they can also be de­bil­i­tat­ing, par­tic­u­larly when they in­ter­fere with your ev­ery­day life.

Sam­sung has launched the cam­paign, ‘Be Fear­less’, aimed at help­ing peo­ple over­come their fears us­ing tech­nol­ogy.

Whether fear of heights or pub­lic speak­ing, the ses­sions coach par­tic­i­pants by cre­at­ing sce­nar­ios us­ing vir­tual re­al­ity sys­tems.

Muhammed Um­mer (pic­tured above), a Dubai res­i­dent was one case study.

The 20-year-old loves planes and wanted to be­come a pi­lot. But due to his fear of heights, he chose to work as an aero­space en­gi­neer in­stead.

Sam­sung pro­vided vir­tual re­al­ity pro­grammes that ex­posed Muhammed to sim­u­lated al­ti­tude. The ses­sions cul­mi­nated with a ‘flight’ on the breath­tak­ing XDubai zi­pline over the Dubai Foun­tains. This has em­pow­ered Muhammed to re­think his dream of be­com­ing a pi­lot. Coun­selling psy­chol­o­gist at Light­house Ara­bia, Madeeha Afridi says that dif­fer­ent meth­ods can work for dif­fer­ent peo­ple.

“So much of the process of overcoming fears and heal­ing is in the re­la­tion­ship and rap­port be­tween psy­chol­o­gist and client - the hu­man to hu­man com­mu­ni­ca­tion and re­la­tion­ship.

“Hav­ing said that, if or when it is suit­able for a client to use vir­tual re­al­ity sim­u­la­tion, un­der pro­fes­sional health care, com­pli­mented with the ther­apy they are re­ceiv­ing, I could see it be­ing help­ful for some clients who may ben­e­fit from it as a form of ex­po­sure ther­apy.”

Madeeha ex­plains that of­ten our fears stem from pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ences in life, whether we’re aware of it or not. “All symp­toms of fears that peo­ple have, have a root cause, and more com­monly than not, it roots in their child­hood ex­pe­ri­ences. For ex­am­ple, a client who may present with symp­toms of fear of fly­ing may have some­one close to them who has the same fears, or hear­ing or watch­ing news re­lated to air­planes crash­ing im­pacted their thoughts and be­liefs about fly­ing.

“An un­pro­cessed life event can evolve into a fear, which makes it very im­por­tant for in­di­vid­u­als to de­velop their emo­tional in­tel­li­gence so they are not left vul­ner­a­ble when they are faced with dif­fi­cult times in their life.”

We don’t all have ac­cess to vir­tual re­al­ity train­ing sys­tems, so how can us ev­ery­day Joes over­come our fears? Madeeha ex­plains that it needs to be done on a case-by-case ba­sis. “Each in­di­vid­ual is dif­fer­ent so the ap­proach of overcoming their fears must be tailored for them to be sus­tain­able.” She rec­om­mends work­ing with a psy­chol­o­gist or spe­cial­ist. “I do be­lieve that fac­ing and pro­cess­ing fears can be a lib­er­at­ing and trans­for­ma­tive ex­pe­ri­ence for in­di­vid­u­als. In re­gards to fac­ing fears ‘head-on,’ I feel some peo­ple, due to their ex­tremely dif­fi­cult life ex­pe­ri­ences are un­able to do this, and they should not have a mis­con­cep­tion that their fears have to be dealt with head-on.”

SKY HIGH: Muhammed was able to over­come his fear of heights with

vir­tual re­al­ity train­ing. You can get in­volved, see sam­­ing­peo­ple

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