How Do You Get Over a Fear of Driving?


Quick Answer

The best way to overcome a fear of driving or any other phobia is to confront the fear. As Help Guide suggests, this can be done with a combination of both cognitive behavior therapy and exposure therapy. By definition, cognitive therapy examines how negative thoughts contribute to anxiety; behavior therapy examines how you react in situations that trigger anxiety; and exposure therapy exposes you to the situations you fear.

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Full Answer

The fear of driving is a form of anxiety that has traditionally been treated with medication. In his popular self-help book "When Panic Attacks: The New Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life," Dr. David Burns states that there is no evidence that medication actually cures anxiety and that popular prescribed tranquilizers only lead to addiction. He claims that one can cure her anxiety through self-help using cognitive behavior methods that replace negative thoughts and behaviors with positive ones, and by exposing herself to the very situations she fears most. Exposure therapy is among the most feared aspects of treatment, but as Psychology Today points out, the only way to be truly reassured is to drive repeatedly, first taking small trips around the block, driving further each day and eventually driving on a highway. In more severe cases of driving anxiety, professional therapy may be necessary.

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