Mother-of-one shares how she managed to overcome her lifelong fear of dogs by just five Zoom sessions per week.

Cheralene Lavery is a Londoner who saw her mother being badly bit by a dog as a child. She has always been terrified of dogs.  

She shared that she became so afraid of seeing a dog she would “freeze” whenever she saw it, and defriended anyone who got it as a pet.

However she  sought the help of Lauren Rosenberg, who founded Fear Busters in 2011, and promised to transform the way she interacted with dogs.

She tells FEMAIL readers about the shocking results, and how it ‘changed her life ‘…. 

Cheralene Lavery, from London, has revealed how she was able to get over her 'paralysing' lifelong phobia of dogs with just five weekly Zoom sessions with a therapist

Cheralene, a Londoner, shared her story about how she managed to overcome her lifelong fear of dogs. She did this by only five Zoom sessions per week with a therapist

The mother-of-one revealed she was so frightened she would 'freeze' whenever she saw a dog, defriended people if they got one as a pet and even ended relationships over it

One mother of one revealed that she used to freeze whenever she saw dogs, would defriend people who got them as pets and ended all relationships because she didn’t like the idea.

“Cynophobia is an extreme fear of dogs that causes a constant, severe condition known as Cynophobia. Although it’s a common trait, many people enjoy spending time with their dogs. 

It is estimated that 1/20 people will be affected. I happen to be one of these.

“I cannot remember a time that I didn’t fear dogs. My mother was severely bitten by me as a child. 

“This experience led me to freeze when I saw a dog or flee from my surroundings.

However she sought the help of Lauren Rosenberg, who founded Fear Busters in 2011, and promised to transform the way she interacted with dogs

Lauren Rosenberg was able to help her. She founded Fear Busters in 2011 and promises to change the way she interacts with dogs.

“I defriended them if they got one. I even broke up with people over it. 

My reactions were always severe, and I have found it harder to manage them recently because we spend more time outdoors and are living in a post-pandemic dog boom.

I’m constantly told by dog owners to not panic, because their dog is “harmless”. My brain’s logical part knows that this is true. However, my fears aren’t logical so this does nothing for me. 

“Others tell me to stroke my dog in order to overcome my fear, but they don’t understand the growing panic I feel and how my brain wants me to run when a dog comes near.

“My partner accepted that he will never be able have a dog due to my fear, even though he loves one. 

Chearlene revealed how dog owners constantly told her to 'not panic' because their dog was 'harmless' - but said this didn't help with her phobia

Chearlene shared how her dog owners told her repeatedly to “not panic” because their dog is ‘harmless. However, this did not help her fear. 

Despite Cheralene being initially sceptical of how much Lauren could help her, it wasn't long before she was using techniques in her real life

Although Cheralene was initially skeptical about Lauren’s abilities, she soon began to use the techniques in real life. 

“I also have a small boy who would love to pet every “doggy”, however, I will not let him get near them. 

“I have made him leave my farm, beach and park because his dog is too close. He must realize that this isn’t a healthy way of living and that something has to be done before my phobia can spread to him.

Lauren Rosenberg is a London-based therapist who could help.

Her website describes her near 100% success rate with helping clients overcome their phobias using holistic therapies as well as an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) method. 

She said her young son wanted to stroke 'every doggy' but was unable to because she 'wouldn't go near them'

Her young son, however, wanted to stroke every dog but she was too afraid to.

“Even though Lauren’s feedback was so good, I was still skeptical before the first session. It wasn’t like I believed anything could help.

“Plus Lauren is now leading her Zoom sessions post-pandemic and I didn’t think something being online could have any impact. It was a terrible mistake.

Lauren instantly made me feel at ease.

“One of the things that I was first asked to do was draw trees. It was very small, and floated right in the middle.

A bizarre therapy to help you forget your trauma. Prince Harry’s NHS-approved EMDR therapy uses hand tapping and eye movements. It’s loved by stars Mel B, Jamela Jamil and others who swear that it’s saved their lives. 

For those of us who have a strong belief in the healing powers of talking therapy and psychoanalysis, it might seem strange to think that we can experience severe trauma just by moving our eyes and tapping our hands.

EMDR is praised by Prince Harry for helping him to process his past. However, EMDR has many celebrity supporters, including Kate Garraway, Mel B, and Jamela Jamil, who all claim that it literally saved their lives following suffering from PTSD.

Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) is a method that allows the mind to heal from trauma. It uses external stimuli to aid the brain in processing the trauma and promote healing.

Experts liken it to the act of removing a foreign item from a wounded to aid in healing. In the UK, EMDR is recognized as a treatment for PTSD and can be found on the NHS.

A client is asked to remember different elements of the same memory during therapy sessions. The client is then asked to look at the therapist’s hands and track it back across the clients’ field of vision.

Research has shown that these biological processes are linked with rapid eye movement sleep (REM). These mechanisms bring out the internal associations of people and aid them in processing emotions and memories.

Prince Harry closed his eyes, and tapped his chest while he was undergoing therapy via videolink with Sanja oakley (a UK-based psychotherapist), which aired on Apple TV+.

Many people believe your eye movements can help you process memories in the same manner as Rapid Eye Movement (REM). This is when you have dreams but your eyes move around.

While you are asleep, you cannot focus your attention on one thing. However, when you awaken and start moving them around, you feel more in control.

It is believed that trauma can be healed by the use of mental processes.

Experts compare it with the practice of taking a foreign object out of a wound in order to heal it.

Session 1: Clients are required to use their eyes and hold various aspects of the memory. Clients are encouraged to look at the therapist with their eyes and follow its movements across the clients’ field of vision.

This has been linked to the biological mechanisms that are involved in rapid eye movements (REM), which stimulate internal connections and aid clients with processing memory and distressing feelings.

Clients will then feel empowered and transformed by EMDR therapy.

It is believed that more than 100,000 physicians around the world have tried the therapy. Millions of patients have also been treated using it in the past 25 year.

It had symmetrical, green leaves and brown trunk. There were also sporadic roots.

“It turned out, among other things, it revealed that I like to have control. 

“It is no surprise that my phobia makes me feel so out of control.

Lauren asked me for a redraw after just 5 sessions. It was a profound change that I didn’t realize at the time. 

“My tree was taller and had roots to the ground. It was surrounded by big, green leaves. 

“Until then, I had not realized that a photo can be used to show your mental state. However, this clearly did.

“You might be wondering what 5 weeks of therapy has done to make me feel completely different. 

Lauren and me briefly spoke about my fears, the reasons for them, and our past experiences. 

“She taught me EFT, the method Prince Harry used to get therapy during the Apple TV documentary.

This involves tapping specific points of the body, mostly the head, in a specified sequence. 

While doing so, repeat a mantra to calm you down and help you cope with your fears. It worked in the same way that I discovered that I could repeat 365 times in my head.

“I don’t understand how or why these techniques work. But they do. These techniques helped me to build strength and confidence, and they gave me a strategy for dealing with dogs.

Lauren, a therapist in between sessions was available via WhatsApp and email. That meant I was being held accountable for my efforts to conquer fear.

“Plus Lauren is available to help me immediately, and I can address any issues at my next session, if necessary. 

“At one stage, I was on holiday. I could not get myself on the beach to see if a dog was around.

“In my mind, the dog looked ready to jump upon my baby boy. Lauren showed me that it wasn’t. I spent the next day at the beach, and it was a beautiful day.

My greatest breakthrough came from matrix imprinting.

 ‘Simply put, it’s a technique that connects you with past trauma and enables you to transform them moments into supportive ones. 

“By using your imagination you can go back to difficult memories and alter what happens. 

“For instance, I was in the park when a dog ran up to me. It was a scary moment. My mother came along with me. The dog was walking calmly past. 

‘You still know what the reality was, but in the future your brain won’t immediately focus on the trauma instead it will think of the new image you have created. 

“After many tears, I realized I was holding onto my fear all my life. I believed any dog would cause me harm or hurt the people I loved. It was then that I began to see the truth.

“First, I stopped thinking about dogs. I could then walk by them, without turning around or crossing the street.

“When I brought my son to the park, I felt less afraid that dogs might come towards me and I was more relaxed about taking him along.

“I can even enjoy meals, and I could do it when the dog is with me.”

The turning point for me was when my hairdressers left and the dog I had outside on its own wasn’t leashed.

It came over to my shoe, and then I was calm.

Lauren: “Pre-my sessions with Lauren, I would’ve started shaking or screaming but I instead told the owner my dog was adorable.

“This was an incredibly life-changing moment in which I realized my fear of dogs wasn’t controlling me and I could begin to live more normal, without anxiety.

“A few months back, I thought it was impossible to conquer my fear of 30 years. But Lauren showed me that it is possible. Fear Busters works! 

I feel hopeful for the future and look forward to seeing my son finally touch a dog. 

“This is a great example of how it never seems too late to confront your fears. If I overcome my cynophobia, then there’s hope.

After her sessions with Lauren, the mother-of-one said 'the future looks bright' and she feels she has totally overcome her 30-year-fear

Lauren said that she is optimistic about the future and feels like she has overcome all her fears over the past 30 years.