Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flashback Tuesdsay? Anderson Cooper Faces His Fears - Bugs!

Tomorrow 'Anderson' is doing a show titled Conquering Your Fears. Part of the show description ~ Anderson’s own fear of bugs with multiple legs.

This won't be the first time Anderson's talked about his fears. Long time fans of Anderson's and Red 360 will remember this video of Anderson attempting to overcome his fear of roaches. It aired on 360 on October 22, 2004 and the sound may be a little hard to hear so we've included the transcript of the piece following the video. The transcript also includes the follow up discussion of the piece with a clinical psychologist where Anderson also talks about his fear of clowns. Enjoy!


COOPER: All right. Didn't watch that. I'm just going to say it, I hate cockroaches. I don't like the way they look. I don't like the sound they make, I don't like the way they wriggle along. Think they're going to jump on me. Let's just say I have an intense dislike of these bugs. But some of us have a more serious fear, a condition called entomophobia, a deep-seated fear of insects. I'm not that bad. In the last of our week-long series about facing our fears, we look at an alternative treatment for overcoming the phobia. I tried a treatment that's considered an energy psychology, which was supposed to help me face my fear in one swift session. Take a look.


(voice-over): The therapy begins with paperwork, lots of paperwork.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So here you have another questionnaire.
COOPER (on camera): (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I'm thinking a lot about cockroaches.
(voice-over): The questions are meant to test my dislike of roaches.
(on camera): (UNINTELLIGIBLE) cockroach now, I would have images of them trying to get me. Absolutely, because they are all out to get me. I don't know if you're aware of this, but they are.
(voice-over): Next, they record my anxiety level as I'm asked to move closer and closer to an aquarium filled with giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches.
(on camera): You want me to stoop down and what?
COOPER (voice-over): OK, so I pretty much made clear I don't like roaches.
(on camera): (UNINTELLIGIBLE) now they're on the roof (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
(voice-over): But this is where the treatment gets, well, silly looking.
PROF. HARVEY BAKER, QUEENS COLLEGE: Looks ridiculous. It looks asinine. Even though I'm afraid of cockroaches.
COOPER (on camera): Even though I'm afraid of cockroaches.
BAKER: I deeply and completely accept myself.
COOPER: I deeply and completely accept myself.
(voice-over): They call this the emotional freedom technique, or EFT. It involves tapping a sequence of so-called energy points on the body while repeating what your fear is.
BAKER: The noise cockroaches make. The noise cockroaches make. The noise cockroaches make.
COOPER (on camera): The noise cockroaches make. The noise cockroaches make. The noise cockroaches make.
(voice-over): Believers say EFT clears emotional baggage by promoting relaxation, ultimately desensitizing people to what scares them. The treatment last about 45 minutes, and I think I mentioned, it looks really, really silly.
BAKER: It's very repetitive. The remaining fear about the noise.
COOPER (on camera): The remaining fear about the noise.
BAKER: And pleasant memory about cockroaches.
COOPER: And pleasant memory about cockroaches.
Remaining fear of cockroaches...
BAKER: And hate the way cockroaches move.
COOPER: And hate the way cockroaches move. BAKER: Keeps happy, move your eyes in a circle. Move your eyes in a circle the other way. OK, hum the first few notes of "Happy Birthday."
COOPER: Happy birthday?
BAKER: (humming "Happy Birthday")
COOPER: (humming "Happy Birthday")
(voice-over): Skeptics, including a committee of the American Psychological Association, say the tapping technique is not proven, and success stories could be explained by a placebo effect. Even psychology professor Harvey Baker admits EFT is not for everyone.
BAKER: It helps about two out of three people. And a number of the people it helps dramatically, some it helps modestly. And there are some who don't get helped at all.
COOPER: Baker says I showed modest improvement but clearly not complete improvement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you willing to put your head inside the container?
COOPER (on camera): Yes, I, no, I don't think so.
(voice-over): Maybe if I hum a few more bars of "Happy Birthday"...
(on camera): (humming "Happy Birthday")
(voice-over): ... I'll one day be able to put my hand in the cage.

COOPER: (humming "Happy Birthday") Hasn't happened yet.
So do alternative therapies work? Joining me now to talk about them is clinical psychologist Belisa Vranich.
Thanks very much for being with us.
COOPER: What do you make of that?
VRANICH: Well, it did not work for you. And now you probably (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
COOPER: Well, they said I would need more sessions (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
VRANICH: Well, you need a lot more sessions, I think. But no, I wouldn't have chosen that therapy for you, Anderson, I have to tell you. You are a pretty cerebral, kind of macho guy, and that was not going work.
COOPER: Stop trying to be nice to me.
VRANICH: It's true. It's not going to work. I would have done something completely different.
COOPER: But there, but, I mean, a lot of these therapies seem to, I mean, the ones that work at all, seem to work, I mean, any time you address a concern or address a fear or phobia, I, you're going to probably feel better. And if you try to relax while you're doing it, so whether you're tapping yourself or talking to a therapist, just about anything will probably help more than hurt.
VRANICH: A little bit. It's going to help a little bit. If you have somebody who's a professional who knows how to sort of guide you along that process, it can work a lot more quickly, and who is not making you sing, who's actually using different therapies that are (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
COOPER: So there are (UNINTELLIGIBLE) many different kinds of therapies to overcome something like this?
VRANICH: Absolutely, yes, absolutely. That one per se is based on acupressure, and acupressure works for some people. Acupuncture works for some people. So I could see where that could work, you know, for (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
COOPER: And what about the rolling of the eyes thing? What was that about?
VRANICH: The rolling of the eyes is something neurological. That's actually based in neurology, whereas if you pay attention to something outside of your body while you're thinking of something inside, it is called dual attention, and it's supposed to disrupt sort of the negative memories you have of that bad thing.
COOPER: Interesting. I've also heard about something called flooding. I mean, there are all these different alternative therapies out there.
VRANICH: Yes, flooding is exactly what it sounds like. You face that fear by having it being locked in a room and having it sort of put all over you.
COOPER: Yes, don't like that one.
VRANICH: Most people are not going to have that one done. I definitely wouldn't recommend for you that one either.
COOPER: Right.
VRANICH: But something that's a little bit more gentle is systematic desensitization, or brief exposure, which is the same idea, which is the same idea, but a little bit more gentle.
COOPER: Yes, and we talked about virtual therapy. I mean, can, or is there medication people can take?
VRANICH: There is medication. And the field of medication is actually getting better as far as fears. I wouldn't tell people to have just take a medication by itself. If you're taking a medication that's an antianxiety medication, do it with therapy.
COOPER: Now, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I, what's the most strange phobia fear you've heard of?
VRANICH: Fear of clowns is the one that...
COOPER: Fear of clowns.
COOPER: Because I actually don't like clowns too. But and look, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) actually, I was assaulted by clowns on this program, which I, people knew of my fear. They assaulted me on my birthday. And these clowns were very belligerent, and they would not leave.
VRANICH: But if you would have had roaches and clowns, that would have been awful, right?
COOPER: That would have been, yes, that would, yes, that would have been awful. But this traumatized me, actually, for quite some time. I fired all of the people involved in that.
VRANICH: You fired them?
VRANICH: You don't look that unhappy, though.
COOPER: Well, I was faking it because I was on TV. I didn't want to look that upset. As soon as the cameras were off, I was screaming.
VRANICH: Gee, I don't think you really have a really deep- seated. I think it's a fear, but not a phobia.
COOPER: Right.
VRANICH: Because a phobia would look a little different. You really would probably...
COOPER: Right, absolutely.
VRANICH: ... get up and run out of the room.
COOPER: And I don't want to minimize, you know, there are people out there who, you know, have (UNINTELLIGIBLE) life-changing, life-, you know, ending phobias about this. But for me, it's more just a fear, because I know they have a personal vendetta to get me.
VRANICH: They do.
COOPER: Yes. I'm glad you confirmed that.
Belisa Vranich, thanks very much.
VRANICH: Thanks for having me.

In the above follow up discussion from the transcript, Anderson talks about his fear of clowns and being assaulted by clowns on 360. Digging way back in the ATA archives we found the video from Anderson's 2004 birthday celebration with the clowns ~


AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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Anonymous said...

Thank u for posting that w/ the commentary. I was getting bored & wanted to read/watch something funny of Anderson. That made me laugh. So thank u!

Anonymous said...

Even the thought of enclosed place is giving me the higi-bigies & creating a slight panic inside...