Learning to pop 1
One method is to blow up several balloons - six to ten is a good number, starting
with a balloon that is only very slightly inflated, the next one blown up a little
bit more, and so on until you are getting just a bit uncomfortable about it all.
Try to make the biggest one a size that you absolutely wouldn't want to pop.
Then get a pin or other sharp object and start popping with the smallest one
You may find that a set of earplugs or ear defenders - or even headphones will
help - lessening the noise that you hear may help you come to terms with the
actual popping and you can deal with the sound later on - as with all therapy -
whatever works well for you is a good thing to try - inflating balloons with
water, for example, produces a balloon that will burst with a 'splat' rather
than a bang - blowing up balloons with varying amounts of water and air can
produce balloons that are big and tight but have varying degrees of 'bang'.
The more you experiment the more confident you are likely to
The smallest one will just go 'phut' as you would imagine. Take your time and try to
pop all the balloons progressing from the smallest one up to the biggest one. You
will become more courageous with each pop - as you go through this set of balloons,
each pop will make you more accustomed to the sound, and will make you more prepared
for the next one.
You may even find yourself popping the largest that you have blown up for this session
- in which case - WELL DONE ... the process is beginning to work - the phobia is on the
Another way to pop a balloon without being too affected is to make up some
tubing attached to the 'blow' side of a vacuum cleaner or any other suitable
pump with the balloon firmly fitted and set the pump running in such a way that
you can be in the next room or some distance away when the pop happens.
You can do this as often as you like - once a day - once a week - it's up to you how
fast or slow you want to be - but keep doing it regularly - don't leave it so long
between sessions that you have to start over again from square one, and each time
you do it try to get the largest balloon a bit bigger so that you progress further.
Check out a variation on the next page - NEXT
To read more about de-sensitisation and Joseph Wolpe who developed it