The first wave of innovation in noise phobia therapy since the 1980’s?
The methodology used to heal or prevent noise phobia in pets is called desensitization or habituation, and collectively, noise phobia therapy. The basic method hasn’t changed since around 1950’s when it was developed, and the last and only instance of innovation was in the 1980’s.
WeStopFear aims to offer an improved process design
- More natural
- More tolerable
- Better supervised
- Better training
- Adapted to recent technological developments,
- Better support for success in the necessary future maintenance
As a results of this: A goal of much higher success rates leading to safer, more relaxed and mentally healthier pets, worldwide, without the pet’s chances of this being affected by the owner’s economic situation.
A wrecking problem and a pursuing better solution
Noise phobia can devastate a pet
Fear of unexplained noises, or in a more severe form, noise phobia, is a hidden problem among pets, and generally less treated and less prevented than it should be, if we keep in mind the well-being of the pets and recreational animals in human care.
This fear can send pets into crippling fear and even devastate their lives. It can lead to pets and animals going missing, in them being injured, or even lead to untimely death.
The alarming thing is that these are harmless noises that are a part of our industrialized, mechanized world. Humans know well that they are harmless, but pets don‘t know where come from. They are programmed by nature to be wary of any stimuli they don‘t know, and to flee rather than stay put and investigate what causes the noise. It is better to spend a little energy getting out of there, rather than to end the life as some other animal‘s lunch. This often happens every day for many animals.
But animals in the care of humans cannot flee. They are stuck, and that can lead to panic.
Up to half of all dogs are affected, and up to 20% are experiencing a serious problem. Cats are timid too, and horses are naturally fearful animals. Other animal types have this natural programming as well. Learn more about noise phobia here.
A simple solution, yet not much used
What can be done? Well, now it can be quite simple.
A way to prevent or heal this is noise phobia therapy. This method has the aim of letting the animal hear the noise in gradually increasing volumes, to let them learn that they are harmless. Hearing the noises become a habit. The method is named desensitization or habituation (to create a habit).
It should be a natural thing to do
Doing noise phobia therapy to improve the life quality of our animals should be as much a matter of course as basic training, clipping claws, ensuring dental health, de-worming, vaccination and flea control.
It could improve life quality for pets and humans alike
If all pets would receive this therapy, for prevention or for healing a problem, then that would lead to an improved proportion of pets feeling that they are secure, and improved life quality for the general population of pets and also for the human owners. Certain problems of living with pets may be caused by fear of noises, and these problems could be reduced significantly.
Risky, and has not been used as much as needed
But noise phobia therapy in its original or „classical“ form has been tedious and complicated. The classical process design is very simple with little thought behind it. Practicing noise phobia therapy with the classical has included certain risks of making mistakes, that could send the pet into a fit of fear. It could make matters worse, and lead to a shock that could be difficult to heal.
Noise phobia therapy has not been as widely practiced as it should be, neither for preventive nor healing purposes.
The improved working process of WeStopFear: Safer, simpler, easier, better supervised, more natural and more tolerable, adapted to recent technological developments, and with better after-support for better success in the necessary future maintenance – and thus with a goal of much higher success rates.
Want to learn a bit more about the innovations of WeStopFear?
WeStopFear has been under development for around a decade. Gradually, the solution has evolved and taken on the sophisticated form that is materializing now.
Using the scientific engineering approach of process analysis, process redesign, and re-engineering, the creator of WeStopFear created a new solution, while using the true and tested basic methods of classical noise phobia therapy, offering several key innovations:
1. Simple Secure Steps
Instead of the pet owner having to supervise a gradual process with precision every time, the process is now divided into several simple steps that are automatically adjusted for the level the user and his/her pet is at, at each stage of the process.
2. Volume Anchor
The tedious process step of setting the right volume on the audio device is made much simpler with the innovation of the Volume Anchor.
3. Mistakes not possible
By analyzing the process, the configuration and organization of the sound files used has been developed in such a way, that it is simply technically impossible to do the mistakes, that can potentially be made with the „classical“ method. The danger of mistakes has been „designed out – wiped out“ from the process itself.
4. Natural Intervals
In the classical noise phobia therapy method, all the different types of noises have appeared one right after the other with no silences in between. In reality, the animal‘s experiences of these noises aren‘t like that at all. A very ingenuous and simple solution, Natural Intervals make the experience of the noises more natural and realistic for the animal, which should increase the likelihood of the therapy being successful.
5. More bearable
Natural Intervals should also make the process better bearable for the human part of the household. That in itself should increase the likelihood that the human owner will continue the process for the time needed, instead of postponing, procrastinating and even abandoning the process before success has been reached.
6. More helpful supervision during the process
WeStopFear will be designed to inform, remind and communicate with its users. Receiving reminders and notifications from WeStopFear is thus a precondition for using the service. Otherwise, the pet owner could be led astray, and would not manage to finish the therapy successfully. We don‘t want word to spread about such instances.
7. Ongoing maintenance for ongoing success
Just like you cannot go to the gym just for several months, and then have perfect physical conditions for the rest of your life without any exercise, then the success level of noise phobia therapy needs to be maintained. WeStopFear aims to keep contact with the pet owner for the entire lifetime of the pet, to help the pet and pet owner to maintain this type of health in good standing.
8. Adapting to the newest technology
Most commonly, previous noise phobia therapy solutions have been available on audio CD‘s with no service offered to the pet owners during the process, except for a printed leaflet or an insert in the CD box. WeStopFear adapts to the most recent changes in consumer technology: Handheld devices, audio streaming over the Internet, wireless playback, and training geared at each stage in the process, as well as reminders and support vial modern digital messaging technologies.
With WeStopFear, we step into the third decade of the 21st century!
9. First innovations for a long time
The basic methods of desensitization (see here on Wikipedia) and habituation (see here on Wikipedia) were developed around the middle of the 20th century. Desensitzation is based on the work of psychologist Mary Cover Jones (1897 – 1987). “Cover-Jones stands out as a pioneer of behavior therapy; Joseph Wolpe dubbed her “the mother of behavior therapy” says Wikipedia about Ms. Cover Jones (see here).
The next step in innovations was probably the method of mixing relaxing, classical music with problem noises, which seems to have been developed in the 1980’s although the author (founder of WeStopFear) hasn’t been able to find explanations about that on the web.
It seems that the innovations of the working processes of WeStopFear are the first innovations in this field since the 1980‘s. WeStopFear is not a new type of therapy, per se. Rather, it is re-engineering and evolving the organization of the process steps needed to be taken, to implement the already known methods of desensitization or habituation.
WeStopFear has the goal of taking great strides forward with all the innovations and developments included, the first innovations for more than thirty years!
10. Future innovations
The spirit of innovation doesn‘t stop here. The foundations of further innovations have already been designed. Instead of Simple Secure Steps, get ready for Simple Secure Flow. This future update would offer an even more seamless management of the progression of the therapy process, and assistance in choosing different variations for different pets and locations. These await to be realized when WeStopFear has the means to do so.
Ten in all
These are the ten items, the new things are that WeStopFear will offer to pet owners.
Where are things at: WeStopFear is getting closer to launch
After many years of gradual development, the WeStopFear solution is very close to being ready to accept users. Actually, it can be used as it is today, but there are a few tweaks and formatting still waiting to be taken care of.
If you are interested, be welcome to sign up for the email list and be notified when WeStopFear opens its electronic doors to pet owners.
Screen shots from the member’s area
What is still missing?
The member’s area is, from a functional point of view, ready to use. However, there are some things that have halted the launch of the service:
- Configuring the user journey and user-progressing-defined access to the escalating steps in the therapy process has been complicated.
- The question of revenue creation was unsolved, (solving that is now closer with the Dufauna brand, see below).
- Certain services are unavailable in my present country, Iceland, notably payment processing services, and some other things.
- A rebranding has been underway. Yes, that means ditching the brand name WeStopFear, and adopting another brand name instead, with a new logo, new web domain, etc. However, this has not really been decided finally.
- The member’s area needs a certain update, with simpler therapy Steps pages, with the sound play functions. The simpler steps pages would be in tandem with the more complex steps pages, and links between, so the user could easily jump from one to the other.
- The whole development process has hence been halted, as I am also working on some entirely different project.
When will these be resolved? I don’t know to be honest. When that happens, it will be well visible on this page.
What is the goal?
There are millions and millions of homes with pets, where the overall situation for the general population of pets would be better, if their owners would do this noise phobia therapy to prevent possible future problems.
The general health and well-being of pets would improve.
The goal of WeStopFear is that taking care of noise phobia therapy will be seen as a natural thing to do, just like dog training, medical checks, vaccinations and preventive medication, dental health measures, and other common things that pet owners do for their pets.
WeStopFear wants to be instrumental in facilitating that development for pets, to improve their quality of life, and make the relationship between owners and now more secure and relaxed pets a happier and more fruitful one.
Expansion goals and ways to ensure it
It is necessary, and prudent, to aim for the most rapid growth of the number of households that practice noise phobia therapy for their pets. The best way is to ensure that is that anyone will be able to do this for their pet or pets, without having to consider the cost.
Thus, the goal is to be able to offer the full, basic method FOR FREE.
Or rather, people would be able to get the service for free, against providing assistance in distributing the message and recruiting a certain number of further users, who also can get the service for free if they do the same. The idea here would be to generate exponential growth of users. Those who don‘t want that would have the option to sign up to use the service by paying a fee.
The user should not have to submit credit card details, if he chooses not to. However, users will have to create and account and log in, and to receive messages and reminders, as is explained in paragraph 6 above. Along with these reminders, there will be helpful advice and special offers.
The ongoing maintenance service, explained in paragraph 7 above, will be free of charge as well, but receiving reminders there of will also be a condition to maintaining the account at WeStopFear.
The goal is not „free to try“, or limited services for free, and then the user would have to buy a paid plan to actually do things properly. The goal is to be able to do the full noise phobia therapy successfully for the pet, for free (given that the user has assisted in educating other pet owners about this free service, and facilitated the signup of a few users). But then it might be possible to offer certain paid programs with certain services that would make some aspects of the service more convenient. But a fully successful therapy should be possible without paying anything.
In the years while these innovations have been under development, a part of the speculations have been about how to generate revenues for the service, so that it will be sustainable financially. Reaching possible users, enticing them and getting them to bring out the credit card to pay for s service such as noise phobia therapy isn‘t easy, even if it is very necessary service for the pets.
Would you like to support WeStopFear? Do it by indulging yourself!
Developing, launching and running a solution like WeStopFear is never free, even if the goal is to be able to offer the full, basic method for free for anyone. It has demanded a huge amount of work from Sverrir Sigurdarson, the innovator and founder behind WeStopFear, and some expenses as well. This has been done without any financial support, grants, donations, capital investment or bank loans. It’s just a lot of unpaid work.
The best way, and possibly the most enjoyable way, to support the development work of WeStopFear would be if you would like to indulge yourself by acquiring some stylish designs of DuFauna, the new pets and animals focused designer brand.
DuFauna supports WeStopFear, WeStopFear supports DuFauna
DuFauna is a new designer brand that has the aim of designing and offering truly fashionable, elegant and stunning designs that would be well at home in any fashion conscious person‘s wardrobe. Be welcome to explore what has to offer.
The website is at www.dufauna.com.
DuFauna is founded by Mr. Sverrir Sigurdarson, who is also the innovator of the new solutions, developer and entrepreneur behind of WeStopFear.
A few DuFauna designs:
The hope is that the relationship between WeStopFear and DuFauna will be a very powerful one, with the very strong benefits for pets and pet owners that WeStopFear has the goal of providing. So DuFauna is a brand that has strong links with a very worthy cause: working on things that will be very beneficial for pets. So stylish pet owners can support that by using or wearing DuFauna designs. Hopefully DuFauna will benefit from this relationship, and be successful enough so that it will be possible to offer the solutions of WeStopFear of the highest quality for free, so that no pet owner, anywhere, will have to weigh the costs, with of getting hold of the best solution to do this for the pet.
The profits from the sales of the DuFauna design brand via the website of WeStopFear will hopefully be enough to pay for much of the development and running costs of WeStopFear. There will be no obligation whatsoever for the users of WeStopFear to be patrons of DuFauna. There will only be purchases by those who truly desire the designer products of DuFauna.
Is the new process design of WeStopFear better than the “classical” desensitization/habituation method?
Another question to ask here could be: Is driving a car with an automated transmission better than driving a car with a manual transmission (also called “driving with a stick”)?
Well, the answer is that this is a matter of personal choice. Many people, especially in America, have preferred cars with an automatic transmission. At the same time, others like the more direct, hands on experience of driving a car with a manual transmission. Both methods work. You don’t need to learn again how to drive a car, if you move from manual transmission to an automatic transmission.
Another good analogy could be the difference between coal or gas cooking stoves/ovens, and electric stoves/ovens. Electric stoves are seen to be more convenient, as you only need to turn a knob (or push a touch sensitive glass plate) to turn it on, and safer, as you don’t need to light a living fire. However, there are cooks that prefer cooking with gas, and baking pizzas in a wood fired oven in commercial restaurants is by many considered giving a better taste than using electric ovens. All three methods work. They get the job done of cooking or baking the food. It’s a matter of personal preference.
The answer regarding the noise phobia therapy methods is the same. It is a question of personal preference. Both methods work.
However, the new method of Simple Secure Steps offered in the WeStopFear solution, I predict that many will find it to be more convenient, and it is definitely safer for the pet, as it is practically (or 99%) not possible to make the mistake of accidentally playing the noises too loud in the beginning of the process, which may have traumatic consequences if it happens.
In the end, it is up to each pet owner to decide what methods are best. That is no problem for the developer of WeStopFear.
The founder of WeStopFear (who is also the founder of DuFauna) did bring a CD disc with noise phobia therapy to the market under a different brand name, which was sold on Amazon. However, that CD disc was not fully based on the Simple Secure Steps method, which was developed subsequently.
The founder has also put up a website offering both the “classical” and new Simple Secure Steps methods of noise phobia therapy for free, to try to see user’s reactions. This focused only on fireworks sounds. The reaction by users has been positive, with good things said about the new method, and the founder was even interviewed in television, radio and was on the front page of a national newspaper in his country.
The founder also was able to ask two professionals to review the method, as a very rudimentary, unofficial first look. Here are parts of their reviews:
J. Colella, veterinary technician, USA:
“I have to say, I’m really excited about this project. I tend to see a lot of noise phobias in pets that I’ve worked with, so this is fantastic. … … Visual presentation looks great – professional and clear. I actually took more away from the videos on the IndiGoGo page and the website than through reading the copy, however.”
S.F. Lansburg, veterinary and biology student, USA:
“Congratulations on the development of this great product. As a veterinarian I am very happy to see this kind of innovations and I know that this product will make a difference in the life of many pets and families. I think that your product is really good. … … I think that it [the Natural Intervals] makes a lot of sense; a more natural sound experience equals better results. I focused on the fact that your treatment has no adverse effects in comparison with drugs and I included research references about the desensitization and habituation method. I suggest that you include this scientific evidence in your “information for vets” page. … … I am very interested in your product.”
These comments by Colella and Lansburg are not the final say, of course, and more formal tests and evaluations await to be done by professionals when WeStopFear reaches the alpha or beta stage.
The first WeStopFear solution is for dogs, but in the future, the idea is to offer solutions for all types of pets, see here:
In the end, this might be the product line-up. Next would be cats, horses and pet birds who can be devastated as much as dogs. However, this will definitely take time (and probably there will never be a dedicated product line for Opossums, Sugar gliders or Fennec foxes, but rather, a product line for “other types”):
Would you like to support WeStopFear?
In case you would like to support WeStopFear, you can either donate, or consider the designer products of DuFauna: