My wife has been afraid of dogs for pretty much her whole life. Even a peaceful labrador used to evoke strong reactions from her.
Last summer we stayed at a homestay in coorg and the hosts had two dogs - one tied up and one let loose to run around the coffee estate and chase away small intruders and the like.
While the dog was pretty friendly with us, it had the "bad habit" of coming and sitting very close to us whereever we settled down. Given my wife's attitudes to dogs in general, this generated considerable anxiety in her.
While we had discussed using EFT/Emotrance to release her fear of dogs before, she never entertained the notion of changing her attitude to the "disgusting dogs" :).
With the dog sitting right next to us, she was ready to try it. So we tried the standard EFT protocol for a few rounds with whatever she felt was appropriate - "I am afraid of dogs", "I am afraid of this dog", "remaining fear of this dog" etc on successive rounds as she observed her discomfort about the dog.
After about 10-15 minutes of this she noticeably relaxed and was pretty normal the around the dog for the rest of the vacation.
What we did was effective enough that she did not feel any discomfort when we visited a organic farm that had many dogs recently!
This was an example of using EFT in the field.
Note that we did not even have to root cause to find the causal events leading to this fear nor do any psychoanalysis. We just followed the emotional discomfort in the presence of the dog and used successive tapping rounds to bring it down.
If I it was a more formal setting, to be thorough I would have asked the client to use a -10 to 10 subjective rating to keep track of how she felt about the dog and use some positive to take her into a high positive, get her to touch the dog etc. But what we did was enough to get through the situation.
Fears like these are very common and visible all around us. I have an uncle who panics whenever he sees a rat and starts shouting, stands up on the sofa etc.
While these are amusing and it looks like the person is over reacting, the fear that the person experiences is real and all best efforts at using logic like "it is only a rat/lizard/dog" etc. are usually futile.
The other common approach is to the expose the person to the 'agent of stress' repeatedly. Sometimes it makes it worse, even in cases where it works it involves needless pain and suffering for the person involved.
Methods like EFT and Emotrance, once learnt, can be used very effectively in these situations.