What are phobias?
Phobias are persistent, irrational or unreasonable fears that can trigger intense anxiety and panic attacks. Those who suffer from phobias are often unable to function normally when faced with fear-inducing stimuli. Sometimes even talking about or seeing a photo of the things they fear can cause anxiety. Some common phobias include Acrophobia (fear of heights), Arachnophobia (fear of spiders), Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), Agoraphobia (fear of having a panic attack in public), Mysophobia (fear of germs) and Cynophobia (fear of dogs). Phobias affect about 20 million people in the U.S.
While only a behavioral health professional can diagnose your phobia, there are a couple of indicators that you are suffering from a phobia rather than ordinary fear or another disorder. Avoidance of the object of fear or feared situation is one indicator. Another factor to consider is anticipatory anxiety. This means fixation on any upcoming events or situations in which one might encounter the feared object or situation. In short, these factors make it clear that the phobia interferes with your life.
Treatment options that work for my clients are:
- Talk therapy
- Cognitive Behavior therapy such as exposure therapy and systematic desensitization
- Psychotherapy with a biopsychosocial approach that considers the biological, psychological, and social factors
- Emotionally Focused Therapy
- Introduction of coping strategies and self-talk
I also make recommendations for alternative mindfulness therapies like yoga and meditation.
Schedule a free 10-minute consultation.
I am currently accepting new patients. To schedule a consultation or your first appointment, you can call my office at 504-481-899 or click here to request an appointment online.