Services What does having a “phobia” mean?
A phobia can be defined as having an unreasonable, distorted, and persistent fear of a specific object or situation. Someone who has a phobia can be diagnosed with a type of anxiety disorder, depending on if they meet criteria in terms of recognizing the fear is excessive and avoidance of the feared situation causes marked impairment in ones’ life.
The word “fear” is often used in society to describe things we are afraid of. The question is: How do we know that this is something for which we may want to seek counseling? When certain life fears lead you to avoid certain situations or not enjoy life, then these anxieties may be making enough of an impact for counseling to be useful.
We all from time to time have asked ourselves how much better our lives would be if we overcame fears that we have had for an extended period of time. When these struggles become overwhelming from a physical and emotional perspective, phobia treatment may be something that can be beneficial for you.
Some Conditions that Need Phobia Treatment
There are three main phobia groups that exist, and they include:
- Specific (simple) phobias, which are the most common and that focus on specific objects, such as closed spaces, heights, water and animals.
- Social phobia, which brings on extreme anxiety in social or public situations, and
- Agoraphobia, which is the fear of being alone in public places where there is no easy escape
What Does Treatment for Phobias Look Like?
There are options for treatment through therapy at Perspectives. One of the main methods is exposure therapy, and response prevention where the therapist helps a person overcome their specific phobias within a series of steps known as hierarchy of fears.
For example, someone being treated for a fear of driving may work out the following steps to success with their therapist:
- Step 1: Think every day about the possibility of driving
- Step 2: Sit in the car for 30 minutes
- Step 3: Sit in the car and have it run for 15 minutes
- Step 4: Drive around your block.
Treating phobias as such is intended not to overwhelm a person but offer the prospect of positive change.
Treatment can also happen using a variety of other methods that our clinicians specialize in, such as: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Behavioral Therapy (SFBT) and Gradual Exposure Therapy.