Phobia Counselling in London
We all experience fear and worry, to a degree. However, phobias can cause wide-reaching difficulties and impede day-to-day functioning. Counselling treatment for a phobia involves working through a therapy programme to control the fear. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques are very effective at reducing heightened fears.
What is a phobia?
Like generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic attacks, a phobia is an anxiety disorder. It is characterised by an extreme or irrational fear of an animal, object, place or situation and is very common. In the UK alone, an estimated 10 million people have a phobia to some degree. Phobias are more than simple fears, however; they can completely dominate the life of an individual who reorganises their whole life around avoiding the thing they are afraid of. The very thought of coming into contact with the thing in question or even seeing it on television, will lead to intense feelings of anxiety and can lead to the individual suffering from panic attacks. In more complex phobias such as agoraphobia (fear of open spaces and public places) and social phobias the individual may find it very difficult to lead a normal life, as these situations are not easily avoided. Further, all phobias, particularly complex phobias such as agoraphobia, can limit your daily activities and can lead to severe anxiety and depression.
How can counselling and CBT help with phobias?
Counselling can be a highly effective way of treating phobias. Cognitive behavioural techniques in particular, have been shown to reduce the heightened and disabling fear associated with phobias. By working through your fear in a structured and individualised fashion, you will begin to redefine and reframe the problem in question, gradually regaining your freedom. Together with your CBT therapist you will learn the techniques to better understand and manage your fear, acknowledge your own limits, and identify triggers to your fear.
Common phobia signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness
- Trembling, shaking, palpitations, or racing heart
- Feeling smothered
- Fear of losing control or going mad or of dying
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Hot (sweating) or cold flushes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Feeling unsteady, dizzy, lightheaded, or faint.
If you suffer from intense fear or phobia, and symptoms such as those listed here, then you may benefit from counselling and psychotherapy.
Phobia counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy at Harley Therapy™, London
Our team of specialist therapists and psychologists offer cognitive behavioural therapy will work with your particular concerns and help you overcome your fear and equip you with the tools to start leading a healthier life. Our cognitive behavioural therapists offer treatment for different types of phobias. Please call or book online to arrange an initial assessment for your specific issues with a therapist experienced in helping phobias.
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Further reading on help for phobias
- ‘The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook’ (2011) by Edmund Bourne.
- ‘Coping with Fears and Phobias: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding & Facing Your Anxieties’ (2007) by Warren Mansell.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for phobias - what is it and can it help?
- Irrational fears: Is there nothing to fear but fear itself?
- 7 surprising signs you suffer a fear of intimacy
Types of Phobias Treated
- Agoraphobia (the fear of situations in which escape is difficult, such as crowded areas or open spaces)
- Social phobia
- Claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces)
- Pteromerhanophobia (the fear of flying)
- Acrophobia (fear of heights)
- Trypanophobia (the fear of injections, needles)
- Emetophobia (fear of vomiting)
- Astraphobia (the fear of thunder and lightning)
- Mysophobia (the fear of germs or dirt)
- Achluophobia (fear of darkness)
- Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
- Ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes)
- Cynophobia (the fear of dogs)