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Specific Phobia

Most people can name at least one thing they’re afraid of. Whether you don’t like being in the dark or you really dislike snakes, the majority of us have phobias. While phobias are often harmless, they can also make your day much more difficult or limit your ability to lead a fulfilling life.

Whether you just want to move beyond your fear or you’re dealing with hardships related to your phobia, you may benefit from therapy for specific phobia at The Center for CBT in New York City.

What are Specific Phobias?

As the name suggests, specific phobias are fears of specific things, people, places, or activities. In many situations, people can avoid whatever they fear without it negatively impacting their lives, but when phobias become overwhelming or impede the person’s ability to live their life, it may be time to consider therapy to address the adverse effects of phobia.

What are the Most Common Specific Phobias?

There are many different phobias, and people may find themselves irrationally fearful of just about anything. However, research indicates that most specific phobias fall into one of four basic categories: fears associated with animals, natural conditions, medical conditions or injuries, or specific situations and events. Some of the most common phobias include:

How Does CBT Help with Specific Phobia?

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a popular approach used to help people struggling with specific phobias. This therapy technique is based around helping people to understand the ways that thinking, feeling, and acting are interconnected. Because phobias are a direct result of habitual beliefs about feared things, CBT can help people understand how these beliefs lead to increased emotional response, negative thinking, and problematic behaviors. CBT benefits individuals with specific phobias by increasing self-awareness about responses to a phobia and helping them to develop skills to regain control of their physical, cognitive, and emotional responses when presented with their phobia.

How Does Exposure Therapy Help with Specific Phobia?

In addition to CBT, our therapists use a technique called exposure therapy. Using this approach, you collaborate with your therapist to create a plan to slowly become more comfortable with the feared object or experience by imagining interactions and exploring your responses. Then, you will progress to in-person interactions in a controlled environment. When possible, your therapist may be present with you to help you recognize your emotions, thoughts, and physical responses to your phobia. The goal of this therapy is to help you develop increased control over your fear response when exposed to your phobia. We will encourage you to take steps to move beyond your phobia through exposure, but this process will always go at your pace. If you need to press pause or try something else to feel safe and comfortable, let your therapist know.

What Can I Expect During Therapy?

Each person’s therapy plan will be different, and that all starts with your first session at our practice. During this intake visit, your therapist will ask you some questions about your phobia, past experience with therapy, and what goals you would like to achieve throughout the course of therapy. During the sessions after your initial visit, we’ll develop a planned course of action to help you manage the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors triggered by your phobia. You’ll also learn skills and develop strategies to change the way you think and feel about the phobia as well as reducing the effects of phobia on your daily life.

Who offers therapy for specific phobia

Each of our clinicians has years of unique training and experience that allow them to provide therapy using specific approaches that work best for certain clients. Our clinicians who provide therapy for specific phobia are featured below, and you can learn more about them by visiting our team page.

What Should I Do Next?

When you’re ready to begin therapy, we hope you’ll consider contacting The Center for CBT in New York City. We offer a safe space where you are free to be who you really are and express yourself and your values authentically. We embrace, value, and welcome people of all sexual orientations, genders, and racial identities. The Center for CBT in New York City makes beginning your therapy journey simple. You can get started any time by completing our online consultation request form. One of our team members will be in touch within 24 business hours to answer your questions.

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