Phobias and Therapy

Phobias are an intense and distressing fear of an object, animal, situation or experience. They can be quite debilitating and may cause us to avoid certain tasks or activities, to the point that we neglect important matters at work, social activities, in relationships, or with our health.

For some people, their phobia can be triggered by a past bad experience. We may also learn to fear through observing other people’s reactions and attitudes, or the information you received from others. There is some evidence that there may be a genetic predisposition to developing phobias.

Common Phobias

  • Arachnophobia: an intense fear of spiders and other arachnids
  • Ophidiophobia: an intense fear of snakes
  • Acrophobia: an intense fear of heights
  • Aerophobia: an intense fear of flying
  • Cynophobia: an intense fear of dogs
  • Astraphobia: an intense fear of thunder and lightning
  • Trypanophobia: an intense fear of injections
  • Social phobia: an intense fear of social interactions
  • Agoraphobia: an intense fear of places that are difficult to escape, sometimes involving a fear of crowded or open spaces
  • Mysophobia: an intense fear of germs, dirt, and other contaminants

How to Overcome Phobias

Overcoming any phobia involves facing the situation we are afraid of in order to address the things which maintain our fear such as our thoughts (the ideas and predictions we have) and actions (avoiding or using unhelpful safety behaviours). We do this by changing any unhelpful or inaccurate thinking about the situation, and by using graded exposure to face situations in a controlled and careful manner.

The good news is that there are things you can do to overcome  phobia, by safely and gradually learning to test your fears. We at Ethos can help you.