Everyone is afraid of something in their lives, but when your fears are focused on something specific which triggers excessive levels of panic or anxiety, you might be suffering from a phobia.
Counselling techniques, including cognitive behavioural therapy and integrative psychotherapy, can be very effective in helping people allay these excessive fears and overcome their phobia.
The Benefits of Phobia Counselling
During and following a course of successful counselling for phobias, you can expect to experience some of the following outcomes:
- Uncover the root cause of your phobia and discover ways to overcome the extreme and irrational fears which are triggered from this source.
- Learn how feelings, thoughts and behaviours can contribute to your fears and how to turn this around so you can feel less fearful and more in control.
- Learn relaxation techniques that help soothe and remove panic or anxiety when faced with a fearful situation.
- Build a deeper self-understanding and stronger self-confidence so you worry a lot less and enjoy life much more.
Amanda is a highly experienced Advanced CBT and Integrative therapist with more than 8 years experience. She draws upon a wide range of therapies and works proactively to help clients understand, process and resolve their concerns and conflicts. Amanda can assist you to quickly identify problematic thoughts and behaviours which negatively impact your personal and professional well-being.
Andrea is a highly experienced relationship therapist and coach, with over 15 years clinical experience providing marriage and relationship counselling. She is passionate about empowering couples to be the best version of themselves and to live their best lives. She can help you and your partner to identify and address the root causes of problematic patterns which have a negative impact on your relationship.
Dr Justin Basquille
Dr Basquille is Consultant Psychiatrist with over 20 years experience helping patients with mental health concerns, within the NHS and private practice. As a psychiatrist, he provides a medical service that focuses on the diagnosing and treatment of a wide range of mental health conditions and psychiatric disorders. He can evaluate, assess and recommend a course of medication which can provide you with physical, mental and emotional relief for a range of psychological concerns.
Jodie is a psychotherapist with several years experience helping individuals address a wide range of concerns. She works collaboratively using a variety of therapies, including CBT psychoeducation and coaching skills to empower clients to make positive changes. Jodie draws upon a range of theories and techniques best suited to the needs of each client, helping them to understand and change patterns of unhelpful behaviour, which can hold them back.
Judy is a highly experienced psychotherapist. She utilizes a wide range of therapies, including CBT and psychoeducation to help her clients. She also holds considerable experience providing Career Coaching, Mindfulness Meditation and Mediation. Judy draws on a wealth of experiencing and works proactively with clients to help them understand and positively change patterns of thinking and behaviour which hold them back in life.
Karen is a highly experienced psychologist, executive and career coach with more than 15 years experience helping adults address a wide range of concerns. Karen draws upon a variety of therapies and coaching skills, tailoring her approach, to best suit the learning style of each client. Karen works proactively. She can help you understand and constructively change problematic beliefs and patterns of behaviour that inhibit your ability to realise your personal goals.
Kate is a highly skilled therapist. She has worked successfully in a variety of settings, including media, TV, journalism, law and higher education. She draws upon a broad range of therapeutic skills including existential, CBT, mindfulness and psychoeducation to enable clients to achieve the outcomes they want, in terms of professional and personal satisfaction and wellbeing.
Maggie is an award winning psychotherapist, an accomplished life coach and counsellor, and Director of KlearMinds. In 2007 she was awarded the BACP National Award for advancing the quality of therapy service provision to the highest standards in the UK. Maggie’s experience spans over 20 years helping people overcome problems so they can enjoy more fulfilling and satisfying lives.
Mita is a highly experienced psychotherapist and counsellor with over 20 years of clinical experience. She is passionate about helping clients overcome issues they have been struggling with for months and sometimes years. Mita draws upon a range of therapies including, CBT, Mindfulness and EMDR, which she tailors to best suit each client she works with.
Paul Glynn holds over 30 years experience as a therapist and is KlearMinds Clinical Director. Paul offers a warm, pragmatic and interactive approach to help you understand and go beyond the difficulties you are facing. He is passionate about empowering clients to develop the tools that can help them to resolve stuckness and positively change repetitive, problematic behaviours.
Tania is an experienced psychotherapist and couples counsellor. She is highly skilled in helping couples and individuals address a wide range of concerns. She has a warm, collaborative, insightful approach and uses a range of therapies including psychodynamic and mindfulness, to enable her clients to understand and resolve issues constructively.
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that involves an irrational or excessive fear of something or someone. Typically an object, situation, animal or place tends to be the trigger of a phobia. Approximately 10 million people in the UK are affected by a phobia.
Phobias go beyond simple fears in the sense that they can take over your life and prompt you to go well out of your way to avoid the object of your fear. People who have a phobia are often bombarded with intense anxiety at the mere thought of encountering the object of their fear or even seeing a picture of it. This fear can contribute to symptoms of panic, anxiety and depression.
Many people try to cope by avoiding the phobia trigger. However, it can be difficult to live a normal life when you are actively trying to avoid the things that you fear, especially when it is something that is not easily avoided such as a public place or enclosed space.
There are literally hundreds of different types of phobia that affect people’s lives from day to day. A few of the most common phobias are listed below:
When you have a phobia you might feel stress or panic when faced with the situation itself or you may live in constant fear of encountering whatever triggers your fear. For some people, it can become exhausting trying to find ways to avoid the trigger and your relationships with other people may be impacted negatively as a result. You might also have trouble concentrating or sleeping, as worries take over your mind.
Some of the following physiological symptoms can arise when faced with a phobia:
People who have a phobia do not have to live their life in fear. Counselling can help you confront your phobias head-on and, in many cases, it can also help you to overcome the phobia completely. The specific approach and prognosis depends on the individual, but several effective options are available.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT for phobias provides one path to removing the disabling fear out of your phobias. It provides a structured way to work through your fears and helps you to redefine the problem. Many people are prone to false or unhelpful thoughts that feed phobia fears and associated behaviours without even realising it. A cognitive behavioural therapy approach can help you identify such thoughts and replace them with more productive ones. Thus, enabling you to take control of the situation and regain your freedom.
Integrative Psychotherapy for Phobias
Integrative psychotherapy combines effective techniques from psychotherapy, drawing on a variety of therapeutic models which can help people address phobias. Because CBT therapy doesn’t address the impact of your history on the phobia occurrence, integrative psychotherapy can fill this gap. It can help you understand how certain aspects of your history, which are often out of awareness, can also drive the negative thought and behavioural patterns that exacerbate phobia symptoms. Integrative psychotherapy can equip you to identify potential phobia triggers and develop effective strategies to better manage or completely prevent phobia symptoms from occurring in the future.
This therapy is often used to help people become desensitised to the object of their fear. This is a very measured approach which involves gradual exposure to the trigger in a controlled environment that increases over time until it no longer brings about a panic reaction. It can be thought of as a way of teaching your brain not to send a fear signal (and set in motion the resultant physical symptoms) when you are not legitimately in danger.
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This page was written by Maggie Morrow (MSc, BSc, Adv Dip, UKCP) and medically reviewed in February 2022.