CBT for Phobias

Certain fears are natural and reasonable, but others seem excessive in the face of the level of danger presented. Such fears cause unnecessary pain and distress. They can undermine self-confidence, block enjoyment and prevent you from doing things you might need or want to do.

If you suffer from an intense fear or dread regarding certain situations or things, you may be suffering from a phobia. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a particularly effective treatment for people wishing to deal with phobias.

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How Does CBT Help With Phobias?

CBT Therapy is a talking therapy that shows how certain patterns and cycles of thinking and behaviour can have a detrimental affect on our healthy functioning. Through a process of enquiry, psychoeducation and written exercises, a CBT therapist will help you understand what types of thinking and behaviour patterns you may be engaging in, that facilitate or exacerbate the phobia. Then through a series of further exercises and experimentation, your cognitive behavioural therapist will help you discover a new perspective and more effective strategies that enable you to reduce, manage and/or completely remove the phobia and related fears from you life.

A CBT therapist can also help you explore certain behaviours which facilitate and exacerbate the phobia. For example, many people with phobias go out of their way to avoid exposure to the things they fear, and exposure therapy can form part of the behavioural component of treatment. This can involve exercises of gradual exposure to the trigger, increasing over time, so eventually it doesn’t trigger a panic reaction anymore.

CBT therapy for phobias is most effective if you are able to actively engage in undertaking homework assignments. These might include keeping a journal, completing a thought record exercise or testing out a new behavioural strategy.

What Can I Expect to Experience During CBT Therapy?

During and following a successful course of CBT therapy for phobias, you could expect to experience some of the following:

  • Discovering new information and perspectives that enables you to understand why the phobia triggers such intense fear responses in you
  • Learn how particular forms of thinking and behaving keep you feeling phobic and what you can do to turn this around
  • Discover how different forms of thinking and behaving can reduce the intensity of your physiological response to the phobia, calm your fears and enable you to face the situation with more confidence
  • Learn how to manage or completely remove, your fear response when faced with your phobia
  • Become able to engage in a previous phobia situation with confidence, unhampered by debilitating fears

How Does CBT Therapy Work?

Your therapist will work with you, to help you:

  • Make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down
    into small parts
  • Establish achievable goals that you want from your therapy
  • Develop new thinking and behaviour patterns
  • Develop skills and strategies for problem solving
  • End your CBT therapy sessions when you feel you’ve achieved your goals

Therapy Reviews

Overcoming Anxiety & Work Stress – Improving Career & Relationships
After a number of false starts with therapists, I can only say that I wish I had found Maggie sooner!… Over a period of 15 years I had seen multiple therapists and psychiatrists to address issues relating to anxiety, depression and workplace stress…. Maggie really helped me to elucidate and articulate the origins of deeply embedded patterns of negative and self defeating thinking, which proved essential… Read More
Dan, Civil Servant
Empower Yourself – Overcome Trauma & Build Self-Esteem
I came to Judy struggling to understand the impact sexual abuse that had taken place in my childhood had had on me. I knew there were things… weaving their way into how I formed relationships and the way I have behaved since I was a teenager, but I didn’t know what they were or how to deal with them. The hours I’ve spent working with Judy have been the most…liberating and empowering experience and I’ve learnt… Read More
Magazine Editor, London
Overcome ME/CFS Long Covid & Build Confidence
…Thank you to KlearMinds for taking such care in matching me with the right therapist…. I started sessions when I was very unwell with Long Covid/ ME/CFS… Amanda was a huge part of my recovery… I’ve got my life back. I’ve just been for a run, am a Mum to my boys again and am loving life. The connection between my mental health and physical health were much more entwined than I had realised. Amanda helped me to… Read More
Jenny, Occupational Therapist from North England.
Flexible Therapy that Worked Best for Me
Had a very positive experience working with Kate and KlearMinds. Kate was very easy to talk to and gave me space to do sessions in the way that worked best for me and I came out of them feeling refreshed and motivated. I would definitely recommend Kate…. she was kind, thoughtful and always reliable, even when I was a bit awkward about finding times that suited my schedule. Read More
Professional, IT Sector
Career Coaching & Finding Loving Relationship
I started to see Maggie as a work coach… I was frustrated with my job… working myself into the ground… not getting any returns… I’m now in a job I love, and have just been promoted! I’m now much more confident… with who I am…. in a great relationship for almost two years now… I’ve recommended her to numerous friends since and I know she’s helped them massively too… She helped me realise…. Read More
Managing Director
Control Anxiety – Depression – Improve Relationships – Career Coaching
…therapy with Judy… has changed my life forever. I suffered daily from anxiety and.. negative thought[s].. holding me back..in my relationships… during lockdown..i was put at risk of redundancy.. I saw 3 different therapists before this, none of which really understood and helped me… Judy helped me understand things… control my anxiety… get back on track… I was blown away with her…. Read More
Events Producer
Build Self-Confidence and Overcome Relationship Problems
….I had tried counselling before and thought it wasn’t for me. I now realise that finding the right counsellor makes all the difference. I went to see Maggie when I felt I was no longer able to cope and everything in my life was going wrong…. I cannot recommend Maggie enough. I feel in control, grounded and confident… capable of moving forward in my life. My sessions with her have not only helped me gain…. Read More
A very grateful Lawyer!
Overcoming Trauma, Depression, Parenting problems, Career Issues
I have seen Maggie for a short batch of sessions, on 4 occasions… I’ve needed help with…post-natal depression…childhood trauma…career…work/life balance…parenting struggles… the services she provides, have been absolutely transformational… Without fail, each time, Maggie has..quickly distilled..the root..issue..and given me highly..actionable..advice..I can…use..long past attending one to one sessions…. Read More
COO, London
Help With Bereavement & Depression
I was coping with a major bereavement and it felt like a crisis… Straight away Maggie was warm, kind and understanding… I didn’t want to be in therapy for a long time, I just wanted to get better, get on with my life… I cannot recommend Maggie highly enough to you. Whilst life still presents me with challenges I can cope with them as I feel so much stronger now… over six weeks… after each session I’d… Read More
TV Director, London
Overcoming Career Anxiety & Work Stress
I had never thought I was someone who would need counselling or therapy, as I had always been very strong. However when my career wasn’t going quite as I had planned it, I found I was becoming very negative and mentally spiralling out of control – in fact turning myself into a victim. Maggie was outstanding at providing me with what I needed, not as a “quick fix” but by giving me the tools to use whenever I may need… Read More
Corporate Finance Lawyer
Empower Yourself – Building Self Confidence
Before meeting with Maggie, I had been feeling demotivated, lacking focus and very lonely…. Counselling was something I only considered when I felt there was nothing I could do. Retrospectively, this was incorrect. Maggie gave me support and provided me with the encouragement to empower myself to change. I had always found it hard to deal with questions, getting defensive. Maggie’s questions…helped me… I now realise… Read More
Investment Banker
Discovering Enjoyable Career Success & Creating Loving Relationships
When I came to see Maggie I was very depressed, but also very cynical about the benefits of seeing a therapist… I was working as a sales director… which I thought was what I wanted, but I had very little confidence in my abilities… I also had very bad relationships… Maggie has helped me to understand why… and…to turn things around so that I am so much happier now than I have been in many, many, years and… Read More
Ex Sales Director
Ensuring You Get the Right Therapist
The following feedback is from a client who we provided with a therapist re-match: Just wanted to say, amazing pick with Kate. Very happy with the switch. I am loving my therapy and making progress already after 3 sessions. Read More
Entrepreneur, London

Meet Our Experienced Therapists

Maggie Morrow Award Winning Therapist

Maggie Morrow is an award winning psychotherapist, an accomplished life coach and counsellor, and Founder 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 25 years helping people overcome problems so they can enjoy more fulfilling and satisfying lives.

 

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Paul Glynn - Psychotherapist & Counsellor London
Paul Glynn holds over 35 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.
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Jess holds over 21 years of experience as a therapist and is a KlearMinds Clinic Director. She draws upon a range of therapies including psychodynamic, CBT and mindfulness. Jess is skilled in helping clients gain new perspectives for understanding problems which provide powerful foundations for achieving positive change. She works collaboratively, helping you understand and improve problems from the root upwards.
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Judy Harrison - Psychotherapist and Couples Therapist London
Judy holds over 25 years experience as a psychotherapist, with individuals and couples. She utilizes a wide range of therapies, including CBT and psychoeducation and has considerable experience in Career Coaching, Mindfulness Meditation and Mediation. Judy works proactively with clients to help them understand and address problematic situations and experiences and develop positive skills they can draw upon for life.
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Kate Thomlinson - Psychotherapist & Counsellor London
Kate is a highly skilled therapist with over 9 years experience. 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.
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Amanda Reynolds - Psychotherapist & Counsellor London
Amanda is a highly experienced Advanced CBT and Integrative therapist with more than 11 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.
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Karen Gubb - Clinical Psychologist London.webp
Karen is a highly experienced psychologist, executive and career coach with over 21 years experience. 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 thoughts and patterns of behaviour so you can realise your personal goals.
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Tania Turner Counsellor and Couples Therapist in London
Tania is an experienced psychotherapist and couples counsellor with over 10 years experience. 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.
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Annette is a highly experienced clinical psychologist with over 16 years experience working with individuals, couples and families. She is skilled in a range of different therapy approaches including CBT and mindfulness, which enables her to constructively tailor therapy sessions to meet your particular needs. Annette works empathically and collaboratively, providing you with useful insights and tools for problem solving.
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Rachel holds extensive experience in providing expert couples and individual therapy and coaching. She draws on a range of therapies including CBT, mindfulness and coaching in tailoring her approach to best suit your learning style. Rachel adopts a proactive, balanced and empathetic approach helping people understand problematic patterns of behaviour and communication.
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Amanda is a highly skilled therapist with over 12 years experience. She can show you ways to gain clarity regarding your concerns and better understand the factors that are holding you back. Amanda can help you gain an enhanced understanding of yourself and others. She can show you effective strategies for coping with difficulties and constructive ways you can progress positively, towards achieving your goals.
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Hundreds of clients have trusted KlearMinds to help them find a therapist. Our Clinical Directors review every enquiry to match you with an expert therapist who can help you resolve your concerns and achieve your goals. Simply complete our enquiry form or request a telephone call to find a therapist who is the best match.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a phobia?

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that involves an irrational or excessive fear of a certain situation or thing. People who experience phobias can feel overwhelmed by intense fear at the mere thought of encountering the phobia trigger.

Symptoms of Phobias
Common Phobias
How long does it take to Overcome Phobias with CBT?

Further Self-Help & Reading on CBT

How CBT Therapy Can Help Treat Phobias

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Maggie Morrow Award Winning Therapist
Author: Maggie Morrow, Award Winning Psychotherapist, Counsellor & Life Coach
Last updated: 30th March 2023

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Our hand-selected therapists have trained in the UK’s most respected institutions. They hold a minimum of 8 and up to 30 years clinical experience within the NHS, private and/or charitable sectors. They are registered with: