Areas of Specialty

OCD anxiety treatment exposure therapy

Example Exposure for Claustrophobia

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder which cause intense and extreme fear of an object or situation, which may include insects, heights, group settings, injections, vomiting, blood, and more. Those with phobias will go to extreme lengths to avoid the feared stimuli. Phobias can become debilitating due to interferences in functioning related to school, work, or leisure.  Exposure and response prevention is the most effective treatment for phobias.

Symptoms of specific phobias may include:

  • Excessive or irrational fear of a specific object or situation
  • Avoiding the object or situation or enduring it with great distress
  • Physical symptoms of anxiety or a panic attack, such as a pounding heart, nausea or diarrhea, sweating, trembling or shaking, numbness or tingling, problems with breathing (shortness of breath), feeling dizzy or lightheaded, feeling like you are choking
  • Anticipatory anxiety, which involves becoming nervous ahead of time about being in certain situations or coming into contact with the object of your phobia; for example, a person with a fear of dogs may become anxious about going for a walk because he or she may see a dog along the way.​

There are many different types of specific phobias, based on the object or situation feared, including:

Animal phobias: Examples include the fear of dogs, snakes, etc.

Situational phobias: These involve a fear of specific situations, such as flying, riding in a car or on public transportation, driving, going over bridges or in tunnels, or of being in a closed-in place, like an elevator.
Natural environment phobias: Examples include the fear of storms, heights, or water.
Blood-injection-injury phobias: These involve a fear of being injured, of seeing blood or of invasive medical procedures, such as blood tests or injections
Other phobias: These include a fear of falling down, a fear of loud sounds,  fear of costumed characters, such as clowns, fear of vomiting (emetophobia) and others.

Specific Phobias

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