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Counselling for Phobias

Phobias can feel overwhelming. We’re here to help.

Unlike a regular fear reaction, phobias are excessive and can make you feel dread or panic when encountering certain objects or situations. Unlike general anxiety, phobias are connected to something specific. 

 

The impact of phobias on your life can range from mild to debilitating. Fears may interfere with work, school, relationships and responsibilities. People with phobias often recognize that their fear is excessive but feel like they can’t do anything about it. 

 

Many people live with their symptoms of phobia for years before seeking help. This may cause you to miss out on many important events and experiences. If you think you might have a phobia, book a consultation with one of our mental health specialists who can help you better manage and overcome this condition. 

 

What Does a Phobia Feel Like?

There are different types of phobias. When people encounter the object or situation they fear they may experience the following symptoms:

 

  • Unreasonable or excessive fear 

  • Immediate and intense anxiety response

  • May or may not recognize that fear is excessive

  • Avoidance or extreme distress

  • Panic attacks

    • Racing heart

    • Shortness of breath or hyperventilating

    • Rapid speech or difficulty speaking

    • Dry mouth

    • Upset stomach

    • Nausea

    • Trembling or shaking

    • Chest pain or tightness

    • Sensation of choking

    • Dizziness or lightheadedness

    • Sweating

    • Sense of impending doom

 

There are five general types of phobias:

  • Natural/Environment Type: May include thunder, water, storms, and the dark

  • Injury Type: May include the dentist, needles, injury, or injections 

  • Animal Type: May include dogs, snakes, and insects 

  • Situational Type: May include enclosed spaces, driving, tunnels, or bridges

  • Other Types: May include choking, vomiting, or loud sounds

 

People may also experience excessive fears of social situations. Social Phobia is the fear of any situation where you may be judged or embarrassed. Eating in front of people or public speaking are examples of triggers for social phobia. 

 

Agoraphobia is a form of phobia that develops from the fear of having panic attacks in public spaces. People with agoraphobia avoid places like malls, airplanes, or movie theatres where there are crowds of people. 

 

A phobia becomes a significant problem when a person begins organizing their lives to avoid their fear. Without help, phobias can become debilitating for some people. 

How Are Phobias Treated?

Phobias can be effectively treated with counselling or a combination of medications and therapy.

Counselling & Therapy for Phobias

The most effective treatment for most phobias is a form of psychotherapy called exposure therapy. Your therapist may combine other therapeutic techniques with this form of therapy to help you deal with your symptoms. You do not need to understand the cause of your phobia to have success in treatment. 

 

Your therapist will work with you to better manage your thoughts, reactions, and feelings surrounding your fears. They will guide you through relaxation techniques and gradual repeated exposure to the source of your phobia in a supportive and helpful environment. Over time, your therapist will help you conquer your fears by re-training your brain’s response to the object of fear. 

 

Your therapist may use techniques from Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help manage difficult thoughts and symptoms. CBT can help you develop useful coping mechanisms and recognize your thought patterns and views of the world that aren’t helping you live your best life. 

 

If you have experienced trauma, our team at Life In Harmony is specially trained to help you navigate the difficult emotions that accompany that experience. 

 

Reaching out for support to overcome your phobia is a vital step in regaining control of your life. Tired of feeling afraid? Book a consultation with one of our specialists today. 

Counselling for Phobias in Vaughan, Woodbridge & Greater Toronto Area

We are the largest counselling service provider in the Vaughan and Woodbridge area with over 15 years of experience helping people work through trauma. If you have experienced sexual trauma, our team of therapists specializes in helping clients identify the roots of their struggles and learn effective tools for overcoming them. We offer cutting edge counselling and coaching to individuals, families, and couples.

 

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