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Phobia Counselling, Therapy and CBT in St Albans/Hertfordshire and Online

We all experience worries in life, but for some individuals, specific phobias can lead to intense fear that significantly impacts their daily lives. If you're struggling with a phobia, I can assist you in overcoming it by utilizing proven therapy approaches like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Together, we can work towards reducing the impact of your phobia and improving your overall well-being.

What Are Phobias?

Phobias are characterised by intense and irrational fears of specific objects, situations, or animals, such as spiders, snakes, needles, driving, vomiting, heights, public spaces (agoraphobia), and social situations (social phobia/social anxiety). These fears can cause considerable distress, leading individuals to go to great lengths to avoid the triggers. However, avoidance only reinforces fears and can result in a limited and less fulfilling life, potentially leading to feelings of low mood or depression.

Phobias can trigger anxiety and panic, leading to a physiological stress response characterised by various unpleasant changes in the body, including:

  • Elevated heart rate

  • Rapid and shallow breathing

  • Sweating

  • Dizziness/fuzzy head/feeling disconnected from reality

  • Muscle tension

  • Trembling

  • Numbness

  • Nausea

Common Types of Phobias

Here are some prevalent types of phobias:

  • Fear of heights

  • Fear of specific animals or insects

  • Fear of flying

  • Fear of injections and/or blood

  • Fear of social situations (also known as social phobia)

  • Fear of crowded places or open places (also known as agoraphobia)

  • Fear of being sick/vomiting (emetophobia)

What Causes Phobias?

Specific phobias can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Traumatic experience: A person may develop a specific phobia after experiencing a traumatic event or a frightening incident related to the feared object or situation. For example, a person who was bitten by a dog as a child may develop a phobia of dogs.

  2. Learned behavior: Phobias can also be learned through observation or through direct instruction. For instance, if a child sees a parent or someone they look up to displaying fear or avoidance towards a specific object or situation, they may learn to fear it as well.

  3. Environmental factors: Environmental factors, such as a lack of exposure to certain objects or situations during childhood, may contribute to the development of specific phobias.

  4. Cognitive factors: Negative or irrational thoughts and beliefs about the feared object or situation can contribute to the development and maintenance of specific phobias.


It's important to note that the exact cause of specific phobias can vary from person to person, and often, it's a combination of several factors that contribute to the development of a phobia.

What Does Treatment For Phobias Involve?

Therapy for phobias is highly effective, and one of the most proven approaches is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). In therapy, the underlying cause of the phobia may be explored, but the primary focus is on identifying triggers and understanding the factors that contribute to the maintenance of the phobia. It is essential to recognise that avoidance, while temporarily relieving, actually reinforces and intensifies fears in the long run. A significant aspect of therapy involves learning practical techniques to manage anxiety when gradually confronting fears. As you face your fears, you will witness a reduction in their intensity, allowing you to regain control and engage in activities that were previously avoided. This process enables you to live a more fulfilling life once again.

How Long Does Therapy For Phobias Last?

Therapy has been proven to be highly effective in treating phobias, and it is possible for individuals to achieve significant progress in as few as six sessions. However, it is important to note that the number of sessions required may vary depending on the individual and the specific phobia. In some cases, additional sessions may be necessary to provide further support and to develop additional coping strategies to effectively manage the phobia and prevent its reoccurrence.

When Should I Get Help for a Phobia?

If you are currently grappling with an intense fear that is causing distress and disrupting your daily life, it would be beneficial to consider seeking therapy. Treatment for phobias is appropriate and effective regardless of the severity of your condition, whether it is mild, moderate, or severe. Therapy can provide the support and tools you need to overcome your fear and regain control over your daily functioning.


What Are The Benefits of Counselling For Phobias?

Counselling for phobias can offer several advantages, such as:

  • Decreased anxiety related to the specific object or situation

  • Enhanced sense of control over fears

  • Improved overall quality of life

  • Enhanced mood and emotional well-being

  • Freedom to engage in desired activities without being hindered by the phobia

Extra Phobia Resources:

If you would like therapy for phobias in St Albans/Hertfordshire or online please email me at or complete the webform below.


St Albans Rooms

21 Victoria Street

St Albans



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