Strong irrational fears of specific situations, places or things (animals, heights, flying, test taking, performance, etc.) characterize specific phobias. These phobias can lead to increasing avoidance of associated places or activities that result in significant interference with a person’s functioning, goals, and mood. Though a person with a specific phobia often recognizes that their fear is excessive, this knowledge rarely helps them overcome their fears.
CBT is considered the most effective treatment for specific phobias. CBT uses graduated exposure to help individuals dramatically change their emotional and physical experience of feared situations, places and things. This allows them to get used to these fears so they no longer interfere with living life fully. Treatment can range from weekly sessions to daily sessions for more rapid change.