Intense fear and avoidance of a particular object or situation such as dogs, spiders, elevators, flying, medical or dental visits, etc.

What are the symptoms of Specific Phobia?

  1. Specific Phobia is characterized by marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation such as flying, heights, elevators, enclosed spaces, storms, water, insects, animals, injections, seeing blood, choking or vomiting.
  2. The Specific Phobia object or situation almost always provoke fear or anxiety.
  3. The Specific Phobia object or situation is actively avoided, or endured with intense fear or anxiety.
  4. The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the specific object or situation.
  5. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting for 6 months or more.
  6. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes significant distress or impairment in normal social, occupation, or other important areas of functioning.

It is common for individuals to have multiple Specific Phobias

What are the causes of Specific Phobia?

There is no one single cause of Specific Phobia. Negative or traumatic encounters with the feared object or situation sometimes, but not always, precede the development of specific phobia. Risk factors include negative childhood adversity, physical and sexual abuse, parental over protectiveness and parental loss and separation as well as behavioral inhibition and negative emotions or neuroticism. There may be a genetic susceptibility to a certain category of specific phobia.

How can you treat Specific Phobia?

Dr. Dufford and Anxiety Treatment Services provide integrative and comprehensive therapy for Specific Phobia including individual therapy, group support and behavioral fieldwork.  Modalities include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy including guided imagery practice and real life desensitization/graduated exposure therapy, Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, EMDR, Energy Psychology, and Meditation/Mindfulness.

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