Fears and phobias can cause wide-reaching difficulties and can become an impediment to the day-to-day functioning. Counselling treatment for a phobia involves working through a therapy programme to control the fear. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques are very effective at reducing heightened fears.
Like generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic attacks, a phobia is an anxiety disorder. It is characterised by an extreme or irrational fear of an animal, object, place or situation and is very common. Phobias are more than simple fears as they can completely dominate the life of an individual who reorganises their whole life around them avoiding the things they are afraid of. The very thought of facing your fears in question or even seeing them on television, can lead to intense feelings of anxiety and it can cause you panic attacks. In more complex phobias such as agoraphobia (fear of open spaces and public places) and social phobias the individual may find it very difficult to lead a normal life, as these situations are not easily avoided. All phobias, if overlooked, can limit your daily activities and can lead to severe anxiety and depression.