What is a phobia?

Phobia is defined as a persistent, irrational, intense fear of a specific object, activity, or situation, that can be recognised as being excessive or unreasonable by the individual.

Specific phobia (sometimes known as simple phobia) is a fear of a well-defined object or situation, for example, fear of spiders or dogs, driving on motorway, crossing bridges, etc.

Social phobia (also known as social anxiety) involves fear and avoidance of people and social situations, usually involving fear of embarrassment and humiliation.

Claustrophobia is a fear of enclosed spaces, where escape may appear to be difficult.

Agoraphobia can be seen as a cluster of phobias related to leaving home, entering shops, being in crowds and public places, or travelling on public transport. Many people with agoraphobia also have a history of panic attacks. They may worry about being in an environment, or situation, from which escape would be difficult.

Appointments are available at my clinics in Glossop, High Peak (Derbyshire) and in Mossley (Lancashire) - both venues are around 30 minutes drive or a train ride from the centre of Manchester. Online and telephone consultations may be available subject to suitability - please enquire.

Well-known people affected by phobias

Napoleon Bonaparte - cat phobia

Muhammad Ali, boxer - fear of flying

Ronald Reagan, former US president - fear of flying

Adolf Hitler - claustrophobia

Andre Agassi, tennis champion - fear of spiders

What help is available?

NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) recommends Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for phobia treatment, as there is a lot of research evidence to show that it can help. There are also numerous case studies and some research available to show that Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, Emotional Freedom Techniques and Neuro Linguistic Psychotherapy (derived from Neuro Linguistic Programming) can also be very effective. You can read my article about successful application of EFT for a 30 year needle phobia  here. If you want to arrange a face-to-face or a telephone consultation, get in touch with Masha through the Contact page.

Sources of information & support

Anxiety UK

NO PANIC (National Organisation For Phobias, Anxiety, Neuroses, Information & Care)

Triumph Over Phobia (TOP UK)

First Steps to Freedom
For people with general anxiety, phobias, obsessional compulsive disorder, panic attacks, and those who wish to come off tranquillisers. Services include: telephone self-help groups, leaflets, booklets, videos.

Recommended books

If you buy any of the books through the links below it will result in me receiving a small commission from Amazon. This will help towards funding discounted treatment for people who cannot afford to pay the full fee.