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How do I Find Treatment for Phobias?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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There are many ways to find treatment for phobias and different types of treatment that the phobic person can consider. Someone with a mild phobia that barely interferes with normal living might look to self-help books, tapes, or DVDs, which may be of assistance in conquering an irrational fear. When phobias interfere with life significantly, self-help methods generally aren’t effective. In these cases, people need to look for specialists in different types of therapeutic methods designed to cure irrational fears. Most specialists in this area are therapists and could be psychologists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, psychiatrists, or marriage and family therapists. The professionals who work with phobic patients have training and experience in various curative methods and may advertise this information or be known locally for their work in this area.

Sometimes finding treatment for phobias is as easy as perusing the phonebook or conducting an Internet search. Many therapists now have websites and list their areas of expertise. If a professional claims expertise in phobias, he or she has usually been trained to work with patients that have them. It’s appropriate for prospective patients to ask the therapist about his experience level and rate of success with phobic clients.

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There are different ways to approach phobia treatment. Some of the most common ones use cognitive behavioral techniques, talk therapy, or hypnosis. Some therapists use a combination of several methods. It can be useful for the phobic person to read about these different methods before finding a therapist. Many people feel drawn to a specific type of treatment and they may want to look for specialists who offer it.

Another way of finding treatment for phobias is by asking a family physician. Family doctors tend to have specialists in mind to whom they can refer patients. Additionally, involving a medical practitioner makes sense. Phobias may be partly treated with medication. Many people use a combination of tranquilizers or antidepressants to reduce anxiety. As the phobic person improves, medications are discontinued. Some people will see both a psychiatrist and another mental health professional for comprehensive treatment for phobias.

When people search online, they’re likely to encounter numerous advertisements for programs that promise recovery from phobias if books or tapes are purchased. It should be noted that these programs are not considered standard or effective treatment for people suffering from a severe phobia. Advertisements for such methods can seem very attractive, but they tend to promise more than they can deliver. Generally, help from licensed mental health professionals better assists the phobic person. Psychiatric and psychological organizations, and treatment manuals like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals are in favor of proven treatments for phobias, as delivered by licensed clinicians.

It can be difficult and scary to find treatment for phobias. Many people don’t want to admit that fear is irrational or that it is creating problems. Finding help is incredibly brave, and, since phobias can be cured, it is the first step toward ending irrational fear.

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