Phobias and fears


What are phobias?

The word phobia derives from the Greek phobos meaning fear and is used to describe a psychological disorder in which there is a compelling fear or dread, especially of a particular object or situation. More specifically, phobias are considered to be extreme, abnormal fears or aversions to such things as crowds, heights, animals, etc.

The more common phobias are an exaggerated fear of those things that many people fear to some extent, such as illness, death, snakes, heights etc. Specific phobias are fears that inspire no fear in the normal person; for example, agoraphobia, fears of buttons, frogs, clowns…the list is endless!

Sigmund Freud was especially interested in the phobias of early childhood: fear of being alone, fear of the dark, fear of small animals, thunderstorms, etc. He theorised that these were linked to an innate preparedness against real dangers that is so well developed in other animals. However, if such childhood phobias become fixed, grow more intense, and persist into later life, then they represent internal conflicts and require professional treatment.


What are the differences between anxiety, fear and phobia?

Imagine that you are on holiday and you have to cross a rope bridge. This bridge crosses a river. As you approach the bridge, you look down. Your knees begin to feel a bit shaky and your mouth is dry. Is the bridge really safe? That’s anxiety!

You begin to cross the bridge. Halfway along, you hear a creaking sound. You look round, startled. A group of people are also beginning to cross. The bridge sways precariously. The river below seems a long way down. You are half way across, too far to turn around. What if the bridge breaks you fall into the water? That’s fear!

If you had a phobia, however, you wouldn’t be on the bridge at all. In fact, you wouldn’t have taken the holiday if you knew you had to cross a bridge.


How we can help

Phobias respond well to a number of treatments. We can work with you to ensure you receive the relevant treatment that is right for you.  Please see our therapy information page for further details on the different strategies we can use. 



Get in touch - phone us now: 01246 416 544


Treatment for Phobias including:

flying, spiders, enclosed spaces, insects, blood, dentist, thunderstorms, needles, childbirth, vomiting .....

ABC of phobias (almost)

There are literally thousands of phobias, here are twenty-four…

Ants Myrmecophobia
Blood Hemophobia
or Hematophobia
Computers Cyberphobia
Dogs or rabies Cynophobia
Eight Octophobia
Fish Ichthyophobia
Germs Verminophobia
Hospitals Nosocomephobia
Itching Acarophobia
Japanese culture Japanophobia
Knees Genuphobia
Light Photophobia
Marriage Gamophobia
Names or a name Onomatophobia
Old people Gerontophobia
Puppets Pupaphobia
Riding in a car Amaxophobia
Snow Chionophobia
Telephones Telephonophobia
Urine or urinating Urophobia
Vomiting Emetophobia
Writing in public Scriptophobia
X-rays or radiation Radiophobia
Yellow Xanthophobia

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