Phobias are a highly treatable problem that can often be addressed through short-term therapy. Just about every child exhibits fear of certain situations or things. However, it is a more serious problem when a child becomes obsessed with his or her fear or goes out of their way to avoid the feared stimuli.
Cognitive behavioral techniques help children gradually experience the anxiety-provoking stimuli (i.e. dogs, insects, school phobia, etc.) after they have been given thought strategies to help them better cope with their fear. Through gentle and gradual exposure the child begins to feel more comfortable in the situation.
Symptoms of phobias include:
- intense anxiety when the feared object or situation is encountered,
- a sense that the fear is excessive or illogical, and
- occasional panic attacks.
Phobias are treated by teaching individuals effective cognitive and coping tools that help them challenge their fear and avoidance.
- State-of-the-art virtual reality therapy is used to help clients reduce their anxiety and avoidance in the face of their fears.
- Clients are taught how to best manage their anxiety through mindfulness, relaxation, breathing techniques, and cognitive challenges.
- Different types of exposure therapy are used to lessen the fear associated with the phobic object or situation. Clients can gain increased confidence by using new coping skills as they engage in behavioral challenges (in and outside of the office).
Contact Behavior Therapy of New York to help your child reduce his or her phobias.