Many people look for answers on how to get rid of phobias. There are so many different types and degrees of phobias that I will only be able to discuss a few the most common treatments in this forum.

Some phobias are brought on by traumatic events and as long as the phobia does not interfere in your life it is most likely manageable. Some common treatments with licensed professionals are:

NeuroLinguistic Programming: This is a type of behavior therapy that deconstructs the individual’s preconceived view of reality, reducing the anxiety provoked by a specific situation or setting.

Flooding: This is a type of exposure treatment in which the individual is exposed to a situation until the anxiety attack passes; a less extreme form of exposure treatment is counter-conditioning.

Counter-conditioning includes behavior therapy, as the individual is taught visualization and relaxation techniquesbefore being slowly reintroduced to the trigger situation.

Medications prescribed to help treat claustrophobia include antidepressants and beta-blockers, which help to relieve the heart pounding often associated with anxiety attacks.

Other alternative phobia treatments include regression hypnotherapy, in which hypnotherapy is used to remember the traumatic event that led to the individual’s phobia. The patient is taught to see the event with adult eyes, which helps to decrease the sense of panic that it has instilled into their minds.

Behavior therapy includes identifying trigger points and recognizing that one’s reactions to these triggers are learned instead of natural; through visualization and positive thinking, the individual learns to disassociate feelings of danger with the confined space.

Cognitive therapy: One form of cognitive treatment is you will be placed in a room that forces you to confront your feared object, place or thing. Then, you are placed in a smaller room with the feared stimuli. High levels of anxiety may be experienced, however in most cases a 72% reduction of fear will be felt.

NLP and hypnotherapy are both very useful for this task and are complementary tools. They share the same goal of going directly for a practical solution. You can learn to use NLP, with our guidance, to re-pattern your thoughts using conscious techniques. Hypnotherapy is used to address your unconscious mind using indirect and direct methods. Employment of these two therapies leads to a rapid and permanent solution.

Find ways to calm your body and focus your mind. This is one of the biggest steps toward overcoming fear. It could involve meditation or maybe just taking deep breaths.

Envision your worst claustrophobic scenario, and then work up to it in your flooding treatment.

A good cognitive exercise a therapist would take you through would be to:

First remember an instance of when you felt your phobia: Scale it from 1-10 on anxiety scale

Now introduce a guided fantasy – take yourself through the fears and emotions of the experience, however, this time you would:

1. Relax, take a deep breath.

2. Tell yourself you’re in a safe environment over and over.

3. Now, envision experiencing your fear or phobia in a safe place. The safest place you know such as, a spa, the beach, or your mother’s arms. Wherever that safe place is, experience that phobia in that safe place while taking deep breaths.

4. Now when your phobia has fully been experienced in a new way, relax and rate your level of anxiety from 1-10. Is it lower in presentation of the phobia?

This exercise would be repeated several times a week until the fear starts to subside. Then in vivo desensitization or flooding would most likely start if the phobia has not remitted enough not to affect your life.

Please consult a qualified professional to help you through these exercises.

Top ten phobia’s in America: Source:

1. Arachnophobia:

The fear of spiders. This phobia tends to affect women more than men.

2. Ophidiophobia:

The fear of snakes.

Often attributed to evolutionary causes, personal experiences, or cultural influences.

3. Acrophobia:

The fear of heights.

This fear can lead to anxiety attacks and avoidance of high places.

4. Agoraphobia:

The fear of situations in which escape is difficult.

This may include crowded areas, open spaces, or situations that are likely to trigger a panic attack. People will begin avoiding these trigger events, sometimes to the point that they cease leaving their home.

Approximately one-third of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia.

5. Cynophobia:

The fear of dogs.

This phobia is often associated with specific personal experiences, such as being bitten by a dog during childhood.

6. Astraphobia:

The fear of thunder and lightning.

Also known as Brontophobia, Tonitrophobia, or Ceraunophobia.

7. Trypanophobia:

The fear of injections.

Like many phobias, this fear often goes untreated because people avoid the triggering object and situation.

8. Social Phobias:

The fear of social situations.

In many cases, these phobias can become so severe that people avoid events, places, and people who are likely to trigger an anxiety attack.

9. Pteromerhanophobia:

The fear of flying.

Often treated using exposure therapy, in which the client is gradually and progressively introduced to flying.

10. Mysophobia:

The fear of germs or dirt.

May be related to obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Image: Arvind  Balaraman/

Dr. Zen Lewis has over 20 years experience in psychotherapy, counseling, education and public speaking. Dr. Zen’s Psychotherapy Services offices for Therapy Services are located in Los Angeles and Burbank, CA and various locations in South Florida. 

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Blessings to you.