Separation Anxiety

Specific phobias occur in about 5-12% of the adult population and in 7-9% of children. These phobias tend to start in childhood and last a lifetime unless treated using exposure therapy. Specific phobias occur when a child or adult develops a sudden irrational fear of a discreet situation or thing that causes intense fear and avoidance. Only about 30% of those who have a specific phobia report having had a traumatic onset in which a frightening experience (such as being bitten by a dog) triggered the fear. For most, the fear just occurs unexpectedly.

Specific phobias can be about any situation or be associated with any object. Examples of typical phobias include fear of heights, elevators, flying, being in enclosed spaces, fear of dental procedures or needles, fear of persons wearing masks or costumes, spiders or bugs, snakes, and thunderstorms. In order to be diagnosed, the phobia has to interfere with the individual's ability to do necessary daily tasks or it must cause them to plan their life around avoiding things that trigger their fear.

Treatment of specific phobias is very successful, with exposure therapy being the recommended treatment. Exposure therapy can take place in weekly sessions, in intensive daily sessions, or in a single session. Some specific phobias can be successfully treated in a single several hours-long session when the patient has the determination to overcome their fear rapidly. Gradual and prolonged practice of situations related to the phobia helps you or your child to overcome the fear and phobic avoidance. We will help you practice the situations that your phobia makes difficult, whether it be driving, flying, riding elevators, or completing medical or dental procedures.