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A specific phobia is an unreasonable fear of certain objects or situations so excessive that it disrupts a person’s life or causes great distress.
These exposures can be accomplished with direct, live confrontation with the feared stimulus or through a procedure in which the patient brings elements of the anxiety hierarchy to mind as mental images.
In a version of this treatment, called , patients learn deep relaxation, which helps them remain relaxed as each item of the hierarchy is imagined.
With repeated exposure to the triggering stimulus, the panic reaction diminishes progressively until it is extinguished.
The engagement with the triggering stimulus can be done gradually in small increments, or the phobic can be immersed or confronted with the stimulus full-strength.
Subsequently, when the object is reexperienced, it triggers a panic attack.
Recent theories suggest that cognitive or thinking processes contribute to some phobia development.
The center offers fee-for-service short-term individual cognitive-behavioral therapy for specific phobias.
comes from the name Phobos, the son of Aries, the Greek war god.
Specific phobias that do not fall into these four subtypes are classified as , is defined by a persistent and intense fear reaction and avoidance of social and performance situations in which one might be embarrassed or negatively evaluated by others.
Common social phobic situations include public speaking, meeting strangers or persons of the opposite sex, using public restrooms, and writing one’s name in public.