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CBT for Phobias

A phobia is an irrational, persistent fear of an object or situation.  Typically, this fear leads individuals to avoid the object and associated situations in a way that interferes with day-to-day functioning (i.e. an inability to take the subway or an elevator). Some common phobias include fear of heights, insects, needles, closed spaces, and flying. Social phobias, including for performance and public speaking, and agoraphobia (fear of public spaces) are also common and responsive to treatment.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Phobias is an empirically supported time-limited treatment, typically lasting from 10 to 20 sessions rather than years. treatment. In CBT for Phobias, client and clinician focus on the patterns of thinking, behavior, and emotional responding that contribute to the phobia and perpetuating the fear response. Clients learn techniques to recognize and change these patterns to improve daily functioning and life satisfaction.

Our CBT Program

CBT/ DBT Associates offers short term, exposure-based treatment to help children, adolescents, and adults overcome fears that are currently interfering with social and academic functioning and/or daily living. Presenting phobias include but are not limited to:

  • Animals/Insects
  • Closed Spaces
  • Darkness
  • Elevators
  • Flying
  • Heights
  • Loud Noises
  • Needles
  • Vomiting
  • Etc.

Our CBT therapists take an active, in-session stance to teach clients skills that can be used to improve current functioning and, specifically, to address pervasive fear. Usually, individual therapy sessions are 45-minutes long and take place on a once weekly basis in our Manhattan office. Between weekly individual sessions, clients practice skills learned in session through individualized reading, writing, or behavioral assignments to be completed during the week. Practice of the skills increases the likelihood that they will generalize to your life outside of therapy and remain part of your repertoire after treatment has ended.

Intensive CBT for Phobias

Dr. Tomassetti offers single-session phobia treatments for a variety of phobias. Following an initial intake and information/planning session, clients may schedule a day-long block (usually -6 hours) to systematically address their phobia using exposure therapy. Together with an experienced therapist, many clients find lasting relief from this single, intensive session.

Intensive options for treating OCD include scheduling 90-120 minute sessions, up to four times per week. Using this intensive format, clients may complete treatment in as little as 3 weeks.

To read more about the evidence of effectiveness of CBT for anxiety and specific phobias, click here.

Interested in CBT for Phobias? Please complete this form or call us at (212) 546-9200.


What is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on the patterns of thinking, behavior, and emotional responding that are associated with distress or life dissatisfaction. In CBT, clients learn techniques to recognize and change these patterns to improve daily functioning and life satisfaction. CBT is an empirically supported treatment for a wide variety of problems including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, compulsive behaviors, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and test anxiety. CBT is a time-limited treatment, typically lasting from 10 to 20 sessions rather than years. Between weekly individual sessions, clients practice skills learned in session through homework exercises. Practice of the skills increases the likelihood that they will generalize to your life outside of therapy and remain part of your repertoire after treatment has ended.

You can find more information about our CBT Program here, as well as information about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), here.

To register or to speak with our clinical intake coordinator, complete this form or call us at (212) 546-9200.