When a real danger is present, fear is an adaptive and protective emotion that prepares the body for “fight or flight”. However, when fear is experienced in reaction to everyday situations or objects, or in anticipation of future threats, it results in a chronic state of stress that can impact physical and mental health. Persistent and intense fear about a perceived threat that is out of proportion to the actual risk posed is referred to as a phobia. It is possible to develop a phobia to specific objects (i.e. needles, germs), animals (i.e. dogs, snakes), environments (i.e. heights, open spaces) or situations (i.e. social or performance situations).
As a way to cope with distressing fear, many people avoid triggering objects or situations, but this solution often negatively affects an individual’s daily life and limits personal and/or professional growth. Cognitive behavioural therapy is an evidence-based treatment proven to help individuals both challenge the thinking patterns that underlie fears and phobias and become desensitized to their distressing effects through safe, graduated exposures.
Are you looking for help with your fears and phobias? Our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) professionals are here for you. Call us at (416) 515-2649 to speak with one of our psychologists.