At the Center for Anxiety Management we can treat almost any fear or phobia using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Some of the most common fears we have treated successfully include the fear of driving, the fear of heights, the fear of enclosed spaces, the fear of elevators, the fear of public public speaking and the fear of being in social situations. CBT will usually include learning techniques to prevent physical symptoms of anxiety, techniques to manage physical symptoms if they occur, techniques to identify, challenge and change thoughts that produce anxiety and practice using all of these techniques in the feared situation. Treatment for fears and phobias using CBT can often be completed in two to four months. Generally, no medication is necessary to successfully treat fears and phobias.
It is normal to be a little nervous when making a speech. However, many people experience rapid heartbeat, sweating, shaking, blushing, dry mouth, cracking voice and butterflies in their stomach when attempting to make a presentation. Public speaking fear is an example of a social phobia, and is the most commonly reported social fear. People fear they will be embarrassed or look foolish.
Unfortunately, fear of public speaking can adversely impact one’s career, personal life and academic achievements. For example, sufferers may avoid careers that would entail public speaking or decline promotions that would involve giving lectures or presentations.
CBT for fear of public speaking teaches you how to prevent this type of anxiety from occuring and how to manage any anxiety that occurs during the presentation. Practice of the skills can take place in actual public speaking situtions or by using virtual reality.
The fear of heights is called acrophobia. Patients with this fear become extremely anxious in tall buildings, flying and looking out over the side of a mountain. Many people often avoid these situations.
CBT for fear of heights teaches you how to control your physical symptoms of anxiety andhow to control your anxious thoughts about heights. You can then practice facing your fears in actual situations.
Fear of enclosed spaces, or claustrophobia, is a very common fear. The problem can occur in elvators, airplanes, subways, an MRI machine or even in a crowded room. You may feel trapped and afraid you will not be able to get out. Claustrophobia can have a mjor impact on your life. You may avoid any crowded situation and may even restrict your travel because of the problem.Claustrophobia can also be successfully treated with CBT.
Fear of driving is a common fear in Los Angeles. Many people avoid ever driving on the freeway. Some people can't drive on public streets. Very often people with a fear of driving believe that they are going to have a panic attack and lose control of the car. CBT allows people to learn how to drive comfortably on any road. If necesarry we can even set up driving sessions where the therapist will accompany you in the feared situation.