A specific phobia is characterized by intense and irrational fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations.  Specific phobias fall under five main categories:

  1. Animal type (e.g., fear of dogs, rodents, spiders, snakes, bees)
  2. Natural environment type (e.g., fear of heights, lightening/thunder, aging)
  3. Situational type (e.g., fear of small confined spaces, or claustrophobia, fear of the dark, fear of vomiting)
  4. Blood/injection/injury type (e.g., fear of medical procedures, including needles and injections)
  5. Other (e.g., fear of clowns, the number 13)


Therapy for specific phobias

CBT includes graded exposure to the feared object/experience/situation in a safe and supported manner, always at your own pace. The therapist helps the client confront feared situations in a gradual manner until the client’s anxiety naturally decreases. Methodically and step-by-step, you are able to confront scarier and scarier situations both with the therapist, and without, until your anxiety is sufficiently reduced. This is typically a very focused treatment that can often be relatively brief.

If you are interested in finding out more about Dr. Jocelyn Sze’s phobia therapy services in San Francisco, please click here to schedule an appointment or free phone consultation.