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Understanding Phobias
Phobias are a focused fear or anxiety of a specific object or situation that spikes immediate anxiety and is often avoided either directly or indirectly. Common phobias are fear of heights, flying, certain animals, needles, and throwing up. The feared objects or situations are either avoided or faced with intense fear or anxiety.
Other Symptoms of a Specific Phobia:

Preoccupation with the triggering stimulus

Using safety-behaviors

Anticipatory anxiety

Avoiding encountering the triggering stimulus

Experiencing physical sensations like palpitations, difficulty breathing, shaking, falling faint and others

Difficulty functioning and concentrating

Feeling overwhelmed or out of control

Evidence-Based Treatment for Phobias

Those with phobias often realize their fear is irrational, but the anxiety is still overwhelming and can provoke avoidance behaviors that disrupt daily routines, work, travel, and relationships.

While the exact causes differ, phobias often develop due to a combination of genetic tendencies, learned experiences or trauma, and attempts to avoid the object/situation. With proper treatment, even longstanding phobias can be overcome. At our practice, we offer specialized phobia treatment using therapeutically proven techniques to gradually reduce fear and avoidance, such as:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on cultivating psychological flexibility. ACT helps individuals develop a different relationship with difficult thoughts and make room for unpleasant feelings, and learn new ways to interact with them while making values-based choices in life.

Exposure Therapy

Through systematic, gradual exposure to the feared stimulus in a controlled setting, individuals will learn how to interact with their inner experiences and find new ways to cope with uncertainties. The goal is to help individuals live a fulfilling, values-based life while embracing uncertainty.

Mindfulness Practices

Practicing mindfulness can help individuals develop a different relationship with their mind and learn how to observe their thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations without getting caught up in ideas and opinions. Being mindful means observing our inner experience non-judgmentally while staying present with what we have chosen to focus on.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT assists individuals with specific phobia identify and challenge catastrophic beliefs about danger and recognize automatic thoughts regarding their ability to cope with anxiety. Behavioral interventions such as graded exposure and eliminating avoidance, escape, and safety behaviors are part of the treatment process.

"I highly recommend Kulliki. As a therapist and a mother, she is empathetic and warm, which helped me connect right away with her and share my story. When we met her, I had unresolved anger and grief at becoming a mother and losing my independence that were impacting my relationship with my husband. Kulliki helped me express these emotions while realizing I was judging myself too harshly and provided me with tools and strategies for the times when I felt falling down in a rabbit's hole of self-judgement. I was able to reconnect with my husband and regained confidence and acceptance as a woman, a mom and a professional."


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