Specific Phobia: Treatment

Treatment for specific phobia focuses on behavioral therapy; medication is not usually prescribed.

Psychotherapeutic: Fortunately, specific phobia is highly treatable through behavior therapy. A typical method involves gradual, repeated exposure to the feared object, event or situation. A child afraid of dogs might start treatment by looking at a picture of a dog, then work up to playing with a stuffed dog, being in the same room with a small dog, and so on. Therapy that teaches strategies for coping with fear and anxious thought patterns is another common option for older children.