Approaching PHOBIAS — Find Hope Through EMDR

There are two kinds of phobias:

 Simple phobia (of an object such as a spider, snake, dog, elevator, etc.)

Process Phobia (of an activity such as driving, flying, going to the doctor or dentist, speaking, etc.)

Often the person has had a fearful experience or trauma associated with the feared object or process.  This is easily resolved with EMDR Therapy.  It may also necessary for comprehensive treatment to: identify all the steps involved in being able to approach the feared experience in the future, being courageous, and practicing fearless behaviors.  Dr.  Francine Shapiro (the developer of EMDR Therapy) has identified a Phobia Protocol in her 2nd Edition text book on EMDR Therapy.

Whenever the client and therapist can identify the originating trauma behind the phobia, it helps the phobia to practically dissolve, especially if it hasn been going on for a long time.

Sometimes the fearful experience happened before clear memories can be stored in the brain (Clear memories are usually possible around age 5, because brain development is complete enough at that time.)

If a fearful experience happened before age 5, it can be processed with an early trauma approach such as the EMDR Therapy Early Trauma Protocol.  Link below to a story that describes how a 66-year-old woman realized her life-long fear of doctors and dentists was due to a terrifying treatment her doctor gave her when she was in excruciating pain due to teething.  Read her


Fear of doctors and dentists

One single young woman with driving phobia had never had a bad experience with driving, in terms of a traffic accident, or even any traffic-related concern when she was a passenger.  She finally remembered that once, she was full of fear when she just realized she could be pregnant, she then had to drive for one hour through very heavy traffic.  Her fear response got attached to the activity of driving, and being on the road.  From then on, she could hardly drive at all.

People with phobias often feel fear even as they approach the feared experience.  Thus, the whole process needs to be treated with EMDR Therapy to help desensitize the dysfunctional preparation, and learn to prepare in a positive, self-caring way.  One person had to learn to get up earlier so she wasn’t feeling rushed as she drove to work late, increasing her anxiety unnecessarily.

By looking at your phobia in the EMDR way, you begin to understand yourself better.  This helps self-esteem.  As you learn mastery of the feared object or process, you gain self-confidence and calmness.

Our EMDR therapists who work with phobias will be happy to help you approach your phobia(s) and work to overcome them. offers the highest trained EMDR therapists of any EMDR directory website.  All are EMDRIA-Certified.  This assures you that your therapist is experienced in following the complete EMDR protocol as researched.

To find a therapist who can help you with phobia, please go to FIND A THERAPIST and choose your region. Looking at the list of cities below the Region Name, scroll down to ISSUES and click on Phobia to find the specialists who treat Phobia in your community.

If you don’t find a therapist near you listing a phobia specialty, please call our nearby therapists to ask if they are comfortable treating phobia.  Often they are, but simply haven’t thought to put it in their list of specialties.

If we do not yet serve your community with an EMDR Therapist directory, please go to the EMDR International Association website below:


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