Fear and phobias

A phobia is an intense fear. A fear becomes a phobia when it is out of proportion to any real threat and has a significant long-term effect on the person's life.

People with phobias may be well aware that their fear is irrational and that there is no real danger in a situation. However, they feel a compelling need to avoid the phobic object or situation.

Some examples of phobias that clients bring to counselling include

  • agoraphobia (fear of leaving a safe place)
  • social phobia (fear of people)
  • claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces)
  • fear or needles
  • fear of flying
  • fear of public speaking.

How can counselling help with phobias or fear?

There are many approaches a therapist might use to help a client suffering from this kind of anxiety. Many of our therapists use a combination of therapeutic approaches, including cognitive behavioural therapy to explore the underlying causes of the problem and examine the thoughts and feelings that contribute to the fear. The client and therapist might identify what triggers feelings of fear and look at the body’s reactions to these triggers.

Through gaining insight, the therapist and client would then seek to change the thoughts and behaviours that are associated with the phobia. This type of therapy is about changing how a person thinks and feels about the phobic object or situation.

Gradually the person will learn to tolerate their fear more and the compulsion to avoid the phobic object or situation will decline.

There are other types of therapy that can also be helpful when dealing with phobias and your therapist will consider which approaches might be most helpful in your circumstances.

Client Reviews

You are not alone

In the UK it’s estimated that 10 million people have phobias. Phobias can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or social background. Some phobias originate in childhood while others develop later in life. Sometimes there is an obvious explanation for a phobia, sometimes there is not.

Please get in touch if we might be able to help. If it suits you better, we are happy to offer telephone counselling or online counselling.

We'll help you make sense of things from the very first appointment

We know that it can feel scary to start counselling. Our therapists will put you at ease and won’t judge you.

Your initial consultation is an opportunity for you to decide whether counselling is right for you, and whether the therapist you have chosen is a good fit. All our therapists are happy to refer you to someone else if the match doesn’t feel right.

Appointments are available on weekdays from 7.30 am until 8.30 pm and at weekends from 7.30 am until 7.30 pm. 

How does therapy help?

Over the years that I’ve worked as a therapist, I’ve been asked numerous times by prospective clients, “How does counselling help?”  And I’ve yet to come up with a satisfactory answer. Not because I’m in any doubt that it helps, but because the ‘how’ bit is so hard to articulate concisely…

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What is CBT and can it help?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a practical talking therapy that helps people with problems and issues by addressing and changing how they think and behave. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy focuses on the present problems that are happening now and the relationships between thoughts…

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Counselling for individuals

Personal counselling can be about anything that is on your mind.

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Couples counselling provides space for couples to discuss problems in their relationship and find solutions.

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Our therapists

We have over 30 qualified and experienced therapists to choose from.

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One Therapy London

Counselling, psychotherapy, couples counselling in London since 2006

Therapist Barbara Perini
Barbara Perini

Barbara is an accredited member of BACP, holding an MSc in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and adhering to the BACP ethical framework Her approach is open-ended, offering both short-term and long-term therapy Barbara has also trained in Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), a short-term (16 sessions), semi-structured individual therapy developed for mood...

Oxford Circus

Yussef Ferguson

Yussef is a psychodynamic psychotherapist who offers both long and short term personal therapy to individuals He has experience of working with a diverse range of clients and can provide a warm, confidential space to explore and gain insight into any past or present personal difficulties and experiences Yussef works with issues such as anxiety, depression, loss,...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Mita Hiremath
Mita Hiremath

Mita has been involved in the field of counselling and psychotherapy for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience working in the voluntary sector, the NHS and private practice She is a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist Additionally, she holds an MSc in Psychotherapy and is a trained EMDR therapist She has also facilitated support groups in the voluntary...

Bloomsbury

Therapist Janis Dellner
Janis Dellner

Janis offers an empathic, non-judgmental and safe environment where her clients can explore the issues that are currently troubling them  Janis works collaboratively to explore and challenge thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are no longer serving her clients’ wellbeing, interests and relationships with themselves and others  She believes it is through the...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Silvi Naskinova
Silvi Naskinova

Silvi is a psychodynamic psychotherapist offering both long- and short-term therapy  She aims to provide a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space for her clients to explore whatever is on their minds Her work helps individuals understand how their experiences (both past and present) and any unconscious forces might be impacting their relationships and ways of coping...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Ben Marks
Ben Marks

Ben is an experienced psychotherapist who has helped many people through difficult times in their lives He works with clients with a wide range of personal issues around depression, anxiety, bereavement, trauma, abuse, loneliness, stresses within the workplace, low self esteem, relationship and sexual problems including performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction and...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Nicola Reeves
Nicola Reeves

Nicola is a psychodynamic psychotherapist and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapist Nicola believes in giving clients time and space to approach therapy in the way they need to approach it She finds this is the best way to develop a therapeutic relationship that allows feelings to be truly explored and evaluated As a psychodynamic...

Soho

Therapist Asma Gharbi
Asma Gharbi

Asma offers psychodynamic, humanistic and integrative therapies to individuals and couples She tailors her approach to meet the needs and preferences of her clients She offers short and long term therapy Asma provides a non-judgemental space for her clients, where they can feel safe to explore their feelings, make sense of their experiences and forge deep lasting...

Oxford Circus

Kensington

Therapist Shelly Klein
Shelley Klein

As a psychodynamic therapist Shelley brings a wealth of experience to her work and supports her patients to talk about those aspects of their lives they are finding painful, upsetting or difficult to deal with, in a confidential, non-judgmental and peaceful setting Shelley is particularly interested in working with those who are experiencing depression, bereavement, high...

Soho

Therapist Tom Deitch
Tom Deitch

Tom is a popular and approachable psychotherapist who has extensive experience working with people from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds He brings a wealth of life experience, training and understanding to his work, offering help with depression, trauma, anxiety, abuse, sexual problems, addiction, relationship difficulties and many of the other obstacles life...

Oxford Circus