Cognitive behavioural therapy, more commonly known as CBT, is widely considered to be an effective form of psychotherapy to treat phobias. The therapy involves a systematic approach and uses talking as a method of understanding and influencing fears.
Phobias can be very intense and can destroy a person confidence and become an impediment to daily life. There are different kinds of phobias and many usually reduce with time. For example, many children have a fear of dentists, and this usually tends to diminish as they grow older.
However, some fears continue into adulthood and beyond. Phobias can be very specific as in fear of spiders or of flying. There are also general phobias such as social phobia or agoraphobia which can pervade day to day activities and hamper the life of the patient.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a way of addressing the phobia or fear through sessions with a trained psychotherapist. The therapist by slowly desensitising the patient to the object of their fear tries to reduce the severity of the phobia.
This is done through one to one sessions which involve talking as well as exposure to the object of fear. The aim of this short term therapy mechanism is to break the cycle of negative emotions and thoughts, and to help the patient identify negative thought cycles and create new and healthy ways of processing their fears.