It is normal for children to experience fear or anxiety in response to certain situations or objects. For example, many children may feel worried when they go to the doctor to get an injection or when they go on a plane for the first time. Some children, however, develop persistent and intense fears of objects or situations that are disproportionate to the potential danger and lead to extreme avoidance of the feared object or situation. These types of fears are called phobias.
Examples of common phobias in children include:
- Blood / injury
- Injections / needles
- Enclosed spaces (claustophobia)
- Going to the dentist
If your child experiences an intense fear of a particular situation or object to a greater extent than other children of their age, and this fear significantly interferes in their life, then they may benefit from psychological intervention. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can assist your child to learn strategies to manage their anxiety/panic response to the feared stimulus. Your child will learn strategies to identify and challenge their unhelpful thinking patterns and will be assisted to establish graded goals to change unhelpful patterns of behaviour (e.g., avoidance).
Please also read our webpage about phobias in adults, much of which is also relevant to children.
If you would like to find out more about our treatment for phobias, or to book an appointment with one of our child clinical psychologists who provides treatment for phobias, please email or call the clinic on 9438 2511.