Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety

subpage feature

Specific Phobias

Specific Phobias Overview

A specific phobia is an unreasonable fear of certain objects or situations so excessive that it disrupts a person’s life or causes great distress. Typical phobias include driving, flying, blood, needles, and spiders. Individuals with a specific phobia tend to avoid direct exposure to their feared stimulus, and may avoid talking or thinking about it. Adults with specific phobia recognize their fears as irrational. The center offers fee-for-service short-term individual cognitive-behavioral therapy for specific phobias.