What is a phobia?

A phobia is a debilitating fear of an object, place, situation or animal. If you have a phobia, you likely experience a deep sense of panic whenever you encounter your fear.


If your phobia has become severe, you might find that you’ve started to organise your whole life around avoiding the situation or object that is causing your anxiety.

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Different types of phobia

There are different types of phobias: simple phobias and complex phobias.

Some examples of simple phobias are:

  • Animal phobias – such as rodents, dogs, spiders, birds and others
  • Bodily phobias – such as blood, vomit or injections
  • Environmental phobias – such as heights, deep water and germs
  • Sexual phobias – such as performance anxiety or fear of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Situational phobias – such as flying or going to the doctor

Some examples of complex phobias are:

  • Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces, crowded places, travelling or public transport
  • Social phobia – fear of social situations
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Frequently asked questions

You should seek help if you find that you are so fearful of something that you are going to great lengths to avoid it and it’s beginning to get in the way of your daily life. It’s also important if you want to ensure that you don’t pass your phobia onto someone else e.g. your child as children have a tendency to model the behaviour of their parents.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most effective therapeutic approach for phobias. Medication is not usually recommended for phobias. However, if your anxiety is debilitating and interfering with your daily life, then we may recommend a review with our Consultant Psychiatrist to consider short-term medication.

Treatment usually involves a hierarchy of exposure to your phobia in small, digestible steps. It tends to be a relatively short-term intervention that will entail roughly 12 sessions.

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Athena Lazaridou

Athena is a Pilates instructor with 8 years’ experience in the field. After completing a Power Pilates Mat Certification in Athens, she went on to complete the Full Comprehensive Classical Pilates Certification with Equinox in Kensington.  She has been teaching Pilates at Equinox for the past 6 years in addition to her own private clients who she trains both face to face and virtually.

Athena has a passion for helping people get stronger and fitter as well as helping those recovering from injury regain their strength and mobility.  Over the years, she has worked with athletes to incorporate Pilates into their training and improve performance. Athena has also worked with prenatal and postnatal women who may be experiencing depression or other mental health difficulties and used Pilates to facilitate a positive impact on their mental health.

Athena is very passionate about improving physical and mental well-being and has recently incorporated Sound Healing into her work, as she believes it to be one of the best ways of ‘letting go’ and releasing stale energy whilst increasing greater self-awareness.