2 mins

What are the techniques you use to help people deal with phobias?

Video Description

Elena Touroni, a Chelsea-based private psychologist, discusses the most effective technique for dealing with phobias – where people are gradually exposed to the thing that bothers them until their anxiety decreases. https://www.thechelseapsychologyclinic.com Chelsea Psychology Clinic are a group of London psychologists and psychiatrists offering private psychological therapy and psychiatry treatment from their premises across central London and Chelsea. The private therapy sessions cover the following areas: – Acceptance & Commitment Therapy – Cognitive Analytic Therapy – Cognitive-behavioural Therapy – Couples Therapy – Dialectical-behaviour Therapy – Mentalisation Based Treatment – Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy – Schema Therapy

Video Transcription

We call exposure response prevention, which is extremely anxiety-provoking to begin with. So we do something very, very gradual. So over time we will, for instance, take a phobia such a spider phobia. The way you would deal with a phobia like that would be that, in the beginning you might expose someone to the photograph of a spider. So it would be in a very controlled way and you would get them to rate their anxiety. And you would get them to sort of be able to tolerate gradually to look at a spider in a photograph, to the point of their anxiety really decreases to very manageable levels. And then we would up it by them perhaps seeing a spider that is inside a glass, that you don’t actually have to be with on your own. And we would build essentially a graded hierarchy off the person that being exposed to something that is as least anxiety-provoking, but a little bit anxiety-provoking as possible such as a photograph, to actually the person being able to tolerate being in the same room with a spider on their own, for instance. And that is called systematic desensitisation, it’s extremely effective.

Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni

19 June 2022

"Dr. Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced Consultant Psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector."

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr. Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced Consultant Psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.


Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr. Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.


Dr. Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.


She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.