Some therapists use virtual reality or imagery exercise to desensitize patients to the feared entity. These are parts of systematic desensitization therapy.

  1. Cognitive-behavior therapy: Treatment for specific phobias involves a type of cognitive-behavior therapy, either desensitization or exposure, in which patients are gradually exposed to what frightens them until their fear begins to fade.
  2. Medication: Tranquilizers (benzodiazepines) such as Ativan, Librium, Valium and Xanax may be prescribed to help reduce anxiety.
  3. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, may also help reduce anxiety symptoms.
  4. Anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications can be of assistance in many cases. Benzodiazepines could be prescribed for short-term use.
  5. These treatment options are not mutually exclusive. Often a therapist will suggest multiple treatments.