Fear of dogs, or cynophobia, is an intense or irrational fear of dogs.
People suffering from cynophobia will go to extreme lengths to avoid situations where they might encounter a dog, or experience extreme anxiety or panic in the presence of a dog. This avoidance will frequently impact on the person's personal life by avoiding tasks such as walking down to the shops, going out with friends, or even visiting loved ones that own a dog.
Luckily, effective treatment is available. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help us reengage with these situations and teach us specific skills and strategies to cope with the anxiety.
Pre-programme assessment: Phone or Skype assessment with a clinical psychologist.
Session 1: Psychoeducation, physical management strategies
Session 2: Review, cognitive therapy strategies
Session 3: Behavioural strategies and hierarchy development
Session 4: Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy
Session 5: In-session exposure and skills practice
Post-programme assessment: Check-in, follow up, questionnaires