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Therapy for Needle Phobia

What ages does the Center for CBT treat for needle phobia?

Kids, Teens, and Adults

What is needle phobia?

  • Fear, worry, or avoidance related to being around needles, medical procedures involving needles, injections, and/or blood draws

How do I know if a needle phobia warrants treatment?

Understandably, many of us prefer not to attend medical appointments . However, when you or your child are displaying significant impairment and distress related to needles, this is a sign that therapy may be indicated.    Some signs you may observe:

  • Avoidance of going to the doctor (e.g., pediatrician, PCP, specialists, dentist, school nurse, hospitals)

  • Intense worry or fear about attending doctors’ appointments 

  • Avoidance of TV shows that include doctors, needles, or injections 

  • Preference to avoid science (or science-related topics in school or work

  • In children: crying, refusal, or tantrums when going to the doctor 

What does treatment for needle phobia look like? 

The most effective and researched treatment for needle phobia is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) combined with exposure and response prevention (ERP). During your initial session, we will establish goals related to you or your child's specific fears (e.g., blood draws, vaccines, visiting doctor’s offices in general). Your clinician will develop a treatment plan based on those specific goals.  All treatment plans are focused on teaching specific tools for helping the patient overcome their fears and gradually helping them face their feared situations in a very methodical way (called gradual exposure).  When you work with a true specialist in needle phobia, treatment is highly effective and you will see results very quickly. 

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