Factors Influencing Treatment Duration. Influences vary widely from person to person, resulting in diverse manifestations and levels of severity. Personality traits, coping mechanisms, motivational levels, trauma responses, and past experiences all shape individuals’ responses and influence the path to recovery.
Consequently, providing an exact estimate of recovery time proves challenging. Factors such as resistance, resilience, and adaptability vary greatly among individuals. In healing, the necessity for meticulous exploration and targeted interventions can significantly impact the duration of treatment.

Virtual Reality

The type of treatment approach chosen significantly influences the duration of the recovery process. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (aka “CBT”), especially exposure therapy, is renowned for its efficiency. However, factors such as treatment adherence, the specificity of exposure, and the presence of safety behaviors can pose limitations to its effectiveness. Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET), however, is an highly effective & efficient method to help the client better tolerate the feared environment.

Woman that looks to be in panic

Phobias are incredibly uncomfortable.
Phobias are embarrassing.
Phobias are limiting.

Meanwhile, systematic desensitization incorporates imaginal exposure, where therapists guide clients to confront their fears through visualization. Each approach carries its own set of considerations and implications, reflecting the diverse needs and circumstances of each individual. It is important to collaborate with your therapist to select the treatment that is best suited for you.

Deep Connection is Paramount

Finding the right therapist can sometimes feel like navigating the world of dating—with its highs, lows, and occasional awkward moments. Beneath the comparison of two distinct types of relationships lies a truth: the bond between an individual and their therapist is pivotal for success. Picture it as a dynamic partnership—a collaborative, empathetic, and judgment-free alliance where both parties work together towards growth. When clients feel heard, validated, and supported, it sparks a transformative journey. This deep connection not only encourages active engagement and transference in therapy but also bolsters adherence to treatment plans and the application of therapeutic tools beyond the therapy room. In essence, it’s the magic ingredient that accelerates progress and trims down the duration of treatment.


Imagine facing multiple mental health challenges alongside a phobia. It’s what the psychology world refers to as comorbidity or co-occurring condition or diagnosis. Co-morbidity can intensify one’s phobic symptoms, disrupt treatment progress, and require additional therapeutic support. Integrated treatment approaches are the best route to avoiding such complications. They allow clients to conquer both the phobia and its co-occurring conditions concurrently. While this approach may extend the treatment timeline, it’s a powerful strategy that will improve the well-being of the individual.

Final Piece of the Puzzle

The final piece of the treatment puzzle lies in one’s environment. Social support networks, access to mental health resources, and the everyday stressors we face all play a crucial role. We urge everyone to lean into the support of their friends, family, or peers. With a strong community behind an individual, we often see therapeutic progress soar and treatment adherence strengthened. Conversely, navigating treatment without such support may present obstacles that require additional time and assistance to overcome successfully. Remember, you’re never alone in this journey toward healing.

Considering various factors like the type of phobia, personal characteristics, treatment methods, therapeutic relationships, coexisting conditions, and support from one’s surroundings is necessary. Accepting this complexity as part of the journey is crucial for realistic expectations, effective treatment planning, and fostering resilience. By recognizing the intricacies of phobia treatment and tailoring interventions to individual needs, success rates dramatically improve.

Co-authored by,

Lisa Schiro MS LCPC ([email protected])
Madison Cain, Psychology Student at Boise State University