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The Phobia and Trauma Clinic

The Phobia and Trauma Clinic at Hofstra University’s Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center offers unique and technologically advanced treatments for patients whose fears inhibit their quality of life. The clinic has also successfully treated clients with post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition caused by an unusually devastating and/or tragic experience.

Afraid of flying?

What is a phobia?
Phobia occurs when common fears prevent people from doing certain activities. For example, many people are scared of heights, but some will never fly on airplanes, cross bridges, or take elevators to a top floor of a building, no matter how important the circumstance. 

People who avoid certain life activities because of their fears are experiencing phobia.  There are some phobic individuals who participate in activities, but experience/feel extreme dread. Others miss out on family celebrations, vacation opportunities and professional obligations because of their fears.

Some common phobias treated at the Phobia and Trauma Clinic include:

  • Travel on airplanes, trains, etc.
  • Public speaking
  • Animals
  • Heights

What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
People who experience life-threatening or highly unusual events outside of the realm of normal daily living may develop post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The following are examples of events which may lead to PTSD:

  • Experiences in a war environment
  • An accident on an airplane, in a car, etc.
  • Unexpected and devastating tragedies, such as the events of Sept. 11
  • Rape or sexual abuse  

In the months and years following these events, some people suppress their feelings about these incidents, stop communicating with family and friends, avoid social situations, and may become less involved in their roles as spouses, parents and employees. Some may even turn to substance abuse.

Treatment/Exposure Therapy
The Phobia and Trauma Clinic has seen excellent outcomes among clients. Treatment for phobia and PTSD is accomplished by the use of exposure therapy. In exposure therapy, under safe, controlled clinic conditions, patients are immersed in the situations they have long avoided, or asked to confront the traumas they experienced in their lives.
This is accomplished by using a number of therapeutic modalities, depending upon the case. Therapists simulate environments that trigger a phobic response so that patients can learn to better manage their fears. Therapists also use these techniques with PTSD clients so they can begin to heal emotionally.
Techniques include:

  • Imaginal exposure: Therapist-guided mental imagery
  • Virtual reality exposure: Computer-generated environments
  • In-vivo exposure: Confronting fear cues in the real world

Hours and Services
The Saltzman Center is open Monday through Saturday. All therapy services are by appointment only. Hofstra University doctoral candidates in clinical psychology provide psychotherapy services under the supervision of licensed New York state psychologists.

Fees are set at the time therapy is initiated. Payment is expected at the time of services. Cash, checks, MasterCard and Visa are accepted.

All services are provided in a professional manner and conform to the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association. Information will not be released without the informed written consent of the client, except where mandated by law or in life-threatening or abusive situations.

Further Information
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (516) 463- 7232.