Being afraid of public places, crowds or open spaces — agoraphobia — can inhibit every area of your life. People with this anxiety disorder can experience such paralysing fear that they’re unable to leave their homes at all. Many people find that counselling can be useful in getting to the bottom of their fears. You can even start with online counselling, from the comfort of your own home.

Our trained therapists can work with you on strategies that may help you work through the fear of public places or open spaces, such as shopping malls, amusement parks, or airports. We may also be able to address the social anxiety that often comes along with agoraphobia through a variety of complementary treatment methods.

Don’t let agoraphobia rule your life and rob you of joy! Find out if we may be able to help you take back control of your life.

Call us on (03) 9557 9113 or use our contact form to book your confidential appointment, at either our Melbourne office or via a secure online connection.

Let’s work together to see if you’re able to combat your fears.

The good news is that various types of counselling options are available that may help you get the better of agoraphobia. Methodologies such as hypnotherapy and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) are often used to start rerouting your problematic patterns of thoughts and responses. Over time, you may adopt strategies to anticipate and divert panicky feelings so that you’re able to get back to your best version of ‘normal’.

Frequently Asked Question

People with this phobia experience panic and anxiety when they need to leave their homes or go into exposed or crowded situations. Although understood as a fear of the outdoors, Agoraphobia is also associated with a dread of being trapped or unable to escape. Symptoms can include breathlessness, sweating, vomiting and rapid heartbeat at the prospect of going out into the open or public places.

Many sufferers are unable to work. They can’t attend social functions, go shopping or even get to medical appointments, putting their health at risk. Agoraphobia can impact your family, finances, and relationships, often leading to isolation and depression.

You may avoid:

  • Crowded places such as shopping malls or sports arenas.
  • Cars, aeroplanes, trains, and other forms of travel.
  • Social gatherings, restaurants, or other situations where it would be embarrassing to have a panic attack.
  • Physical exercise in case it triggers panic.
  • Particular food or drinks that could provoke panic, such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, or specific medications.
  • Going anywhere without the company of someone who makes you feel safe. In more severe cases, you might only feel safe at home.

Everyone is different, so treatment times vary from patient to patient. Some people may find relief of symptoms only after a few sessions, while others may benefit from regular, ongoing treatment. Ultimately conquering the ingrained fear will take time; deciding to take control of the situation is empowering. Treatment duration will vary because everyone is an individual. Everyone has different personal histories and underlying issues affecting their state of mind, and everyone reacts in different ways to therapeutic treatments. The good news is that the act of seeking treatment is the most important step in the direction of potentially overcoming agoraphobia.

Bayside Psychotherapy recognises you as unique, so your treatment plan will be tailored to you personally. We assess your progress on an ongoing basis, in case adjustment is needed. Our practitioners have training and experience in a range of treatment methods, including psychotherapy, dream work, hypnotherapy, Buddhist mindfulness meditation exercises — which may be combined to create a personalised program for you.

If you’re not ready to leave the house just yet, we have online counselling via secure and private chat. If it’s easier for you, you can conduct all your sessions online throughout your treatment. Alternatively, you can come into our Highett clinic

Bayside Psychotherapy also offers a targeted self-hypnosis recording for agoraphobia that you can download that may complement your counselling sessions.

You can call us on (03) 9557 9113 or use our contact form to find out if we can help. If you’re ready to start therapy, you can make an appointment using our online booking form. All communication with prospective clients is completely confidential, and there’s absolutely no obligation.

Note: Whilst we will do our best to assist you, we rely on our clients’ full commitment to and participation in the treatment process to optimise results. Although some of our therapists work with people presenting with this condition, no guarantees of any outcomes can be made.

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Therapists who do online

  • Adam Szmerling
  • Carolina Selvarajoo
  • Humaira Ansari
  • Kelli Tranter
  • Lawrence Akers
  • Natalie Szmerling
  • Georgina Delamain

Therapists who do in-clinic

  • Adam Szmerling
  • Natalie Szmerling
  • Georgina Delamain