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Fear of Driving Therapy – Orlando Driving Phobia Specialists Orlando

What is a Driving Phobia?

Driving phobia, or vehophobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear and avoidance of driving a vehicle. Individuals with driving phobia may avoid certain roads or situations that involve the act of driving due to the overwhelming panic, worry and physical discomfort associated with it. Common symptoms of this disorder include rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, trembling.

Driving phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that makes individuals feel fearful and anxious when navigating behind the wheel. People with driving phobia often experience significant distress before and during any kind of driving activity, leading to avoidance behaviors or complete refusal to drive. This can have an enormous negative impact on quality of life, since many people rely on driving for daily activities, such as getting to work.

Symptoms & Impact of Driving Phobia

Symptoms may include rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, trembling, sweating, nausea and even panic attacks. Additionally, individuals with driving phobias may experience psychological distress such as intrusive thoughts, irrational thoughts and emotional distress. These symptoms can be debilitating, making it very difficult to engage in activities that involve driving. In some cases, people with driving phobias may completely avoid certain roads or situations that involve the act of driving due to the overwhelming fear associated with it. Left untreated, a driving phobia can severely inhibit an individual’s ability to lead a successful life.

Orlando Therapy for Driving Phobia – CBT & Exposure

Fortunately, driving phobia is treatable with CBT and exposure therapy. CBT works by helping individuals identify negative thinking patterns and behaviors that perpetuate the anxiety and replace them with more rational and healthy ones. CBT also often works in conjunction with exposure therapy by gradually increasing the duration and intensity of driving sessions, allowing individuals to build up their confidence as they face their fear. With this specialized treatment, individuals can overcome their driving phobia and get back on the road.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are two of the most effective treatments for driving fears or phobias. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on identifying unhealthy thinking patterns and replacing them with healthier ones. Through this type of therapy, individuals learn to recognize their irrational beliefs about driving and replace them with more positive, realistic thoughts. Exposure therapy, as the name suggests, involves exposing an individual to the fear-inducing situation in a safe environment until they become less fearful or anxious. This can be done by gradually increasing the person’s exposure to driving or even simulating the experience through visualization techniques. In either case, these interventions help patients overcome their fears by helping them confront them safely in order to realize that their fear is irrational. Together, CBT and exposure therapy can be effective tools in helping individuals overcome their driving fears or phobias.

Exposure therapy is a type of CBT that works by gradually exposing individuals to the anxiety-provoking situations they face in driving. This can be done through controlled and monitored exposure in a safe environment, or through real-life experiences. During exposure therapy for driving phobia, individuals may learn to manage their fear and anxiety around driving, develop coping skills and gain confidence with each new experience.

The technique involves creating an individualized plan with clear goals and timelines based on the patient’s unique needs and challenges. The therapist will work with the patient to gradually introduce more challenging situations as they become comfortable. This could include anything from driving on a highway to night-time driving and more complex tasks like parallel parking or changing lanes. The therapist will then provide support and guidance throughout the process, helping you gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to overcome your fear of driving.

Effectiveness of Driving Phobia Therapy

Through CBT and exposure therapy, individuals with phobias can learn how to manage their anxiety around driving and eventually build up the confidence needed to face their fear. With this specialized treatment, individuals can begin to regain control over their life, allowing them to take back the wheel and enjoy all that life has to offer.

With help from a qualified mental health professional who specializes in CBT for phobia treatment, people with driving phobias can create an individualized plan designed specifically for them based on their unique needs. If you or someone you love is struggling with a driving phobia, help is out there! Contact GroundWork Counseling in Orlando today to learn more about CBT and exposure for driving phobias.

At GroundWork we offer in-person therapy (therapist is able to accompany you in the car for sessions), or virtually (via AirPods / virtual) while driving. We are committed to provide the most effective, evidence-based care for driving phobia and have helped numerous people reclaim their life, and freedom through evidence-based therapy, we’re here to help you!

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GroundWork Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
341 N Maitland Ave #330
Maitland, FL 32751


411 Congress St #3292
Portland, ME 04101

Burlington, VT 05043

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Virtual / Telehealth appointments available for individuals residing in: Florida, Maine, Vermont, South Carolina & Montana

In-person appointments available in Central Florida. By appointment only.

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