Medical Phobias

The Anxiety Center of Marin (and Sonoma) announces a program for the treatment of Medical Fears and Phobias.

The program emphasizes custom-tailored Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, Support, and Education to help each referred patient break through his or her anxiety and receive necessary medical diagnosis and intervention.  Psychological interventions emphasize collaboration between the patient, psychologist, physician, and medical facility. 

Types of Medical Fears:

  • Panic Attacks
  • MRIs/Imaging/EKGs
  • Enclosed Places/Feeling Trapped
  • Social Embarrassment
  • Medication Side Effects
  • Germ Contamination
  • Fainting
  • Blood or Needles
  • Anesthesia
  • Surgery
  • Pain 
  • Waiting Rooms
  • Physical Exams
  • Sleep Studies
  • CPAP machines
  • Dental Visits

Medical Consequences of Fears and Phobias:

  • Progression of disease
  • Disability
  • Death
  • Failure to schedule; avoiding treatment
  • Failure to get lab tests or vaccinations 
  • Cancellations/No shows
  • Prescriptions for medication not filled or not taken as prescribed
  • Impaired attention to doctor’s instructions
  • Lack of preventative care
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Unnecessary physical pain

Fear & Phobia Treatment:

  • Accompanying the patient to at medical  procedure if needed, or cell-phone coaching and support. 
  • Personal coping strategies.  
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) emphasizing exposure, habituation, desensitization, mindfulness meditation, and relaxation training.
  • Coaching on how to talk with doctors about medical fears. 
  • Professional consultation with the diagnostic or surgical facility, physician, or other medical staff.  Dr. Martin will either phone in the course of treatment or visit on site.
  • Facilitating family emotional and logistical support. 
  • Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medication in collaboration with the prescribing physician.

Appointments, Referrals, Information

For appointments, information or referral, contact Jeffery Martin, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and Director, Anxiety Center of Marin at either his Kentfield or Petaluma Offices: 415-461-3175; 707-544-0345; 800-993-3229