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Fear of Clowns – Coulrophobia

The fear of clowns is common in youth and sometimes extends into adulthood. For Nicki who works in No Panic’s head office her coulrophobia has extended into adulthood. She cannot be near or look at a picture of a clown without screaming, shaking, having heart palpitations and having the strong urge to run away from the clown or picture. Her coulrophobia came from watching Stephen King’s It as a teenager.

The road to recovery starts with learning coping mechanisms, such as distraction techniques, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. Then with cognitive behavioural therapy and exposure therapy you’d progress in a fashion like this. The first step would likely be small pictures of happy kind clowns (not the horror clowns from the movies) the after the person is comfortable you’d gradually more to larger images and then add in some of the more distressingly dressed clown pictures. After that you’d consider meeting a clown or a friend in a clown suit. A person who you fully know is not going to harm you or cause any extra distress. Then finally when comfortable you would progress to meeting unknown clowns until you felt comfortable.

If you have a specific phobia you’d like us to cover on our blog then please email us on membership@nopanic.org.uk. If you’d like to work on your recovery from coulrophobia or any other anxiety disorder then consider our one to one mentoring service.

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