All About Agoraphobia, the Fear of Open Spaces, and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling


What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is the Fear of Open Spaces and, like all other fears and phobias, can be a cause of significant anxiety and stress for those who suffer from it.

Sufferers often find it difficult to leave the comfort and safety of their own homes for fear that something bad may happen, or that they will not be able to get back home.

During 2020 the UK experienced the Coronavirus pandemic in which the British public were constantly told about the dangers of venturing outside and even that going outside endangered other people lives.

Following the lowering of lockdown measures, many people felt that it was still too dangerous to go outside and began to develop Agoraphobia as a result of post coronavirus stress.


Agoraphobia Symptoms & Behaviours

All phobias, including Agoraphobia, create feelings of anxiety because phobic objects or situations are always perceived as a threat.

Consequently, the symptoms of Agoraphobia are both specific and generic and may include:

  • Fear or anxiety about being in crowded places, open spaces, or enclosed spaces.
  • Fear or anxiety about using public transportation or being in a car, plane, or train.
  • Fear or anxiety about being alone or being in situations where help might not be available.
  • Panic attacks or anxiety attacks in situations that trigger agoraphobia.
  • Avoidance of situations that trigger agoraphobia, which can lead to social isolation.
  • Physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, and shortness of breath when faced with agoraphobic situations.
  • Feelings of helplessness, loss of control, or being trapped in agoraphobic situations.
  • Depression, irritability, or other mood changes related to agoraphobia.

You may have all, some or even different symptoms to these listed here and this is due to the subjective nature of Agoraphobia.

However, it is important to be aware that these symptoms WILL subside over time and rarely last for more that 20 to 30 minutes.

Scientist examining the possible causes of Agoraphobia

What causes Agoraphobia?

It’s possible that your Agoraphobia is the result of traumatic events that you experienced in your earlier developmental years, such as getting lost, for example on a family shopping outing.

However, because a Fear of Open Spaces is by no means universal, the most likely explanation for your Agoraphobia is your subjective evaluation of earlier experiences around which you have constructed a set of beliefs.

Is your phobia making you anxious or are you creating the anxiety?

It might be hard to accept, but it’s almost certain that the anxiety you experience when you encounter your phobic object or situation is being unwittingly created by YOU and NOT the thing you fear.

Find out more about the subjective vs objective nature of phobias here.

Agoraphobia sufferer in therapy session

Therapy & Counselling for Agoraphobia

We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for Agoraphobia the fear of open spaces.

Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:

  • How long you have had the problem.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your problem is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for Agoraphobia on the following links:

Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.


Could Reality Therapy Be Right For You?

Reality Therapy is an approach which argues that your Agoraphobia, the fear of open spaces, is a product of the way that you think internally and not the result of any kind of external influence.

It also argues that any past experiences which you may believe are the cause of your phobia, are no longer influential because those situations are no longer happening and therefore do not exist.

By teaching you how to take responsibility for the way that you feel, Reality Therapy can help you to stop creating the anxiety and stress associated with your phobic trigger as well as significantly improve the sense of control you have over the trajectory of your life going forward.

Free initial consultations for Agoraphobia

Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming Agoraphobia or recovering from related mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular phobia and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.


Links to More Information

These links take you to other resources on the web.

Agoraphobia on the NHS website


Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to overcome Agoraphobia but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.

If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.

How About Hypnotherapy?

There are numerous ways to overcome and cope with mental health problems and Hypnotherapy is an increasingly popular approach.

If you’d like to find out more about Hypnotherapy for Agoraphobia then click here to visit our sister website Wolverhampton Hypnotherapy.

Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?

Then why not see if you can solve your own problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.


Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.

Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.

Counselling Locations

We offer counselling for Agoraphobia problems for people living in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.