All About Scopophobia, the Fear of Being Stared At, and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling

Scopophobia banner - woman covering her face

What is Scopophobia?

Scopophobia is the Fear of Being Seen and, like all other fears and phobias, can cause significant anxiety and stress if you suffer from it.

Alternatively, you might be suffering from social anxiety, the fear of being judged negatively by others.

There may be a number of reasons why you developed Scopophobia, for example:

  • You may still be worried about going outside and being seen following the Coronavirus lock-down periods.
  • You might have developed Agoraphobia due to being so afraid of being seen outside your own home.

Although phobias are often described as ‘disorders’, there is no valid scientific evidence that Scopophobia is the result of any kind of biological fault or chemical imbalance as proposed in the biomedical models of mental illness.

On the contrary, Scopophobia is much more likely to be the result of your own, subjective evaluation (what you think your experiences mean) of what happened to you and is therefore better described as a psychosocial symptom.

Common symptoms of Scopophobia

Scopophobia Symptoms & Behaviours

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

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

  • Excessive self-consciousness and worry about being judged or scrutinized by others.
  • Avoidance of social situations or activities that may trigger feelings of anxiety.
  • Physical symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating, trembling, or rapid heartbeat.
  • Difficulty making eye contact or speaking in front of others.
  • Fear of being embarrassed or humiliated in public.
  • Obsessive rumination about past social interactions.
  • An elevated heart rate.
  • A sense of dread about what might happen.
  • Worrying that you might pass out.
  • Feeling dizzy or disoriented.
  • Having heart palpitations.
  • Having a dry or sticky mouth.
  • Hot sweats.
  • Feeling Stressed.
  • Difficulty breathing easily.
  • Feelings of panic.

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

Furthermore, you should also be aware that many of these somatic symptoms (symptoms felt in the body) listed above WILL subside over time and rarely last for more than 20 to 30 minutes.

Scientist examining the causes of Scopophobia Banner

What Causes Scopophobia?

it is likely that your Scopophobia is the result of either traumatic experiences or adverse situations that you experienced at some point in your life.

You may, for example, struggle with body dysmorphic disorder and worry about how people might react when they see you.

What’s more, because the Fear of Being Seen has never been linked to any biological factors, the most likely explanation for your Scopophobia is the way that you understood and made sense of your earlier experiences.

Scopophobia sufferer in therapy session

Counselling and Therapy for Scopophobia

We can offer you a number of different types of therapy and counselling for your Scopophobia the Fear of Being Seen.

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

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

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

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

Furthermore, research also suggests that the therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.

The behaviour change framework logo

Behaviour Change Framework – BCF

All of our counselling sessions and programmes are enhanced by applying the Behaviour Change Framework (BCF).

This scientifically proven protocol clearly defines the incremental stages of behaviour change that you need to go through in order to achieve long lasting and sustainable change.

Drawn from the Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change (TTM), the framework provides a roadmap that not only gauges the current stage of progression through the change process, but also indicates if more change is required before entering the next phase of therapy or coaching.

In this way, we are able to ensure that you get the best possible level of support in overcoming your problems as well as ensuring that we don’t terminate the change process prematurely.

You can read more about the Science of Change here.

Free Initial Consultations for Scopophobia Banner

Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming Scopophobia 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.


Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to overcome Scopophobia 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.

Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?

Then why not see if you can solve your fear of being seen 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 scopophobia 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.