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There isn’t a specific coulrophobia treatment. If the phobia disrupts your quality of life, exposure therapy with a mental health professional may help. Exposure therapy is a type of psychotherapy or talk therapy. It can help as many as 9 in 10 people overcome specific phobias.

Exposure therapy involves gradual and repeated exposures to images or situations that trigger coulrophobia symptoms. The process involves:

  • Learning breathing and relaxation techniques to use before and during exposure.
  • Viewing images or videos of clowns. (A child may benefit from watching a person put on clown makeup and transform into a clown.)
  • Gradually progressing to being in the same area as a clown.
  • Eventually, being next to a clown or holding and viewing a clown image.

Your provider may combine exposure therapy with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapy helps you change how you perceive and respond to situations that trigger anxiety.

Anti-anxiety medications generally aren’t helpful or needed for specific phobic disorders. In certain situations, like during Halloween when many people dress up as clowns, an anti-anxiety drug may help you feel calmer.

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