FEAR is the emotional response to threat and danger, it motivates and prepares us for defensive strategies to avoid or reduce the danger. The experiencing of persistent, excessive and irrational fears related to a person, place, object or situation, however, rationality can disappear, replaced with instincts for self-preservation. This overactivated threat signaling may overwhelm our ability to cope as we experience intense fear, horror, obsessive thoughts, and even panic attacks. A person with specific phobia will usually try and avoid those specific objects or situations (e.g. open spaces) that produces anxiety.
In therapy, we help the client cope constructively with anxiety provoking situations/person/objects to more manageable levels that no longer interferes with his or her effective functioning.