Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for MRI Claustrophobia

Here's our number one technique for MRI claustrophobia, chosen in part, for many long term reasons.

Number 1 technique


Say what?!?

MRI Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is much more of a longer term solution. Done correctly, it is believed to be the one treatment most likely to relieve the actual claustrophobia most over the long term. CBT is an approach that involves learning to control the thoughts that occur when confronted with the fear-inducing situation in such a way as to change the reaction.

So how do you actually do it? Well you'll need some professional help to take you through the complete process and do it right but simply put it involves both a cognitive aspect - how and what we think - and a behavioral aspect - how we act then and how we change our behaviors.

This therapy often includes a gradual exposure to the feared situation at a gentle pace. A discussion of that experience is then part of the therapy.

Many people who study and research phobias tell us if we can be conditioned to think and feel negatively, then we can be reconditioned to think healthfully. With properly trained techniques, we can begin living and acting differently before we confront real-life challenges.

Again, this is a longer term technique and you really can't start it a day or two before your MRI. But if strong levels of claustrophobia are something you suffer from often, or your health condition means you may be having a lot of MRI scans in the future, you may want to consider putting the time and effort into this area.

The following links may help you search for a professional who can help you with claustrophobia:

ABCT - Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
NACBT - National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists
NAMI - National Alliance of Mental Illness

The more you know, the better.

So your doctor ordered an MRI for you. Feeling claustrophobic already? Maybe more than a little nervous? Sometimes the more you know about it, the less scary it will seem. Here's some helpful information to help educate yourself on what an MRI experience is really like.

Getting a MRI:

Find out what the experience is like and what you should expect.

Before the MRI
During the MRI
After the MRI

Frequently Asked MRI Questions

You'd be suprised how many people are wondering about the same things you're wondering about.

What are MRI scans?
Why would someone need or get a MRI scan?
What are the different types of MRI scans?
What is an MRI experience like?
What are the costs of a MRI scan?
What are the risks of a MRI scan?
How are MRIs different than MRA scans?
How are MRIs different than x-rays or CT scans?


We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Types of MRIs

AbdomenAdrenal GlandsAppendixBackBile DuctsBladderBlood VesselsBoneBowelBrainBreastCervical SpineCervixChestDiscFallopian TubeFetusFootFull BodyGallbladderHeadHeartJointKidneyLegLiverLumbarLymph NodesMRANeckNoseOveriesPancreasPelvisPenisProstateScrotumShoulderSpineSpleenTesticlesTumorUrethraUterusVertebraeWhole Body


IMPORTANT: The information on this page, and throughout the entire site, is not intended to provide advice or treatment for a specific situation. Consult your physician and medical team for information and treatment plans on your specific condition(s). Images are shown for illustrative purposes. Do not attempt to draw conclusions or make diagnoses by comparing these image to other medical images, particularly your own.

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