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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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4 year old is extremely afraid of having doors shut and is

Resolved Question:

4 year old is extremely afraid of having doors shut and is extremely anxious to having emotional outbreaks. He gets up at night and checks to see if the doors are shut and gets upset if doors are shut in his class room or bathroom etc. He is adopted and came from a drug addicted mother. Is this a reason and what is the solution.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

It is very possible that your child was neglected and abused when in the hands of a drug-addicted mother. It would not be a stretch of the imagination that there were times that she locked up your son when she was going out to get drugs, when she knew she was going to get too high to guard him properly, when she was "partying" with friends, or when she was angry and punishing him.

This is a form of claustrophobia, and may be specifically triggered by closed doors.

Your child can be best diagonosed and be led to reveal his fears and feelings through play therapy, using toys, or playing games with him, or somehow creatively using toys and games not only to reveal his past, but as a means of slowly deconditioning him from his phobia.

A good child psychologist or professional counselor who is certified in play therapy might be the most helpful to you. He can be cured withe a few sessions of pyschotherapy, including play therapy and behavior therapy.

Edmund Bourne is one of the most published therapists in the field of childhood phobias. This is at least his fourth book on the subject - a workbook that you would find most helpful. It is available at and elsewhere and I urge you to pick up a copy. It will help very much.

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook
by Edmund J. Bourne

I believe that you can resolve these issues with your son's fears, and particularly with the help of a caring therapist.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Dear friend,

I hope you are following up and seeking a therapist that you meet with and approve of, and by getting that Edmund Bourne workbook that I recommended.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC