Claustrophobia, or fear of being trapped, is common. If the fear is hindering you in daily life, then it is a phobia.

Claustrophobia is one of the most commonly treated fears at Kindt Clinics. The success rate is 80%.

On this page you can read more about the symptoms and treatment of claustrophobia. People who have been treated for claustrophobia at Kindt Clinics also share theirs experience.

Symptoms of claustrophobia

Nobody likes to be stuck in a toilet or in an elevator, but in people with claustrophobia the fear of these situations is disproportionate. They find themselves in a situation that makes them feel not being able to get away easily, then a fear response arises. The heart rate and breathing speed up, and often someone sweats or shakes. The body responds as if there is great danger.

Rationally it is known that a toilet will eventually open again, and that being stuck in an elevator is not life-threatening, but that doesn't matter once the fear strikes. The threat is predominant, and the only way to get rid of it is to get out of the situation or pre-set small spaces. avoid.

People with claustrophobia often choose to avoid situations that trigger fear. In a cinema, for example, they choose a seat at the beginning of a row, check the lock before closing a door, or ensure that they are near the exit at a concert.

Depending on the severity of the fear, claustrophobia can be very restrictive. For example, if someone avoids toilets, does not dare to use public transport, or dreads holidays, it is advisable to treat claustrophobia. Often someone only realizes afterwards how limiting the fear was.

Would you like to know more or a non-binding intake?

If you're claustrophobic, plan one intake interview without obligation to learn more about the treatment.

What are people with claustrophobia actually afraid of?

Claustrophobia comes from the Latin word claustrum, which means 'a closed place' and the Greek word φόβος, fear. Literally it is therefore the fear of closed places.

What exactly someone with claustrophobia is afraid of differs. In some, the fear is limited to physically small spaces (often without windows), and in others it also occurs in crowds. Dreaded situations are: toilets, MRI scanners, caves, buses, trains, tunnels, elevators.

Many people with claustrophobia do not know what exactly they fear. Sometimes it's about the fear of choking. Often claustrophobia mainly revolves around fear of the fear, or fear of what could happen if you can't get away. After all, when you are anxious, there is a strong tendency to leave the situation. Because this is not possible in an enclosed space, it is precisely these kinds of places that stir fear. Someone may then fear going mad or, for example, have a heart attack because of fear.

Relatively little is known in science about how and why phobias arise. Sometimes there is a clear reasonlike a bad experience, but you don't have to.

For the treatment at Kindt Clinics it doesn't matter how claustrophobia started or how long it has been going on.

Research: claustrophobia in MRI scanners

Uit research shows that an estimated 4 to 20% of patients refuse to have an MRI scan, because of fear of the scan. Since an MRI scan takes an average of 50 minutes, it is not surprising that it evokes fear in people with claustrophobic feelings.

Ander research points out that an MRI scan can even trigger anxiety in people who did not previously suffer from claustrophobia. This study involved people who had not previously been diagnosed with claustrophobia. Despite this, 25% of the people experienced some degree of anxiety in the MRI scanner. 4% could not even complete the scan.

These studies confirm how restrictive claustrophobia can be; avoiding the fear may outweigh the importance of the necessary medical examination.

It is not always clear how you get claustrophobia, but more importantly: how do you get rid of it?

More than 80% of the treatments succeed in one go, and another 10% the second time.

Treatment of claustrophobia

At Kindt Clinics we treat claustrophobia with the Memrec method. The discovery of the method caused a lot at the time attention in the scientific world, and fortunately we have been achieving the same results in practice for years. More than 80% of the treatments succeed in one go, and another 10% the second time. And also important: the effect is lasting.

Although the treatment is short (we look for a small space once), it is not an easy treatment. The most important success factors are: we must be able to generate the fear properly, and then we must succeed in dealing with that fear, and so for once resisting the tendency to flee. Of course we help with that.

Because the motivation to overcome the fear is important for treatment to be successful, the intake interview at Kindt Clinics is without obligation. This way, a conscious choice can be made for the treatment.

Does claustrophobia bother you or do you notice that it keeps getting worse? Then sign up for a no-obligation intake interview.


The intake interview follows after registration. We do this via Skype or similar software, or at our clinic. The intake is without obligation, and intended to determine whether the Memrec method is suitable, and whether or not you want the treatment.


Treatment usually consists of one treatment session. In this we look for a small space. The exact appearance of that space differs per treatment and per person. After the confrontation, you take the pill (a beta blocker) and stay with us for another 2 hours.


You will return for the test one or a few days later. We go back into the small room, and you immediately notice whether the treatment has been successful. We take all the time to practice in different situations, so that you gain confidence that the fear will not come back.

Watch the treatment of another phobia

We have no pictures of the treatment of claustrophobia. But to get an idea of ​​the treatment you can watch this excerpt from the Canadian documentary program The Nature of Things. Last year they were at Kindt Clinics to interview Merel Kindt and to film a number of treatments.

In this episode you see fragments of the vertigo treatment from Eva and the chicken phobia treatment from Mirjam.

Sanne's experience

Sanne Verkade - claustrophobia

“I have been treated for my claustrophobia at Kindt Clinics. The treatment was very intense but more than worth it. After years I can finally say that I am fear free. There are still certain situations that cause tension and nerves, but they are nothing compared to what I felt before the treatment. I would recommend that everyone undergo this treatment. If I could have, I would have done it years earlier. ”

"If I could have done it years earlier"

What does the confrontation look like?

Claustrophobia comes in many different forms. For some, the fear of choking revolves around the idea of ​​being stuck in others. For one it is especially important when he / she is alone, and with the other in large crowds. One is afraid of choking, another of a heart attack, and yet another doesn't even know exactly what he fears.

With the Memrec treatment, we ask many questions about the fear during the intake interview, to ensure that we include all aspects of it during the treatment. We go for the situation that best suits the fear.

Do we opt for an MRI scanner during treatment, but are you also afraid of elevators, or vice versa? If it is good the effect of the treatment extends to all types of small spaces. We are happy to test this with you

Are you considering a Memrec treatment now or in the future? Contact us or plan an intake interview without obligation

Is Memrec suitable for my claustrophobia?

You may have doubts whether the Memrec method is suitable for your fear. Please feel free to contact us to share your situation. All our employees are psychologists, so you will be immediately contacted by someone who can answer your questions.

Or register immediately for an intake interview without obligation. Based on this interview, we know whether Memrec is suitable for you, and you can decide whether or not to opt for the treatment.