Howard Liebgold "Dr. Fear"

No longer in business

Dr. Liebgold passed away in 2013 per this Times-Herald obituary.

Parent Reviews

New reviews are no longer being accepted.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Sept 2008

Re: 12 year old with anxiety attacks
Both my girls went through the same thing - it started around age 11. Check out ''Dr. Fear'' who teaches phobease group classes for kids at Kaiser Valleojo twice a year. You don't have to be a Kaiser member, the cost is resonable (? 100 for 6 weeks). He uses cognitive behavioral therapy techniques - will give homework each week. Very empowering for the kids to see they aren't ''crazy'' and that there are very concrete things that they can do to stop the anxiety. I think the next class starts in October. Google it for contact info. grateful mom

August 2008

Re: Female cognitive-behavioral therapist?
I don't know a female CBT therapist in the east bay, but I'd like to offer an alternate recommendation, in case you can't find exactly what you're looking for. There's a great CBT course offered at Kaiser Vallejo, both an adult 10-week session and a children's 6-week session. $70-170 for the whole thing. Email phobease [at] and they'll probably say it's fine to come to the first class (Sep 11th for adults) before you sign up.

When I was considering going, Vallejo seemed really far. I never would have done the hour-long drive from Berkeley if I hadn't been travelling with a friend. And I definitely would have preferred to learn CBT from a female therapist in a one-on-one setting. But the guy who teaches the course, ''Dr. Fear'', has a real knack for making the CBT tools accessible, and his totally wacky lightheartedness is exactly what many people need when facing issues that require us to seek out CBT. Also, you can be as public or as private as you want during the class when talking about what you're using CBT for.

I would STRONGLY suggest that anyone who thinks they may want CBT go to the first class Sept 11. I use CBT tools all the time, and they've made a real difference in my life, so congrats that you're reaching out to look for a resource, for whatever you're struggling with! Glad I attended

Feb 2008

Re: 6 1/2 year-old daughter has many fears
I highly recommend the Phob-ease children's class with Dr. Fear (Dr. Howard Liebgold) at the Vallejo Kaiser. My children are taking his classes (11 year old in children's class, 14 year old in adult class). The current session started a few weeks ago and we are already seeing improvement in our children's ability to identify and cope with their anxieties. Each class member can take a support person, which I highly recommend. The support person (you) will learn ways to support the anxious person outside of class and techniques for dealing with any of your own anxieties.

Unfortunately, the next session does not start until Sept, but he also sells his class on book and DVD. From what I can see, several people in the adult class have taken the classes more than once, so I don't see any problem with using the DVD (or book alone) then taking the class later. You can find information about the class dates and times and the materials at: anon

Feb 2008

Re: 8-year-old's fears and anxieties
Three years ago we signed our son up for an evening class at Kaiser/Vallejo. It was a 8 week class (one evening a week) given by Dr. Liebgold or as the kids call him, Dr. Fear. His classes really help kids identify and overcome their anxiety whether it's from separation, fear of dark, school,OCD symptoms, the list goes on and on. My son is very sensitive and had fears of us falling asleep before him and than something horrible happening to the family. An irrational fear to us yet very real to him. Dr. Fear's motto is, ''Face Your Fear and It Will Disppear''. My son's disappeared and he gained some really great life tools.

I think the beauty of this class is that the kids see and meet kids who have the same and different fears as them and makes it all very normal. The class was great for him and our whole family because once he knew that he could control the fear he got on with being a kid.

You don't have to be a Kaiser member to attend the class. If you call Kaiser/ Vallejo and ask for Dr. Liebgold's office they'll give you all of the info. anonymous

Feb 2008

Re: 8-year-old's fears and anxieties
Try the phobia class at Kaiser Vallejo -- I don't think you have to be a member. At the very least you and your husband and your son will meet other kids with the same problems, and it might help. We took the class (my child had different phobias) and found it helpful -- there were lots of kids with separation anxiety there. It is a pain to drive there from Berkeley, but the class was worth it. One thing I liked was that the doctor who teaches the class emphasizes that people are wired differently, and often people with phobias are intelligent and sensitive. anon

Nov 2007

Re: 12-year-old is constantly freaked out that she will die
please check out a program called ''Phobease'' described by some parents who posted their comments on the Berkeley Parent's Network. Phobease was developed by a doctor who has personal experience with anxiety disorders and developed a group therapy approach covered in a 10 week course. We went once but the drive was long and difficult through rush hour traffic and fortunately our daughter's condition improved without needing to continue. One thing my daughter remembers from the workshop that helps her control her anxious thought processes to this day is ''There are no what if's, only what is.'' For more information on Phobease and Dr. Howard Liebgold call (925) 335-9524; e- mail at [email protected]; or click on the ''Cure Phobias'' section at If you would like to seek help from our daughter's therapist please call Wendy Lucero at (510) 843-6587. I don't know if she is currently accepting new clients but if she is I would highly recommend her. She is a very gentle person and did a remarkable job helping our daughter. Good luck to you and your daughter. anon

Nov 2006

Re: 8-year-old's tantrums - is it anxiety?
I have never dealt with childhood anxiety, and cannot say whether that is your daughter's problem or not. However, I have dealt with severe generalized anxiety disorder as an adult, and Dr. Howard Liebgold (nicknamed ''Dr. Fear''), who teaches a course on dealing with anxiety, phobias, and OCD, at Kaiser in Vallejo, changed my entire life by helping me get rid of about 90 percent of my anxiety. I am bringing this up in the context of your daughter because Dr. Liebgold also has a children's course on dealing with anxiety, and I have heard very good things about it as well. (The method he teaches to adults is very, very simple, and I think that an 8-yo could probably grasp it.)

If you feel that you get an accurate diagnosis that your daughter is having her tantrums because of anxiety, then rather than putting her in therapy, I suggest you try Dr. Liebgold's course first. I really cannot recommend him highly enough. He is a terrific teacher and a great person, and very accessible, if you have questions before enrolling in the course. And you do not have to be a Kaiser member to take his relatively inexpensive course. I see that others on BPN have sung his praises before; see below! Ann

Nov 2006

Re: 8-year-old's tantrums - is it anxiety?
I want to second the recommendation for the overcoming fear classes at Kaiser in Vallejo. We took my daughter there last year for a phobia, and there were lots of kids (from about 6-13 or so) there with various anxieties and phobias. In addition to lessening her phobia, the class made us all feel less weird about the problem. I would suggest starting with this kind of basic intervention, and then see if more is necessary -- there is an amazing amount that can be accomplished behaviorally, if the child and parents both want to work on it. One of the best parts was how Dr. Liebgold talks about people with fears being more creative/imaginative than other people -- this was very reassuring as reframing for my daughter who was feeling like she was ''weird.'' Dr. Howard Liebgold (nicknamed ''Dr. Fear''), who teaches a course on dealing with anxiety, phobias, and OCD, at Kaiser in Vallejo. anon

May 2004

Re: Mom's anxiety - Conventional psychiatry hasn't helpe d
If acute panic attacks are the problem there is a man named Dr. Liebgold (aka Dr. Fear) who has a web site & is well known for his support groups which teach technics to overcome panic attacks. A Google search should assist you in hooking up with a group. Anxiety can be incredibly debilitating & interfere with daily functioning. I would recommend your mom not give up on trying new medications.

Feb 2004

Re: 8-year-old's illogical fears & anxiety
Sounds like your son is developing some phobias (been there)! There is a FABULOUS class at Vallejo Kaiser (you don't have to be a Kaiser member) called PHOBE-EASE, taught by a wonderful man named Dr. Liebgold. He is a retired psychiatrist who was extremely phobic as a young adult and found the proper therapy. He makes the class lots of fun. Kids love him. (He does an adult class too).

It's a 6 week class (monday nights) and they help kids with all kinds of phobias, step by step. My younger son and I took the class in the fall. I highly recommend it.

Phobia fears are not usually logical (trees falling?) but never- the-less they are very realistic to the person experiencing the fear.

The current class started January 26th. They will likely invite you to attend the last class of this series to check it out. I think the next one starts in April or May. Call Vallejo Kaiser Health Ed Dept. and they will send you an application. good luck. June

Feb 2004

Re: Therapist for Panic Attacks
You need Dr Fear!! I knew nothing about panic attacks until my husband confided in me 8+ years ago that he experienced them. He'd been getting them since grade school. He would get them in classrooms, restaurants, movie theaters, social events, on bridges, airplanes, etc. He tried many therapists and techniques and spent $1000s to no avail. But then we discovered Phobease at Kaiser. It's changed our lives. It's a 10 week course developed and (if you're lucky) taught by Dr. Liebgold, aka Dr. Fear. You don't need to be a Kaiser member to take it; the fee is less than $100 and you become a lifetime member. I took the course with my husband and found it tremendously valuable and could apply many of the techniques to my life as well. I would strongly encourage you to take it from Dr. Liebgold himself. I believe he teaches out of Kaiser-Vallejo but the class is offered at other locations. He is incredibly knowledgeable, positive, entertaining and funny but best of all...he's been there. He knows firsthand what it's like to be crippled by fear/panic attacks/phobias/obsessions. Give it a try. I guarantee you won't be disappointed! No More Panic Attacks

Feb 2004

Re: Therapist for Panic Attacks
I took an anxiety class at Kiaser Oakland. It was pretty good. Of course, anxiety means that it's hard even to attend a class like that, and hard to do the exercises. The first positive side was that everyone in there was just about like me. It really opened my eyes to hear others tell the stories that would have come from my own lips if I weren't so busy hiding and covering this stuff. Second, there were some really good methods for dealing with and overcoming anxiety.

Sept 2003

Re: Am I the only person who HATES Halloween?
SOunds like your son has what is a very common childhood phobia. I recently found out that 70% of all children have some sort of phobia (also considered anxiety disorder) to some extent but ony 30% of those phobias are ever identified and worked with. There is help!!!

There is a wonderful class at Vallejo Kaiser called ''Phobe- Ease''. It is a class specifically for kids with phobias of all sorts. Dr. Howard Liebgold created and teaches this 6 week class. It's on Monday nights from 6-8PM (kind of a schlepp from the east bay, but worth it).

The cost is $70.00 for kaiser members adn $130.00 (I think) for non members.

My 8 year old son has a social phobia. We have just started this class and I am so impressed and hopeful. Check out Dr. Liebgold's website (Sorry, I don't know it offhand). You can call Vallejo Kaiser, or maybe just try Phobe-, or, or similar things. The class just started and goes into October so I imagine the next one will be at the end of Oct. or early Nov.

He also has a do it yourself at home course. Ages seem to be about 6 or 7 through teens.(There is also a course for adults). He talks about phobias as merely fears that we all have and we just need tools to get through the fears, rather than run away and have to face it again the next day. Check this out, it's really worth it and much cheaper than spending a lot of money on therapy. Write to me if you want more specific info. June