Adjustment Of Presentation Intervals
One of the assumptions that served to delineate the SLAT in ) deals with avoiding a high activation in the neural circuits involved in fear. For this reason, we elaborated a procedure to exclude from the final therapeutic presentation those images that might produce discomfort in the patients, keeping only the more comfortable images that would probably not produce a high degree of activation in these neural circuits.
We adopted the following procedure.
Once the entire set of figures had been shown to the patient in a preparatorypresentation, we asked the patient to see the figures once more and collaboratewith us to determine the adjusted duration, Tad, of each one of theimages. The patient was instructed as follows: Each one of the followingimages will be presented by default for 5 seconds. If you do not like theimage, press the Enter button to passto the following image sooner. The sooner you press the button, the morefearful we will understand the image to be for you.
After seeing all images the subjects were asked:
Which images, if any, are intolerable?
Which images are tolerable?
Which images are so nice that you might place them in your bedroom?
With all this information, nine rules were applied to obtain the final duration of each image, Tad, in the presentation. As some patients were faster than others in pressing the Enter button, the average time Tm for each subject served as the patients unit of time.
Intolerable images with T< T1 were also eliminated.
Fear Or Phobia: How To Tell The Difference
Although they might feel similar, phobia and fear are distinct with underlying differences
One is an emotional response to a perceived threat. The other is irrational in nature to objects and situations that arent dangerous or threatening in the first place. Thats the underlying difference between fear and phobia. Growing up, people develop different kinds of fear, some to height, others to darkness, and some even to spiders and lizards. Although fear and phobia might appear similar, they are distinct. While one might be helpful, the other interferes with a persons everyday life. One doesnt need medical intervention, while the other might need therapy for the person to cope. However, many do not know the difference between the two, which bars them to seek needed and timely intervention. Hence, to clear the difference, Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr Shweta Sharma, Clinical Psychologist & Founder, Mansa Global Foundation for Mental Health.
Humor As A Specific Therapeutic Technique
Rather than creating a whole system of therapy with humor as a central ingredient, some clinicians have developed specific humor-based intervention techniques for treating particular clients with particular problems. For example, Larry Ventis, a clinical psychologist at the College of William and Mary, developed an application of humor in systematic desensitization for the treatment of phobias and other fear-related conditions. Systematic desensitization is a behavioral intervention in which clients vividly imagine themselves experiencing a series of progressively more threatening fear-evoking situations while engaging in muscle relaxation exercises. The repeated pairing of a relaxation response with exposure to a feared stimulus gradually diminishes the feelings of anxiety evoked by the stimulus, enabling the individual to overcome the phobic aversion.
In an early case study, Ventis described the successful use of humorous imagery instead of muscle relaxation during a session of systematic desensitization in the treatment of a young woman who suffered from social anxiety. In another case study published around the same time, Ronald Smith reported that the use of humor in nine sessions of systematic desensitization was highly effective in reducing strong, maladaptive anger responses in a 22-year-old woman, after previous attempts at treatment using standard muscle relaxation procedures had failed.
Paige Picou, … Thompson E. DavisIII, in, 2020
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Is Spider Phobia A Consequence Of The Great Plagues Of Europe
Posted July 21, 2014
In my previous blog post I described some of the research that has begun to throw light on why so many people appear to be scared of spiders. In particular, there seemed to be a significant link between being frightened of spiders and your disgust sensitivity levels. Disgust, if you remember, is a food rejection response that has evolved to prevent the transmission of disease and illness, and is a response that is usually elicited by things such as feces, mucus and vomitthings that are likely to be vehicles for the transmission of disease. However, disgust has also been shown to be associated with a range of “fear-relevant” but largely non-predatory animals . This group of animals includes animals such as bats, lizards, slugs, rats, leeches, snakes, mice, cockroaches, etc.as well as spiders.
If all this is true, then the spider has acquired its disgust and disease relevance by accident, and this may be a cultural phenomenon largely restricted to Europeans and passed on to their descendants. This raises two immediate questions. First, how is this “fear” of the disgusting spider passed on from generation to generation, and secondly, if it has its origins in European culture, we would not expect spider phobia to be a universal phenomenon, and it should be found primarily in Europeans and their descendants.
Spider Phobia Brain ‘processes Unconscious Fear’
Showing arachnophobes images of spiders so briefly they remain unaware of them could help them overcome their fear, US researchers suggest.
Scans suggested the brain worked harder to regulate emotional and behavioural responses to fear when it was not conscious of it.
The women in the small study were shown pictures of flowers interspersed very briefly with images of spiders.
The researchers said the technique could be used to treat children.
Current treatments are often based on persuading patients to directly face their fear, which could cause serious emotional distress, they said.
A phobia is an irrational fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal.
Phobias are more pronounced than fears, and can become overwhelming and affect day-to-day life.
They are particularly common in women.
For the research, 21 young women with a phobia of spiders were shown images of spiders for a split second in between image of flowers.
They were then shown spider images for a longer time, so that they were clearly visible.
At the same time, their brain activity was monitored and compared with that of women with no phobias.
In the group with phobias, seeing the spider images very briefly resulted in strong activity in areas of the brain that regulate emotional and behavioural responses to fear.
This was unexpected and resulted in the level of fear actually experienced being reduced, the researchers said.
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Treating Ptsd In First Responders
Did you start with spiders and dogs because those are common fears?
We started with spiders because that worked with the initial goal of creating a prototype. Spiders’ behavior is simple enough for the programming, which takes a lot of time. Another reason for choosing spiders was that we had a lot of other studies of real and virtual reality exposure therapy to compare against.
I think another reason for our success is that when you do real exposure therapy, you have just one scared tarantula in the corner of their tank and they don’t listen to you. But my spiders listen to me and do exactly what I tell them.
After our initial success, we obtained more funds to expand it to other phobias. The cool thing is that we don’t need separate software for different phobias. You can choose dogs or snakes, add it to the person’s environment, and decide their behaviors.
We just started a clinical trial using dogs, and another group in Turkey is running a clinical trial with dogs. Eastern Michigan University is working with spiders. And a clinic at the University of Nebraska Medical Center is going to start using them in real-world clinics, not for research.
We have another project whose goal is helping reduce the impact of trauma and also treating PTSD in first responders, who are exposed to a lot of horrible things. Rates of PTSD are around 20%-30% among cops, firefighters, and EMS personnel.
What else is next for you and your group?
For more on Dr Javanbakht’s exposure therapy, .
What Are The Symptoms Of Arachnophobia
What triggers a spider phobia? A person suffering from a phobia of spiders is likely to start exhibiting symptoms of anxiety and panic when thinking about spiders, feeling like they are nearby or when looking at them.
Arachnophobia symptoms appear in varying combinations and intensity each time and differ greatly from person to person. Spider phobia causes some of the following symptoms that commonly affect a person suffering from the condition.
Panic attacks Shaking, sweating and extreme nervousness Paralysis Extreme fear of death Nausea and disorientation
The above Arachnophobia symptoms can affect the individual extremely and create situations where their fear is aggravated, not to mention the embarrassment of being caught in such a situation that wrongfully makes the person suffering from a phobia of spiders feel socially inept.
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I’m Only Afraid Of House Spiders Or Tarantulas Is The Treatment Still A Good Fit
Every spider phobia is different: some people are afraid of daddy long-legs and other people mainly fear tarantulas. And for some people, the fear is mainly about the quick movements of spiders, while for others it is more about its appearance. In that case, dead spiders may also evoke fear. So fast thin spiders or slow big spiders arachnophobia comes in many forms.
With the Memrec treatment, we therefore ask many questions about the fear during the intake interview. This way we ensure that we include all aspects of it during the treatment.
Do we use a tarantula during the treatment, but are you also afraid of house spiders, or vice versa? The effect of the treatment should generalize to all types of spiders. We will test this with you during the check.
Study: Fear Of Spiders May Be Cured In Two Minutes
At least 30% of Americans have a fear of spiders, or arachnophobia. According to a new study published in Biological Psychiatry, just two minutes of therapy could eradicate that fear.
For most people, arachnophobia does not interfere with everyday life. In most natural habitats, however, people are usually not farther than a few feet from a spider. This means that for some people with arachnophobia, intrusive thoughts of spiders can become a chronic source of distraction and fear.
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Bookings For The Friendly Spider Programme Are Currently Closed We Will Update This Page When Bookings Reopen
Do you have a spider phobia? Then it’s time you joined our Friendly Spider Programme where we will help you to overcome your fears.
There is no good reason to have a spider phobia – they’re harmless and extremely beneficial invertebrates whose survival depends on avoiding such large, lumbering threats as ourselves. However, millions of perfectly rational people are terrified of spiders. No matter how much they try to calm themselves, the response remains the same: sweating, nausea, panic, rapid heartbeat and worse.
- An afternoon course designed to ease or eliminate the condition of arachnophobia
- The course is a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy
- Opportunity to speak to our spider expert and an expert hypnotherapist
Phobia Fear Of Spiders
Most folks these days are deadly afraid of the spiders, but it hasnt always been the case in human society.
A lot of experts believe that a couple of hundred years, humans were probably less afraid of spiders than they are now.
It is believed that the fear has been developing and adapted by humans as a means for survival. The process probably was initiated as there were more victims passed away due to the bite of a poisonous spider.
However, that might or might not be the case in our modern era.
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What Causes Fear Of Spiders
Some may develop a fear of spiders from a traumatic event involving the creatures. Signals in the brain or an imbalance of fight-or-flight chemicals such as noradrenaline may also trigger these fear episodes. Take for instance doing a common chore like picking something up off the porch or moving a box from a corner of the closet. If a large house spider scurries up your arm, you may be scarred for life with a mild fear of spiders.
One study showed that in an experiment done with young children, spiders and snakes provoked the most pupil dilation as compared to flowers or fish. This even in children that are so young they couldnt possibly have learned that spiders are something dangerous. Which may point to the theory that fear of spiders is evolutionary or with us from birth.
What Are The Effects Of Arachnophobia
The fear of spiders can have a very negative effect on a persons general well being. The fear of spiders often leads to a fear of the dark which can affect a persons ability to sleep comfortably, which develops into insomnia over a period of time, increasing their anxiety levels and creating room for further negative thoughts and fears.
The feeling of something crawling up the body becomes a persistent thing that repeatedly brings the persons back to spiders. Unexplained noises can also become sources of anxiety and distress in an Arachnophobic person.
As it builds in intensity, the person may become extremely paranoid about having cupboards, hidden spaces and attics repeatedly checked for any signs of a spider.
Despite all the precautions, the fear that a spider may be hidden nearby still looms large in their mind. To combat this, people with Arachnophobia keep their homes very brightly lit and often sleep with the lights on.
The fear can also make it difficult for the person suffering from spider phobia to navigate public spaces for fear of running into a spider.
However, unlike other phobias, phobia of spiders is not as harsh on the working professional since office spaces are usually well maintained and spider free because of the bright environment.
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Dont Scare The Children
Next time you decide to pull a prank on a child with a plastic spider just remember you might be instilling a fear that will haunt the rest of their lives.
Experts believe some kind of spider-related trauma in childhood is the root cause of many an adult dislike of creatures which are largely harmless.
And even though their rational brain knows theres really nothing to be afraid of, that awful memory remains locked away in their heads.
So its best not to put it there in the first place.
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When To See A Professional
Arachnophobia doesnt generally require a formal diagnosis from a doctor. This is due to the fact that phobias are most often self-diagnosable.
However, you may consider seeing a professional to help you work through your spider phobia if you find that its significantly impacting your life. You might ask yourself if arachnophobia impacts you in the following ways:
- makes it difficult to go outdoors
- gets in the way of work
- impacts your social life
- prevents you from spending time with your loved ones
- keeps you awake at night
- consumes your thoughts on a regular basis
If youve answered yes to any of the above, you may consider seeing a psychotherapist to help you address spider phobias. One-on-one talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and group therapy are all possible counseling options for phobias.
A therapist will help you address the fear head-on so that you can have fewer fearful encounters with spiders in the future, should they arise. This approach is known as desensitization, or exposure therapy. As with other phobias, complete avoidance isnt recommended because it will only intensify your fears.
The sooner you seek therapy, the greater the chances that your phobia can be treated. Delaying professional help can make therapy that much more difficult.
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Get Sponsored To Face Your Fear
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Set up your fundraising page now by going to www.justgiving.com/zsl . Setting up a JustGiving page is a great way of maximizing every opportunity of sponsorship. To find out more about sponsorship please email .
Treating Arachnophobia With Therapy
Lead researchers Marieke Soeter and Merel Kindt, of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, wanted to explore whether memory reconsolidation, a treatment originally developed by neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux for the treatment of posttraumatic stress, could treat arachnophobia. The concept behind reconsolidation is to change the way the brain processes memories that may be upsetting, thereby altering trauma-related thoughts and behaviors.
Soeter and Kindt recruited 45 subjects with arachnophobia. Each group was exposed to a tarantula for two minutes, resulting in a predicted fearful response. After being exposed to the spider, half of participants received a 40-milligram dose of propanolol. The other half received a placebo. Propanolol is a beta-blocker but has also been shown to have amnesic properties.
As predicted, participants who received the beta-blocker experienced significant reduction in fear-related avoidance behavior. They were also more willing to approach spiders, even a year after the study.
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Spiders Snakes And Dirt: Phobia Class Turns Fear Into Fascination
Many Americans have phobias an extreme, irrational or aversive fear of something. Often phobias are triggered by things found in the natural world, but are those fears unfounded?
Jones, who created the class in 2016 alongside his wife, biologist Leah Connell, said he wanted to teach a course that would get students interested in the natural sciences.
The course is more about the need for humans to have a connection to nature and all the reasons why we withdraw from that, he said. Phobias are a big part of that, especially of snakes and spiders, but also of getting dirty.
Theres a lot of room for people to choose their own path with this course. Students get to pick which phobia they focus on with their final synthesis paper at the end of the class.
Jones said snakes are the most common phobia written about in his class, followed closely by sharks. Spiders and dirt are up there as well. Of those, a phobia of serpents, also known as ophidiophobia, appears to be the only one that triggers some sort of inherent response.
When showing babies photos of puppies and snakes, they tend to naturally become more alert when they see snakes, Jones said. So, some of these concerns are built in.
A lot of phobias are an extreme response and sometimes irrational because it colors our perception to where were constantly worried about them.