Arachnophobia, how to fight it

This 26 October 2018 video says about itself:

10 Most Beautiful Spiders Found Around the World

When you imagine a spider, it’s probably a hairy, black or brown creature that immediately comes to mind. And unless you live in a particularly warm climate, these harmless beasts are probably the most popular spiders that frequent your hometown. These common creepy crawlers certainly aren’t fun to look. But while you might think that all spiders are like that, there are actually plenty of beautiful spiders all over the world that are worthy of our love and attention.

Forget what you thought you knew about spiders and keep an eye out for the creatures in this video, whose colors span the entire rainbow. Some of them are tiny, which just means that you’ll have to look carefully if you want to fully appreciate the plethora of colors that decorate their bodies. Others are bigger, which makes spotting them in the wild a lot easier.

From the University of Sussex in England:

An end to arachnophobia ‘just a heartbeat away’

October 30, 2018

Researchers have discovered that exposing people with phobias to their fear — for examples, spiders for those who have arachnophobia — at the exact time their heart beats, led to the phobia reducing in severity.

Hugo Critchley, Chair of Psychiatry at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and principle investigator, said: “Many of us have phobias of one kind or another — it could be spiders, or clowns or even types of food. Treatment usually involves exposing the person to their fear, but this can take a long time. Our work shows that how we respond to our fears can depend on whether we see them at the time our heart beats, or between heartbeats. You could say we’re within a heartbeat of helping people beat their phobias.”

In phobias, disproportionately intense, disabling anxiety is induced by specific situations or triggers.

Treatment is often prolonged and involves a graded exposure to fear-evoking stimuli, but has made some progress in recent years through the use of computerised therapy.

This new research shows that phobias can be treated more effectively by linking computerised therapy to the patients’ own heart rhythms.

Researchers at BSMS had previously revealed how bodily arousal signals that occur with each individual heartbeat can change the emotional impact of potential threats, for example, when experienced during a heartbeat they can appear greater.

In this proof-of-concept clinical trial, a computerised exposure therapy for spider phobia was combined with online measurements of heartbeats.

For one group of patients, pictures of spiders were presented in-time with heartbeats (during the signalling of cardiac arousal), while for another patient group, pictures of spiders were presented in-between heartbeats. A third control group saw spiders randomly in the therapy sessions.

Although there was some improvement among all patients, as you would expect in exposure therapy, those individuals exposed to spiders in-time with their own heartbeats showed a greater reductions in self-reported fear of spiders, anxiety levels and their physiological responses to spiders.

These improvements were also shown to depend on differences in how well an individual patient can accurately feel their own heart beating in their chest, suggesting a further way of tailoring the treatment to benefit each patient.

Watching ‘Spider-Man’ Can Decrease Spider Phobia, Israeli Researchers Find. April 24, 2019. By Gabe Friedman

1 thought on “Arachnophobia, how to fight it

  1. Pingback: Dancing peacock spiders made arachnophobe into arachnologist | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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