CBS 11 Header TXA 21 Header MeTV Header KRLD Header The Fan Header

News

2-Hour Therapy May Cure Arachnophobia

CBS DFW (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSDFW.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSDFW.com/Health

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

From Our CBS Music Web Sites

dl image 2 Hour Therapy May Cure ArachnophobiaClick To Win A Disney World Vacation

483935699 2 Hour Therapy May Cure ArachnophobiaKISS' Paul Stanley Calls Rock Hall A "Sham"

grand in your hand11 2 Hour Therapy May Cure ArachnophobiaWin A Grand In Your Hand

155742164 2 Hour Therapy May Cure ArachnophobiaPick Your Favorite Victoria Secret Model

Featured Items

Fantasy_tileStars Ice Girls

pet_tileYour Pet Photos

weather_tileSend Us Your Weather Photos

136399049 2 Hour Therapy May Cure Arachnophobia

A red-kneed spider rests on a zookeeper’s hand. (credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) - Arachnophobia — or a fear of spiders — is one of the most common “specific phobias.” For some spider-phobes, their anxiety is so intense that they won’t stay in their homes if they see an eight-legged creature crawling.

But new research shows a promising treatment for those afflicted with arachnophobia. Northwestern University researchers found out that after a single therapy session, subjects were able to touch or hold a tarantula — even up to six months after the session.

In the study, which was published in the May 21 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 12 adults with arachnophobia were examined with functional MRI brain scans. Before starting therapy, the researchers monitored their brains as they approached a tarantula in a terrarium. When they saw the spider, the sections of their brain related to fear response — the amygdala, insula and cingulate cortex — lit up with activity. On average, subjects could not get closer than 10 feet to the tarantula.

Then the subjects underwent a two-to-three hour therapy session called “short-exposure therapy,” in which they were taught about tarantulas and learned many of the fears they believed about spiders was not true. “They thought the tarantula might be capable of jumping out of the cage and onto them,” Katherina Hauner, post-doctoral fellow in neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the paper, said in the press release. “Some thought the tarantula was capable of planning something evil to purposefully hurt them. I would teach them the tarantula is fragile and more interested in trying to hide herself.”

Then, the subjects gradually learned to approach the spider until they touched the outside of the terrarium. They were then instructed to touch the spider with a paintbrush, then a glove, then pet it with their bare hands or hold it.

Click Here To Read More From CBS News

Also Check Out: