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Exposure Therapy

In: Social Issues

Submitted By dxwalker18
Words 892
Pages 4
Spiders are amongst the most feared animals by humans because many of them are poisonous and can cause great injury or even death if bitten by them. Coincidentally many people are fearful of spiders, which often time disables them with fear in the presence of this animal. Many people live their entire lives with the fear of spiders. This paper will discuss how these people can learn through exposure therapy to extinct their fear of spiders.
Personally I am not afraid of spiders; however, my four-year-old daughter screams and runs out of the room at the sight of a crawling spider. Although the spider she is afraid of is not harmful, her mom, as a precaution has taught her that spiders are bad. Additionally, I believe that others like my daughter have been taught by someone close to them at a young age to be fearful of spiders because they are poisonous, and unattractive. There is evidence that offspring of a phobic individual are at greater risk for developing the same specific phobia subtype because children tend to mirror their parents’ tendencies and fears King, Muris (2004).
According to the DSM-IV-TR American Psychiatric Association DBM-IV-TR, (2000), a specific phobia is characterized by clinically significant anxiety provoked by exposure to a specific feared object or situation. Exposure to the feared stimulus invariably provokes an immediate anxiety response that may take the form of a panic attack. Because of the fear of the specific object or situation, people with specific phobias tend to exhibit avoidance behavior or endure situations with relative distress. Unfortunately, based on my observations of my daughter’s reaction to spiders and reading the DSM –IV I believe that she has this phobia.
It is well known that facing what we fear most is the only way of overcoming one’s fears. Exposure therapy works much the same way the difference being that it is...

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