Admitting That Big Ugly Spider Is Terrifying Will Make It Less Frightening

Smithsonian Magazine:

Talk about your fear while you do the thing you fear most, and according to new research, you may be able to overcome your phobia.

Psychologists at UCLA found that people describing their feelings at the moment they confront their fears has a comforting effect. They asked 88 people with a fear of spiders to approach an open cage containing a big, hairy, live tarantula. They told the participants to touch the spider, if they could muster the courage.

Before forcing their subjects to confront the spider, however, the researchers divided them into four groups. In one group, the scientists instructed the subjects to talk about their feelings. For example, one arachnophobic participant said, “I’m anxious and frightened by that ugly, terrifying spider.”

Read the whole story: Smithsonian Magazine

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