For many people the existence of spiders is an unfortunate aspect of life. This is mainly because spiders are terrible looking and, of course, they can cause pain if properly motivated. We humans may have good reasons to regard spiders as organisms to fear since we instinctively know that they can cause bodily harm. Although deaths from spider bites may not be common today, just try to imagine our prehistoric ancestors trying to avoid them while constantly being outdoors with little or no methods of protection from these small yet horrifying creatures. In this scenario, you can see why we humans may have developed an instinct to avoid spiders. So if you know you are afraid of spiders, then that is step one. Step two involves unlearning your fear of spiders, but how can a person unlearn a natural instinct to be afraid of spiders?
Having a fear of spiders is certainly normal, and arachnophobia is the most common of all phobias. Even researchers from Columbia University claim that people have been afraid of spiders for hundreds of thousands of years. In order to overcome this fear most mental health professionals believe that exposure therapy can rid our minds of unpleasant thoughts and anxieties some experience when around spiders.
Essentially, exposure therapy aims to change your perspective. In order to develop a more agreeable attitude towards something that you are afraid of, then it becomes necessary to expose yourself to your object of fear. After experiencing several situations in which you are exposed to your object of fear, you begin to learn that your fear was never rational, and consequently, you will dismiss your fear as being unfounded.
Although exposure therapy is straightforward enough, the effects often fade after a while, allowing a person to become fearful of spiders once again. However, if you are afraid of spiders then you don’t need to lose hope in exposure therapy as many mental health professionals increase your exposure time each session, which often leads to a complete change in how you react to spiders.
Have you ever considered therapy in order to overcome a fear of spiders?