Spider Phobia | Phobia from SpidersTweet
Characteristically, a spider phobic has two types of anxiety concerning treatment. Firstly, the person is often concerned that' shock tactics' will be applied such as being locked into a room full of spiders or having one suddenly thrown at him. The importance of a good relationship between patient and therapist is obvious here. The patient has to be able to believe and trust in the therapist's assurances that this will never happen and that everything that occurs during treatment is fully planned and only proceeds with his consent.
Secondly, the spider phobic is often concerned about the high level of anxiety that he will endure during treatment and that he will' go to pieces', not be able to cope or even have a heart attack. The therapist may challenge this on an intellectual or medical level by trying to help the patient understand that although panic symptoms feel terrible, they are not physically harmful.
Approach for treatment of Spider Phobia
However, a different approach is sometimes taken, which is to ask the person to remember the very worst experience of fear that he has had in relation to spiders. He is asked to consider his fear of spiders in terms of a scale ranging from 1 to 100 of Subjective Units of Disturbances (SUDs). His most terrifying experience is rated as 100 SUDs. The therapist then explains that the 100 SUDs rating took place in an uncontrolled, real-life, unplanned exposure to a spider or spiders.
In contrast, treatment is carefully planned with the patient himself being in control and consenting to everything that happens. Hence the person's SUDs rate during treatment is bound to be lower than in his worst-case experience which he did, fact, survive. In this way, the patient is instructed and encouraged to believe that although he may l'xperience anxiety, it will not be beyond his ability lo cope. Also, the patient may be told that banishing a 11 anxiety is not the goal of treatment but that a great reduction will inevitably occur as a by-product of successfully completing the treatment.
Team Work approach for treatment of Spider Phobia
The therapist makes sure that the person fully understands the concept of modelling and that nothing occurs without his full consent and co operation. Emphasis is laid on the fact that treatment consists of a partnership between therapist and patient. Once both parties are satisfied that everything has been fully discussed and understood, the patient is asked to agree to go ahead with treatment. Immediately before the start of treatment, the patient is asked to describe to the therapist what is about to happen - as a final safeguard to ensure that there is no residual misunderstanding.