By no that does not help - United States - Austin
Today, I went to see a therapist for help with my severe fear of spiders. The therapist held a big spider in a box inches away from my face. I ran to the back of the room and asked him why. He responded with, "Aren't therapists supposed to help you face your fears?" I'm paying $150 an hour. FML
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  wallandpiece  |  16

Technically it is. But they are supposed to learn deep relaxation techniques first, then they build up a hierarchy of what they think would be frightening situations. They work up the hierarchy and use the relaxation techniques and they are gradually put in scarier positions. I don't think instantly shoving a spider in OP's face is a professional way of going about the job.

  SneezyBear  |  27

#47, there are several methods, but it is generally agreed that sudden exposure to the 'target' of a phobia is the fastest way to get rid of the phobia. It is the most distressing but an efficient method and also the fastest method to do it. The stress it causes the client, however, is why many therapists opt for the slower, gradual buildup process instead. It's a valid technique, but OP's therapist should have informed her first what she was going to do.

  whyamievenhere  |  11

You're supposed to do it in steps. Talking about it, looking at pictures, then the real thing at a distance, then closer up, learning more and more about them as you go (and learning what parts of the fear are valid - aka what spiders in your state COULD fuck you up - but also why you don't have to worry (ie: they are rare, they can't bite through human skin, etc)).

  JesseAttack  |  21

Shouldn't happen on the first meet... (Although I don't know the details) but the way the OP is talking, if they were still terrified of them it was probably because they were in their first meets...

  Jake_Hale  |  7

Wow OP I would call the police and report your therapist. What he did is attempted murder you could get a heart attack due to the severity of your fear. I'm so sorry OP I know the feeling I'm also scared of spiders it's a known fact

  nature_girl_08  |  14

The patient is generally WARNED about it first, though. Simply nearly throwing their fear in their face without warning can make the phobia much worse; it depends on the patient and how they deal with their fears. Which is why there should be multiple sessions before anything of the like is attempted. Exposure therapy IS legitimate, but, as people have already said, most tend to do a gradual build up. Personally, it would definitely not have helped me. I am terrified of heights, even though I've been in many situations where I've been exposed to that fear. It really just depends on the client.

  Jake_Hale  |  7

That's what I'm saying! I think OP should report him to the police for not only attempted murder but also for being a false therapist. She could also file a lawsuit

  rosey_5_3  |  2

First of all that is an actual technic, you are supposed to start far away then stop to do some relaxing exercises and repeat this process again until you can touch it.

  rg350dx  |  29

All these years I thought facing your fears was just an expression! I didn't know you literally had to have your fears shoved in your face...Oddly enough, I seem to have spontaneously developed an irrational fear of large breasts.

By  skyeyez9  |  24

What an ass. I wouldn't bother wasting anymore money on his "therapy."

Its fairly common for people to have a fear of spiders. I had a daddy long leg on my shoulder when I woke up a few days ago. I nearly peed my bed. Cause I was wondering how long that thing was crawling all over me.

  skyeyez9  |  24

There is a gradual way to do it. Shoving a huge spider in OPs face the second they met obviously didnt help.
And I dont care if daddy long legs are considered spiders or not. In my eyes, it is a spider. And I still dont appreciate them crawling all over me while I was sleeping.

  neeni88  |  23

40, that's got to be the most ridiculous analogy I've ever heard.

Although a daddy long leg is not a spider, it certainly resembles one and so it's not crazy for people to think they are a spider.

And I agree with 33 that the therapy method should have been done more gradually. If that therapist had shoved that spider in my face just like that, I probably would have punched him in his face!

  Wizzlbang  |  10

That statistic is grossly inaccurate. 8 per year? Try 8 per NIGHT. At least. Spiders love warm, moist places. They're in your mouth as you sleep, dozens of spiders.

Don't be misinformed!

  SammyS2012  |  21

No that is actually a valid technique and very effective. He went about it wrong. He probably should have started with a picture, something completely harmless and then worked his way up from there

  AnOriginalName  |  19

I don't know about you, but the small spiders creep me out the most. Take your eye off them for a second and you lose 'em. A big spider that I can see from across the room is also a spider that I can throw a shoe at from across the room.

By  kjones99  |  11

He was trying to help you face your fear, which would help you overcome it. He probabky didn't know how serious your fear was and should probably try taking a different approach.

By  bjc216  |  6

This is called aversion therapy. While his lack of confidence in the procedure is troublesome, it is common for therapists to help you to overcome fears by having you adjust and gradually associate your fear with something pleasant. The first step would be the spider in the box away from you. The point is to help you realize that it is irrational to be afraid of something that can't get to you by talking you down from your anxiety associated with the situation.

  Fluffydemise  |  18

No, it's not.

Aversion therapy is the process of associating something that is usually pleasurable and destructive to your well being with something overwhelmingly negative.

For example, blocking opioid receptors in the brain as well as creating an emetic reaction (vomiting)when opiates are consumed is a common heroin addiction treatment.

By  Ping600  |  12

I'm not even afraid of spiders and that would've freaked me out.
He's right about therapists helping you "face your fears". But he doesn't need to be so literal. That's not going to solve a thing.