According to a new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, participants in a study who at first could not bring themselves to get within 10 feet of a terrarium containing a tarantula, experienced dramatic relief from their phobias.

After a two or three hour session of “exposure therapy”, participants  were able to first touch the terrarium containing a tarantula, then touch the furry arachnid with a paint brush, then with a glove, then…wait for it…pet the tarantula with their bare hands!

“They understood that the spider’s movements were predictable and could be controlled,” Said researcher Hauner. “Fear is about not having control and not being able to predict what will happen.”