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.”


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Dr. Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore, PhD

Anthony Centore, PhD, is Founder and Chair at Thriveworks — a counseling practice focused on premium client care, with 340+ locations across the US. Anthony is a Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and author of "How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice". He is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."