Specific phobia: Phenomenology, epidemiology, and etiology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional


Tamara (aged 21 years) is in despair. She and her husband recently bought the house of their dreams: an old, refurbished farmhouse, beautifully situated in the countryside. However, she has now found that she cannot live there. The reason is there are spiders. Tamara has always disliked these creepy, dirty animals, but as long as she was living in the city, it was not causing her much problem because she hardly ever encountered them. In the new house, however, the spiders appear to be everywhere: in the garden, the kitchen, and—most annoying of all—in the bedroom under the authentic thatched roof. She no longer dares to sleep there, and now stays with her parents who have an apartment in town. Her husband is complaining about her preoccupation with spiders and starting to lose his patience. Tamara herself realizes there really is nothing to be afraid of, and that spiders are in fact harmless creatures. However, as soon as she sees one, she is completely seized by panic/terror, and the only thing she wants is to run away. Occasionally this has led to dangerous situations. For example, recently, tamara suddenly stopped her car in the middle of the motorway, to flee in panic from the vehicle because she discovered a spider on the rearview mirror.keywordsattentional biasattentional capturenegative informationspecific phobiafear responsethese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntensive one-session treatment of specific phobias
EditorsT.E. Davis, T.H. Ollendick, L.G. Ost
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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