Why are snakes afraid of people

Spiders, snakes, fear of heights: How we overcome our phobias

And this until the fear in the presence of the object - for example a spider - or in the situation - for example in height - subsides by itself or central fears can be refuted. That is the central point of a successful exposure.

What does that mean for a spider phobic, for example?

In the case of a spider phobia, this means that you can gradually increase the confrontation with the animals until, ideally, you can finally touch them with significantly reduced fear or remove them from the apartment.

Who can people seeking help turn to?

People who are interested in professionally conducted exposure therapy should contact a psychological psychotherapist or a child and adolescent psychotherapist who specializes in behavioral therapy and ask about exposure therapy there. Addresses can be found, for example, on the website of the Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists. In the case of a pronounced disease-related phobia, the health insurance pays the costs. We offer a special form of treatment, exposure therapy in virtual reality, in our university outpatient clinic for psychotherapy at the University of Regensburg as part of research therapies as a compact treatment.

What are the chances of success?

Really really good. The success rate of such exposure therapy is high, at 77 to 95 percent. If there are no complicating factors such as additional depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, the phobia can be treated in a single, well-two-hour exposure session. Together with the preparation and follow-up work, the problem can be significantly reduced for many people in just half a day. For long-term success, however, it is important that you do not fall back into your old avoidance behavior and instead continue to practice independently.