Arachnophobia worksheet

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What is the theory behind the worksheet?

Animal phobia is a type of specific phobia, classified under Anxiety Disorders, which may result in a full or limited panic attack. Due to this fear, people with arachnophobia may take significant steps to avoid the animal.

Spider phobia is more robust and less susceptible to social influence than social fears. Additionally, phobic stimuli gain more rapid access to awareness.

A cognitive bias examined in anxiety disorders is the covariation bias, also called illusory correlation, defined as the overestimation of the relationship between fear-relevant stimuli and aversive consequences. 

Although a variety of treatment options for arachnophobia exists, this worksheet focuses on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) as they are the most promising evidence-based treatment.

How will the worksheet help?

Using this worksheet at least once a week will facilitate anxiety regulation in spider phobia. Additionally, the fear-based emotions may modulate learning processes. Lastly, the repeated use of this worksheet will help you evaluate how thoughts and feelings change for the better with repeated exposure. 

How to use the worksheet?

This worksheet requires that you approach a simulated, artificial environment in which you can be exposed to spiders. You can begin by looking at drawings, books, movies, or documentaries. 

Graded exposure is a technique that may help you to face spiders as a way to desensitize them. It is a slow process that begins with the least feared object, such as a drawing, or a picture, and progresses to objects or situations that frighten you more.

As you do this, pay attention to yourself and complete the worksheet, evaluating the problem and generating alternate solutions.

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  1. Wrzesien et al., “The Therapeutic Lamp: Treating Small-Animal Phobias,” in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 80-86, Jan.-Feb. 2013, doi: 10.1109/MCG.2013.12.

The Therapeutic Lamp: Treating Small-Animal Phobias | IEEE Journals & Magazine | IEEE Xplore


Hinze, J., Röder, A., Menzie, N., Müller, U., Domschke, K., Riemenschneider, M., & Noll-Hussong, M. (2021). Spider Phobia: Neural Networks Informing Diagnosis and (Virtual/Augmented Reality-Based) Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy—A Narrative Review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12.