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When Something Scary Becomes Familiar

It doesn't quite cure the phobia

(HealthDayNews) -- If you have a phobia, it sometimes helps to expose yourself to the thing you're afraid of. But there's a trick, says a report in Behavioral Research and Therapy.

Psychologists at the University of California in Los Angeles exposed two groups of people who were afraid of spiders to the arachnids. While one group saw a different spider every day, the other group always saw the same spider. After three weeks, the subjects were brought back to the lab and introduced to a strange spider.

The people who had seen different spiders every day weren't afraid of the new spider. But those who had visited just one spider and had made friends with her were still terrified at the sight of a stranger.

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