Treating Spider Phobia Using Neuro Emotional Technique: Findings from a Pilot Study

Anne M. Jensen, Adaikalavan Ramasamy

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Volume 15, Number 12, 2009, pp. 1363–1374 a Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089=acm.2008.0595


Background: Specific phobia, the most common anxiety disorder, can disrupt lives, limit work efficiency, reduce self-esteem, and strain relationships. Current interventions show some degree of success, yet relapse is common. Consequently, the need for a more effective and durable intervention is evident. The purpose of this pilot study is to investigate the efficacy of a new intervention, Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), on individuals with spider phobia, and to determine whether further investigation is warranted.

Methods: Participants who met the inclusion criterion that spider phobia impacted their daily lives were randomized to either a control group that received no intervention (N1⁄47), or to an experimental group that received two 30-minute sessions of NET approximately 2 weeks apart (N1⁄48). The primary measure was the Subjective Units of Distress Scale, and secondary measures were the Spider Questionnaire, Behavioral Assessment Test, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and change in heart rate (HR).

Results: Compared with the no-intervention control group, statistical analysis indicates a significant advantage for the NET group in regard to state/anxiety subjective distress, reported fear, and avoidant behavior. The difference between the two groups for general anxious symptomatology (trait anxiety) and change in HR was not statistically significant. No adverse reactions were reported.

Conclusions: The findings of this pilot study suggest that NET is a promising intervention for spider phobia in adults. A larger, full-scale study is required to confirm these results.

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