Typical behavioral therapies for phobia take many sessions to produce the desired effect. If recovery could be accelerated, it would reduce distress and save time and money.
A new study published in the latest issue of Biological Psychiatry reports the successful and instant reduction of fear in spider-fearful participants following a 2-minute exposure combined with a single dose of a regular pharmacological treatment.
Drs. Marieke Soeter and Merel Kindt, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, sought to build on the notion of “reconsolidation”, identified 15 years ago by Dr. Joseph LeDoux.
He and his team discovered that when memories are activated, they may be modified in fundamental ways to strengthen or weaken them.