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How Does Feardrop Work

Fear drop uses a common psychological technique known as Graded Exposure. Graded Exposure is a type of treatment used in the field of psychology to treat phobias and other anxiety disorders.

People with an irrational fear of an object or situation (e.g., spiders, height, dogs, snakes, close spaces) tend to avoid the object or situation so that they do not become too anxious or distressed. This can have unwanted effects on the persons everyday life.

If people expose themselves to these feared objects, over time they can learn to control their fear and be relaxed in the presence of these objects. The goal of graded exposure is to expose the individual to the feared object gradually until they can reduce their fear.

If you choose to register with Feardrop, you will first complete some brief online questionnaires about your fear to help us start you at the right stage. You will then look at images (or videos) of the object that you fear. The stages are graded so that you will start with less fearful images and work up to more fearful images. To begin, you will move your mouse pointer into a circle on the screen and the image will appear.

Several times during each stage you will be asked to rate the level of anxiety that you are experiencing from 0 to 100. As you move through the stages, the aim is to keep reducing your anxiety. You will receive feedback about your progress and are encouraged to reduce your anxiety to a certain level before moving onto the next stage.

Currently if you register with Feardrop you can complete a program designed to reduce fear of 'spiders'. Stay tuned for new treatment programs for other feared objects.

If you click on the sample button on the left hand side of the screen, you can see how the program works, using the example of 'beach balls'.

If you click the 'coping with anxiety' link you will receive some tips for dealing with anxiety

Fear Drop
University of Tasmania, Faculty of Health Science
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