He often wakes with nightmares that he sees a snake

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snake. He often wakes with nightmares that he sees a snake slithering toward him. “It’s odd,” he says, “because I’m not in situations where I would ever see snakes.” His brain, however—or at least the parts of it that operate below the conscious level—may have been. One thing that helped early humans survive was an instinctive urge to flee from potentially dangerous situations. For today’s humans, those early lessons are hard to unlearn. The Big Four Phobias Researchers believe that specific phobias usu- ally fall into one of four subcategories, all of which would have had meaning for our ancient ancestors: fear of animals, such as spiders and snakes; fear of environments, like heights and the dark; fear of blood or injury; and fear of dan- gerous situations, like being trapped in a tight space. Michelle Craske, psychologist at UCLA’s Anxiety and Behavioral Disorders Program, says, “We tend to fear anything that threatens our sur- vival as a species.” Phobias may have originated with our distant ancestors, but we modern humans get phobias Fear NOT Science is beginning to understand how phobias form—and how to treat them. About Phobias As a class, brainstorm different types of phobias (you may need to consult your school’s media cen- ter or the Internet). Determine which subcategory— fear of animals, fear of environments, fear of injury, and fear of dangerous situations—each phobia falls into. Be prepared to discuss your choice. 242 Chapter 9 Mental and Emotional Problems HS_HEALTH_U03_C9_CR 12/8/03 4:36 PM Page 242
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243 Chapter 9 Review health.glencoe.com Psychologist Are you interested in human behavi- or and the mental processes related to behavior? Do you enjoy talking with people and helping them with their problems? If so, a career as a psych- ologist might be for you. Psychologists counsel individuals to help them resolve mental and emotional problems. If you want to be an advocate for children, you might consider specializing in school psychology. A school psychologist specializes in educational assessment, childhood development, behavioral management, individual and group counseling, and consultation. To become a psychologist, you will need at least a master’s degree. A doctoral degree is required for clinical counseling. Find out more about this and other health careers by clicking on Career Corner at health.glencoe.com. Parent Involvement Accessing Information. Learn more about family counseling centers that are available in your community. With your parents, create a pamphlet that highlights the services offered through the centers, the costs of these services, and where financial assistance for counseling can be found. Provide the pamphlet to your school counselor. School and Community Crisis Centers.
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