An unusual case of a wasp phobic

June S L Brown, Sharon Abrahams, Matthew Helbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study concerns a woman with a very specific phobia of free-flying wasps. Her underlying and disabling belief was that she was allergic to wasp venom and, if stung, would certainly die. A behavioural approach, such as systematic desensitization and exposure, was not thought suitable because of the patient's pattern of fear. Instead, the treatment of choice was an allergy test to directly challenge her belief. The allergy test was negative and led to a dramatic improvement which was maintained 1 year after treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-24
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Adult
  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Animals
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Phobic Disorders
  • Test Anxiety Scale
  • Wasp Venoms
  • Wasps


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