Is it realistic for someone to partially get over a phobia within a few years (5-10) without any modern proffesional help?
Based only on personal experience, I'd say it is possible to partially recover. I have never had any professional help, and I went from a mildly crippling fear of spiders to not having a problem with mild incidents (i.e., one spider on my hand). However, I thought I had gotten over my fear of heights but when I was in Las Vegas, I had a relapse. I literally had to crawl on my hands and knes and did not recover until I was out of the elevator on the ground floor.
how would someone react if he knew he would probably have to face his phobia well in advance?
That would probably help. It would also help if he had time to try to build up immunity, exposing himself to spiders to get used to it... but there's still a high risk of a relapse, as in my case above, I would think. I was OK on the 6th floor, but when we got to about the 20th floor I was extremely uncomfortable. Later I was on the 26th floor of a building in Hawaii that had smaller windows and no balconies and I was OK.
edited 31st Oct '10 1:58:37 PM by FrodoGoofballCoTV