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Little, R.B. (1967). Spider Phobias. Psychoanal Q., 36:51-60.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:51-60

Spider Phobias

Ralph B. Little, M.D.


Case material suggests that the spider may serve as the vehicle of fantasies originating in both oral and phallic phases of development. Transference fantasies utilizing the symbol of the spider are presented. It is postulated that the spider may symbolize both the phallic and the oral incorporative mother.

Awareness of the ubiquitous nature of spider phobias and spider symbolism may reveal latent phobias of the patient. Increased knowledge of spider symbolism and some of its clinical manifestations may facilitate treatment.

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