Today I’m going to talk about phobias, and I’ve got a specific one in mind – it involves a certain creepy crawly that is hated and feared by many people. As you may already be aware of, arachnophobia is an intense fear of spiders, and it’s actually one of the most well-known phobias. Just seeing a spider can make people with arachnophobia itch all over. You may be wondering: is there a cure for this phobia? Well, a commonly used treatment for phobias in general is to gradually expose yourself to the phobia. I’d say that The Friendly Spider Program at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) can be taken as an example of this in terms of arachnophobia.
Would You Pet One Of These Spiders?
As the video discusses, the spider part of the ZSL London Zoo is pretty much an area designed for spiders to live in, a lot of them being out in the open. Visitors can walk in and be surrounded by spiders, but only the non-poisonous ones are outside. The spiders that are outside don’t really mind being around people, so it’s okay to get up close and personal – you can even take what they call a “spider selfie!” You can also learn a lot about spiders and their lives in some of the exhibits, which I think is pretty cool.
A Unique Therapy Program
The Friendly Spider Program actually starts off with a therapy session, lead by hypnotherapist John Clifford. First, he tries to get a sense of why the participants are afraid of spiders. After that, a worker at the zoo, Dave Clarke, clearly explains why there is nothing to be afraid of. There is then a group hypnosis session to remove any subconscious negative emotions, and then an optional visit to the bug area. The program lasts about five hours, with refreshments offered.
I personally think that the Friendly Spider Program is a unique and immersive way of combating arachnophobia. What do you think?
Featured image via Blumhouse