Arachnophobia - the fear of spiders

Many people fear spiders. Perhaps they cannot face slipping one into a jar to get it out of the bath or maybe they cannot even think about spiders without going into a cold sweat. There are different degrees of fear of spiders between these two extremes. For a few people, the fear is such that it degrades their quality of life. However, help is at hand. There is a great deal of information on the internet about this subject, but care and common sense must prevail when scrolling through the information, especially where possible cures are given.

For the many with mild arachnophobia, just learning more about spiders and their behaviour can turn fear into fascination. Spiders - learning to love them by arachnophobe turned arachnophile, Lynne Kelly is a highly recommended read, as is E.B. White's children's classic Charlotte's Web.

In very severe cases, help from a specialist course or from your doctor should be sought. London Zoo's Friendly-Spider-Programme is an afternoon course, carefully designed to ease or eliminate the arachnophobia. The programme is a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy and is remarkable successful- over 80% of participants report that they subsequently remain calm, confident and relaxed when they encounter a spider. Similar courses are also run at other UK Zoos (for example, Bristol and Dudley).


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