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Curing fear of spiders

(9 Posts)
hester Sat 24-Sep-11 21:56:03

Just to report that today I screwed up all my courage and attended the Friendly Spider Programme at London Zoo.

It was FANTASTIC smile

I really recommend it to anyone with a spider phobia. It was very emotionally wearing, and lots of the participants were in tears at various points, but everyone handled a spider by the end. I let a house spider run over my hand and also held a tarantula (tbh, the house spider was worse - more jittery - the tarantula was like a gerbil with more legs). First time I have EVER touched a spider, and I never thought I would be able to.

Growlithe Sat 24-Sep-11 22:02:56

Just reading this has put me in a cold sweat! I can't even look at photos. Is there a website (ha ha) that has no photos, because whenever I've looked for advice the first thing I've been confronted with is a pic of a massive spider!!!

PuzzleRocks Sat 24-Sep-11 22:04:27

Oh I completely agree that the house spider would be worse. Well done you. I really ought to make myself do the course. DH is working away for a week soon and am I having cold sweats because we have had some monsters recently. I have had to ask a neighbour to be on call to deal with any.

hester Sat 24-Sep-11 22:11:57

The nice thing about the day is that they don't show any pictures of spiders. Only at the end, after the hypnotherapy, do they take you over the road to the spider house. Nobody has to go in. But everybody chose to.

I can't say I'm left with no fear of spiders. But I did handle them, and I was ok, and I caught a big one with a cup and a card for the first time in my life. I am determined to keep building on this now.

Honestly, I never ever thought I could do this. If ever you feel able to do this, Growlithe, here it is:

www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo//news/scared-of-spiders,20,NS.html

(There are no spider pictures on that link, though there are on some of the links from it.)

soymama Sat 24-Sep-11 22:15:39

I have held tarantulas, but they seem more like pets than spiders. But I can't even be in the same room as a house spider! I don't know why they bother me so much!
I had a "daddy long legs" in the corner of my bedroom for ages and I quite enjoyed her company (she didn't seem to go anywhere)
But big kudos to you for going! Great idea!

Growlithe Sat 24-Sep-11 22:43:12

Thanks Hester. I'm in the north, wondering do they do a similar thing at Chester Zoo, although I think I would travel to sort this. What kind of things did they say cause the phobia? I ask this because I have two DDs, 7 and 3. I've always hidden my fear from them, because I didn't want them afraid. DD1 has no fear, but the other day DD2 was playing in her room and came running out to me hysterically crying because 'there was a spider in her room who wanted to be her friend but he was scary'. I had to take her out on a pretext so I didn't have to deal with the new 'friend' until DH got home!! But where has her fear come from? Me? PS well well done for attending this - I know just how hard it must have been!!!

hester Sat 24-Sep-11 22:50:28

They said today that sometimes phobia is inherited, sometimes triggered by a traumatic event, and sometimes grows organically from a series of small incidents. Phobics are more likely to be 'worriers', people who are generally more fearful.

My mother isn't bothered by spiders, but both my daughters (aged 6 and 2) have recently become scared sad. I'm hoping that showing them a picture of Mummy holding a tarantula may help... even better would be for them to see me calmly scooping one up and putting it in the garden. I have always tried to hide my fear from them, but they feel your tension, don't they?

Growlithe Sat 24-Sep-11 23:30:28

Hester, looks like your determination to sort it out comes from not wanting your daughters to suffer in the same way - which makes your bravery today all the more fantastic! I'm concerned about my girl too, and know I need to sort this to be a better role model. So right about the 'worrier' thing though, I am and DD1 isn't - she's ultra confident! Don't want to pigeon hole DD2 so early, but she is showing a natural 'caution' in certain situations. Thanks for your help - it's time I confronted this one and your post has come at the right time for me! Oh, one last thing, October is house spider month, be careful out there!!! shock

Marrick Sun 25-Sep-11 09:27:28

Well done Hester. I did the same course 3 years ago and it completely changed my life, especially this time of year! I too thought the house spider was far worse than the bigger one (too fast). Can recommend the course too to anyone with a spider phobia.

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