I was delighted to read in the last week, that a zoo is taking it upon itself to offer professional assistance in getting people over the fear of spiders… Let me tell you how they are going about it…

You can read this hypnosis article in the Metro or this hypnosis article in the Telegraph — both mention the process.

Here is part of what the telegraph say:

Experts will help people with extreme arachnophobia overcome their terror of the creepy crawlies through a combination of “education, discussion, relaxation and hypnotherapy”.

Mary Ison, a local counsellor, hypnotherapist and phobia expert, will lead the session, which for the brave includes an “optional meeting” with a cluster of spiders.

The courses are run by Bristol Zoo Garden’s education section which believes that the media is often to blame for portraying the creatures as “sinister”.

Simon Garrett, head of learning at the zoo, said: “Many people find spiders fascinating, but for others they are simply terrifying and can seriously affect their lives. Our culture does nothing to dispel the myths, with spider television programmes often accompanied by sinister music and gothic lighting.

“At Bristol Zoo Gardens we have responded to the demand for people wanting to get over their fear of spiders by offering courses to help them do so.

“On our spider phobia courses, the emphasis is on changing the balance of control, from spiders being in control of people’s lives, to people being in control of themselves and their environment.

“These highly successful seminars are small and personal, with participants enjoying a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. They include a variety of approaches, since different people benefit from different ‘therapies’, and nobody is asked to do anything that they don’t want to do.”

I like the fact that they are going to get the chance to ‘meet’ some spiders at the time too… I think it is important to have real-life proof of what you have just done — it really shows the brain right there and then that you have made the change and it does not just remain a theory…

Great stuff Bristol zoo! Delighted to see hypnosis being used as one of their main tools too! 🙂