Spider Blues? A Cure at London Zoo
The London Zoo wants to help any aracnophobes out there regain some of their sanity. After a four hour class, students can graduate proudly, knowing that nothing that walks on eight legs is their enemy.
From April to October, the zoo sponsor classes at about $150 a person. For some, it’s worth the time and expense because their fear of spiders is so great that it really does interfere daily life.
One participant reported that he chose the class after realizing that he was unable to enter his own backyard shed. Other class members ranged from children to the elderly – all in search of the same magical cure for creepy-crawly nightmares.
Group members discussed their fears, waiting for the main event: group hypnosis. About halfway through the class, all participants lay on the carpeted floor and underwent a half-hour hypnosis session. Afterwards, they all trudged toward the Bug House, to interact with spiders in a new way.
The spider zone inside the zoo consists of open boxes and bins with spiders, and the class members were encouraged to let the spiders get to know them. First by gently nudging, then letting spiders crawl up and down arms, the intrepid members of arachnophobia school all came out with a new respect, and even affection, for their former dreaded enemies. They also received certificates of completion.