Written by Nicole McKendry, Clinical Hypnotherapist
As we blow a parting kiss to summer and embrace the arrival of autumn with a hug, it seems the perfect time to pull out our chunky knits and spend as much time as possible in front of the log burner drinking pumpkin spiced lattes. However, my autumnal bliss was interrupted a few nights ago when I was rudely reminded by a very large house spider that the chill in the air and darker evenings also signify something else… spider season!
Now as my boyfriend kindly reminded me, we do live in the country and sharing our home with #spiders is part of the country life! To which I concur and it’s not as though I think there’s a queue of spiders with their little suitcases waiting at our front door to move in but… when faced with the prospect of a large spider about to run up your bare leg, I feel I was entitled to find the whole experience just a little disconcerting. Truth be known, Cedric (as he has come to be known) was as freaked out by me as I was him and he dashed back under the bathroom door and is to this day still hiding out somewhere in the house!
Whether it’s those pesky spider house invaders, plastic Halloween spider decorations or a YouTube video of an Australian Huntsman spider carrying off a mouse (if you haven’t seen the video this week and can stomach it click here to watch) one thing is very clear… if you suffer from a fear of spiders, known as #arachnophobia this time of year can be extremely distressing.
Arachnophobia is one of the most common phobias, affecting 55% of women and 18% of men in the UK. Now I had a brief moment of fear when I thought the spider was going to run up my leg but what differs between this and a spider phobia is that the fear would overwhelm the sufferer, with the fear being greater than the actual risk. It’s natural to experience fear if encountering danger or if we were in a situation in which we faced a poisonous creature that threatened our life (just for the record here my bathroom skirmish was neither!) but an Arachnophobic would experience this intensity of fear, even when the danger to their health or wellbeing is not real or present.
So do you suffer from a spider phobia? Chances are you know you do but for those still unsure, why not answer the following question - if you find a spider in your house do you:
a) Throw it outside?
b) Suck it up the vacuum or squash/flush it?
c) Feel as if your heart is about to burst out your chest, start screaming and running around unable to deal with it, start sweating, feel sick… call the estate agent it may be time to move?
If you answered yes to C then this article is for you.
The physical responses mentioned above happen when you experience anxiety from being exposed to a spider. Arachnophobia can be debilitating and stops people going on holiday, gardening and in extreme cases they live in constant fear.
Clients I have treated tend to be less scared by the actual danger that spiders present (thankfully in this country not a lot!) and more of the thought of them, the way they move which can seem to be unpredictable and irrational. I swore blindly to my boyfriend (much to his amusement) that the spider came running under the bathroom door straight for me but in truth, he was likely running away from something else, like blaring light or sound.
Fear of spiders is a conditioned response, something that we have learned… as such we simply need to unlearn this unhelpful fear that is enforced each time you are exposed to a spider. The good news is this fear can be effectively treated using clinical hypnotherapy or BWRT® and the negative conditioning responsible for running the faulty subconscious programming that underpins and drives this fear removed. The treatment works directly with your subconscious mind to change the automated response that you have when you encounter a spider, removing the emotional triggers and replacing fear with confidence and calm.
So when you see that lone spider running across your carpet, he’s probably trying desperately to find a mate and not running at you. Male spiders don’t live long, he’s taking a chance being out in the open and risking his life. As for you… he’s most probably hoping you won’t see him!
Finally, for those of you who don’t suffer from a phobia but just simply want to evict those eight legged unwanted house guests. Then I suggest you do what I do and invest in a good bug catcher!
If you would like to talk to me about your spider phobia, please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
#Spiderphobia #Dundee #Scotland #Hypnotherapy
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